As part of completing the Training from the Back of the Room trainer certification I had to design a 10 minute workshop.

The topic I chose was personal space and this is the running order and the game I created around it.


I would advise anyone taking on this as a workshop to double the original timings relate to the 10 minutes, this was borderline rushing.


None, a big room or space would be really great.


Connection: Firstly introduce the topic of personal space to the group and start by asking the group to get into pairs and discuss:  – 2 mins

  • “what does personal space mean to you?”

Concepts: Now ask the group to self organise into threes (triads), and ask the new groups to answer one of these three questions:  – 3 mins

  • How is personal space affected by the situation?
  • How is personal space affected by culture?
  • How does personal space affect communication?

Concrete Practice: Retaining the triads, explain to the team we are going to delve into the three questions briefly in a practical/game way, and we are going to push the boundaries of personal space. Make sure before you start this bit that you give participants a chance to “opt-out” if they feel uncomfortable. – 3mins

Firstly ask the triads to discuss their favourite pet, tv show, and then get as close to each other as they can. (this is the part you may see new teams tentatively stand away from each other, where established teams will probably cuddle if they like each other)

Secondly ask the triads to discuss their favourite pet, tv show, but now get as far away from each other as they can. (what you are looking for is shouting chaos)

Finally  ask the triads to discuss their favourite pet, tv show, but now get a comfortable distance away. (Notice the change)

STOP!!! 🙂

Ask the teams to reflect on what they did and think about the behaviour.

Conclusion: Get the group to form a standing circle and ask them to “step in” to the middle of the circle with observations  – 3mins

Learning Points:

You can use this as a fun ice breaker, or part of team forming to understand team norms communication and culture. You are looking for good discussion and personal learning about how personal space can affect the way teams operate.


Extend the time in places and slowdown the reflection points. You could also run the concrete practice on its own. Im sure there are more i just cant think right now 🙂