Compass Points

An interactive activity that increases awareness of our own and others’ preferences and opens doors to empathy. Create four signs on large chart paper – North, South, East, West . Write these traits associated with each “point”, and leave some room for note taking.

  • North: Acting – Let’s do it, try new things, jump in, likes to act
  • South: Caring – likes to know everyone’s feelings are being considered and voices are being heard before acting
  • East: Speculating – likes to look at the big picture and the possibilities before acting
  • West: Paying attention to detail – likes to know the who, what, when, where, and why before acting

Do this in advance and post signs on room walls. Draw attention to the four points and read them aloud. Each person selects one point that best captures how they collaborate with others on teams, and they stand at that sign. At each point, designate a recorder, time keeper, and a spokesperson. Each group has 5-8 minutes to respond to these questions:

  1. What are the strengths of your style/point? (3-4 adjectives)
  2. What are the limitations of your style/point? (3-4 adjectives)
  3. What should people from other points know about you so that you can work together effectively?
  4. What is one thing that you value about each of the other three styles?

Take 3-5 minutes for each group to share their key takeaways. This discussion should address diversity, preferences, empathy, and awareness.