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Purpose: Introductions, energizer, finding commonality, diversity training.



  •  One “Safe Zone” sign visible from all areas.
  •  Enough space for participants to move around freely.



  • Ask the group to move randomly around the room.
  • Tell them that this is about finding things that the group has in common. There may be times when the criteria does not apply to them OR when they opt not to identify with it. At those times, they will go to the Safe Zone. Otherwise, they are to find others who have share that element with them, and form tight groups or “islands”.
  •  Use a warm up sample to ensure that everyone understands. i.e. “Brothers. Form islands by the number of brothers that you have.”
  •  Call out 10 to 15 criteria. These may be work related, personality type related, cultural or any other criteria that fits with your session.


Sample criteria:

  •   birth month
  •   birth order
  •   favourite cuisine
  •   favourite type of music or favourite musician
  •   favourite author or section in the library
  •   favourite type of store
  •   most recent volunteer activity
  •   first language you learned
  •   number of countries you have been to
  •   favourite subject in high school
  •   least favourite subject in high school
  •   favourite season
  •   favourite holiday
  •   first paying job
  •   number of jobs in the past 5 years
  •   True Colors type (if already known)
  •   first character trait on your current resume
  •   first hard skill on your current resume
  •   first transferrable skill on your current resume


Discussion Points:

  •  Were there any islands that you wished we had called? Why?
  •   If you were in a very small group or alone, how did you feel? Was that different if it was a cultural trait or a skill?
  •   If you were in a group with the majority, how did you feel?
  •   What did you learn about the others in the group?



  •  Use skills or abilities as criteria when warming up for a resume workshop.
  •   Omit Safe Zone, and call out single criteria (i.e. those with 2 or more siblings). Those who qualify gather into a single island, the rest keep moving.
  •   If space is limited, call out single criteria and ask people to stand if they qualify.

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