COVID-19 has created numerous issues for everyone. However, emergency planning must still continue even in a time of an emergency. It’s hard to think of planning when you are busy trying to cope with an emergency at hand, but this highly important function must continue.
Emergency Planning during an emergency? Here is how we approached a Playing with Strategy LEGO SERIOUS PLAY (LSP) workshop during COVID.
As we all know, creating a safe play space is instrumental in a successful LEGO SERIOUS PLAY session. When a workshop or session lacks emotional and psychological safety, you are going to have resistant participants, low trust, lots of tension, potential for conflict, and less-than-stellar results.
Traditionally, we’ve achieved emotional safety during our workshops with healthy teams by introducing ourselves and our work, and giving a brief overview of LEGO SERIOUS PLAY methods. Then we’d start the workshop and introduce the ground rules. As we know, the ground rules of LSP set the stage for the workshop and outline the behavioural norms and expectations for the day.
Now during COVID, we need to add a new layer to the process. Social distancing, masks, hand hygiene, and contact tracing all come into play. We asked the client to take responsibility for COVID procedures and clearly indicated this in our proposal.
Creating safety in times of COVID:
- We first visited the location to understand the COVID protocols in place. The site was a community center, which was following the government guidelines for COVID-19.
- We inspected the room to ensure we could socially distance and create a safe space for participants to be 6 feet (3 meters) apart. The facilitators’ table was also set up at the front of the room, well away from the participants. We tested the sound to ensure our 7 participants could see each other’s models and hear all the stories.
- We set up the room so each person had their own large table and that tables were placed around the room safely spaced apart, with their own new box and bag of personal bricks, new marker and pen, and new Post-it Notes. We wore gloves and masks while distributing materials.
- We instructed all participants to bring their own snacks and drinks because we would not be providing these.
- We instructed participants to wear masks and follow hand hygiene upon entry and exit.
- We sanitized all surfaces before, during, and after the event, including door handles.
24 hours before the workshop, we sent an email to all participants for pre-screening purposes, to ensure they could safely attend. We asked if they had been in contact with anyone who was ill in the last month. We also asked if they were experiencing any of the following symptoms:
-loss of taste or smell
We explained the layout of the play space and outlined the expectations for social distancing, mask use, and proper hand sanitation. We reminded all participants we would be following the guidelines set out by Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer of British Columbia, Canada. By properly setting the stage for safety, people were able to quickly fall into flow and focus on the task at hand; they knew we had already taken all safety precautions.
NOTE: We are using brand new LEGO bricks. If you are reusing bricks, make sure you read the guidelines for disinfecting plastic surfaces and follow your health advisors’ or health officers’ precautions and guidelines.
To read more about the workshops we are running during COVID, click here to read about our COVID 19 Strategy and Crisis Workshop.