Translator (penerjemah)

December 1, 2010

Knotty Problem

Knotty Problem
-(Enhancing Group Dynamics, Facilitation Techique, Communication)-

This game is a game to show that groups empowered to solve their own problems are much more succesful than if instructed by outsiders. I used this method when we had a meeting / training a couple days ago with woman group in Cimande - Bogor. This is a group that proclaimed itself as "CAHAYA" or "the light" in English and produce hand made bag to generate extra income for their family.

I used this game cos this group has a problem that sometimes they depend to much to outsider to solve their problem. And I think they must do something. I try to encourage this group to do internal communication and problem solving rather than ask somebody from outside to tell them what they must gonna do (I think they have learn before this and this exercise will refresh their memories and encourage them to do better).

Needs
Some ropes (I use simple plastic ropes, about 50 cm long and as much as participants).

Method
- Select one, two or three participants to act as managers. They are asked to leave the room while you instruct the rest of the group.
- Ask the remaining participants to make a circle and tie themselves into as entangled knot as possible by using plastic rope. Just tie each one hand into another participant hand sporadicly until it everybody get tied.
- They must not let go of each other's hands at any cost.
- Tell the participants to follow the manager's instruction literally and not make it easier for them by doing what they have not been told to do.
- Once the knot is complete, the managers are asked to return and to unravel the knot, using verbal instructions only.
- Instruct the managers to hold their hands behind their back. They are not allowed to touch the group, only instruct them verbally.
- The first attempt is generally not successful and sometimes even produce a more complex knot. After 5 minutes, repeat the exercise without the managers (insider). Tell the participants to "get out of the knot yourselves".

Hints
The second untying process is usually much easier and quicker. Ask participants to comment on what relevance this has to the real world. Some key questions that you can asked:
- What does the game tell us about the role of outsider/insider manager?
- What does the exercise tell us about the effectiveness of "outsider" and "manager" in organizing people?
- What does the game imply for facilitating participation in community development?

Source : Participatory Learning and Action, A Trainer's Guide by Jules N Pretty, Irene Guijt, John Thompson, Ian Scoones - modified by Indra N Hatasura  

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