The Rant

Possible outcome:

• Practice deep listening.
• Become aware of own values
• Become aware of shared values


In pairs participants each get a chance to rant about something. The listener must listen for the value underneath the ranting and respond with “I hear you really care about…”

Time: 10 – 15 min
Number of participants: 2 – 200

Game flow:

Ask participants to pair up and sit in chairs facing each other. Tell them to think of something that really irritates them. Each participant then gets a chance to rant about this frustration for 2 minutes while their partner just listens. Tell them to fill the whole 2 minutes with their ranting. The listener’s task is to listen past the frustration for the underlying value that is really important to the speaker. After the 2 minutes are done the listener responds with the words “I hear you really care about…” The value that the listener listens for must be something positive. For example if the speaker rants about how she hates it when people are late, the listener shouldn’t say “I hear you really care about people not being late”. The right response could be “I hear you really care about respecting someone else’s time”.

Debrief questions:

• What did feel like being listened to like this?
• What did it feel like listening like this?
• What is the value of listening like this?

I learned this game from Holly Thorsen in a coffee shop in Amsterdam after the 2010 Applied Improvisation Conference.

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