Introductions: What We Have In Common, How We Are Different

Brief Description/Purpose

Encourage participants to talk to each other and find out a few things about each other in a fun, fast way.


Milling around, large group members talking in pairs.

Age Appropriate

Teens, Adults

Ideal Group Size

Any but can work really well in large groups where there's space to move around.

Time For Exercise

15 to 20 minutes

Detailed Instructions If Needed

So the entire group can see them, write a few "topics" that are relevant to the course content and goals. For example, if it was a course on conflict resolution, you might use these:

  • Thing I hate most about workplace conflicts
  • My usual method of dealing with conflict
  • Areas where I experience the most conflict
  • How I wish I could handle conflict

You want to make this exercise into something that has strong ties to the goals of the course, rather than a general get to know you exercise.

Ask the group to stand up, and find at least two people that are most similar to them, and two people who are least similar. Participants then need to interact with each other to find those two sets of people.

If you want to add a little fun, give them a time limit, and/or increase the number of people each must find. That makes the exercise much more fast paced.

Debrief by asking questions of the group, like:

  • What was most surprising to you about the exercise? Did you find it dificult?, Easy?
  • Did you discover that you are mostly similar to, or different from others?


This exercise can also be used as an energizer. It's extremely flexible. It can also be used specifically for diversity seminars.