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Of Pigs and Elephants

February 1, 2017 - 3:48pm -- Tony

After wrapping up another week of training with an incredible group of professionals in our Loyalty Plus ™ Member/Customer Loyalty training, I wanted to share one of the activities in which workshop participants took part.  One major theme of the Loyalty Plus ™ training is that in order to have incredible “above and beyond” service for your external members/customers, you first need to ensure that you have incredible “above and beyond” service between each other internally.  More specifically, you need to be able to feel comfortable reaching out for help when you need it without feeling like you’re asking a “stupid” question.  If you are on the receiving end of a coworker’s question, you need to consistently respond in the most approachable way possible.  Because otherwise, when you are in an environment where people are hesitant to ask questions and others aren’t the most approachable when being asked, you limit your organization’s performance potential dramatically!

We do many interactive and fun activities in our trainings to drive home major themes like this.  Here is what we did:

Art Director

A member of the table group was given a picture of an animal (pig, elephant etc.) inside of a thick colored folder.  This person was the art director.  They were incredibly limited in how they were allowed to describe the secret picture in their folder to their tablemates.  They were only allowed to use the names of shapes and general directions (upper left corner, bottom right corner etc.) when instructing the artists.  They were not allowed to answer any questions from anyone from their table groups (A.K.A. the artists).


The remaining participants at the table groups were the artists.  The artists were only allowed to draw exactly what the art director was describing to them.  They were not allowed to ask clarifying questions of any kind.

Pigs and Elephants

At the end of the allotted time frame, the art director revealed to the group exactly what the picture was that he/she was describing.  As you can probably imagine, when everyone compared their pictures, they found that they were dramatically different in most cases and similar in others.  After a walking art show took place exhibiting everyone’s work next to the original secret picture (pigs and elephants), we discussed the point of the exercise. 


Participants nailed the main idea beautifully as they concluded that when you aren’t asking questions to better do your job because you’re feeling intimidated or that your questions are “stupid”, it is hard to produce quality and consistent work.  On the art director side, when you aren’t approachable (not answering questions or with a negative tone/attitude), when your answers are short and only in the language of your area of specialty, it is incredibly hard for those reaching out to you to perform at a consistent level and grow his/her skills.  Everyone interprets information differently.  The more we can take that into consideration when answering questions, through clarity, using a positive tone and speaking at the proper knowledge level, the more you position your teammates for success!  


*Check out the picture that accompanies this blog to see real artwork from our training!


If you’d like to grow your team and experience the kind of self-discovery that took place from the activity featured in this blog (and MANY more) contact us to learn about our customer/member service program Loyalty Plus!