I was once asked in a job interview to offer up three words others would use to describe me. It wasn't a question I was expecting and an...

I was once asked in a job interview to offer up three words others would use to describe me. It wasn't a question I was expecting and an example of my inappropriate, self-deprecating wit was what came out. I didn't get the job.

I didn't spend too much time thinking about what others might have, more diplomatically, said, until recently, when a friend handed me a piece of yellow yarn.

The yarn, I knew, represented what my friend thought of me, and on a day when I was feeling tired and flat, she reflected that I was, to her, anything but. To her I was bright, helpful, sunny and enthusiastic and she told me so with a hug and a giggle. 

More yarn came my way - violet, red, green and blue - and I handed out well-considered lengths, as part of an activity anyone could do in any group where people are known to each other.

As an activity organised for a Guide Leader's one-day retreat, it set a mood of collaboration and respect and reminded us, me in particular, of how others see you, even when you think they're not looking.

Want to play along?

1. Lengths of coloured yarn (or stickers, embroidery threads or beads - you decide) 
2. Posters displaying the characteristics of your rainbow of coloured yarn

RED: passionate, bold, outgoing and warm
PINK: sweet, caring, friendly and bubbly 
WHITE: Peaceful, calm, supportive and bright 
YELLOW: sunny, bright, helpful and enthusiastic
GREEN: outdoorsy, caring, kind and friendly
BLUE: calm, serene, peaceful and caring
VIOLET: noble, imaginative and inspirational
INDIGO: mystical, graceful, spontaneous and self aware
BROWN: outdoorsy, earthy, supportive and nurturing 

Each piece of coloured yarn represents a set of positive personal characteristics. Through the course of a day, or a weekend or a meeting, you give pieces of yarn to people who embody the characteristics of the colour you've chosen for them. If you want to get analytical, you can examine the colours given to people and the spectrum of positive talents among your group.

Try it. You'll be amazed, and delighted, by how others see you.

Of course, if you're interested in team-building games that promote confidence, you might by interested in the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts Free Being Me program, offered in Australia by your state Girl Guide association.

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  1. How interesting Katie. Lovely post.

  2. I love this idea! I'm always up for handing out some craft supplies...and maybe even receiving some! Now I wonder....if I was a fabric what would I be???

    1. So pleased you do. Let me know how you go with it.