In this is interesting group dynamic activity all participants must work together to lower a long stick to the ground.
The technical rules are explained to the group: everyone's index fingers MUST remain in contact with the stick all the time, and the stick must rest on top of their fingers all the time (no grabbing, finger curling, etc.). The participants point their index fingers and hold their arms out at waist level. Then they lay down the stick on their fingers and at that time, the group must work together to lower the stick to the ground. Depending on stick length and number of team members, line up the participants in one row or in two rows facing each other.
Warning: The tendency is, particularly at the beginning, that the stick 'floats' up, hence the name of the activity, causing laughter, frustration, or confusion. The rise is caused by the upward pressure put by the group members as each try to remain in contact with the stick.
„I used this activity at a corporate offsite event and it worked really well! I had a group of about fifteen on both sides of a ten foot long piece of wooden molding. As soon as I placed the stick on the fingers of the group, it moved quickly above their heads! I took it off and reset it for them, emphasizing the goal, and again it quickly moved above their heads. On the third attempt, I had some frustrated participants and some leaders (the loudest...) told everyone in the middle of the stick to just barely touch the bottom of the stick while the individuals on the end slowly lowered it to a cadence called out...down, down, down...! I had to police the group to make sure everyone was indeed touching the stick and not employing any disallowed touching, i.e. finger curling, grasping, etc. It was a great exercise that allowed me to debrief the group and get them to focus on the importance of collaboration and counseling together.“
Andy Brinton, United States