Looking for a fun activity that will involve everyone at the start of a faculty meeting? Pass around a bowl of jelly beans and invite each staff person to choose one jelly bean. When every person has a jelly bean, invite the people who chose black or white jelly beans to stand up. Share with those people their personality traits based on the chart below. The chart is based on a study done at a major university, which reported on personality and administrative styles based on jelly bean selection. For the purpose of this activity, we will identify that administrative style as faculty meeting style. As you share the traits on the chart, be sure to keep things light and fun.
|Jelly Bean Color||Personality Traits||Faculty Meeting Style|
|White or Black||
The white jelly bean person likes to controls the environment and likes a lot of praise. S/he is always trying to earn brownie points; gets reports in weeks before the deadline.
The black jelly bean person smiles a lot, is enthusiastic and always playful. In fact, s/he usually plays around at workshops, meetings, and conferences.
||The yellow jelly bean person is the thinker of the group and is very independent. In fact, s/he often doesnt follow meeting rules, polices, or procedures.|
||The orange jelly bean person dresses well; like luxury such as gold bracelets, watches, and chains. In fact, s/he likes possessions and might stay at school to horde supplies; or after meetings to horde handouts.|
||The purple jelly bean person needs fulfillment. S/he might question an assignment, want to do it differently. She/he can have a problem dealing with highly structured time, such as meetings.|
||The green jelly bean person is a peacemaker, doesnt like conflict. S/he likes to get black and white jelly bean people to organize his/her projects. S/he might be superintendent sooner than you think.|
|Red or Pink||
The pink jelly bean person can be a skilled brown-noser. S/he often volunteers to do a little more, especially when the superintendent or principal asks.
The red jelly bean person can be extremely frustrated. In fact, researchers would like you to submit your name and address for future research!
After doing the activity, you might ask for a show of hands of those who think the description of their personality traits was valid; was the way they perceive themselves. Emphasize that no one is one color, but that one color is often dominant. All of us have some of the various traits associated with other colors. This is important to realize when dealing with others. We should be able to empathize with those who see things differently and deal with problems differently than we do.
Mark Lukert, principal (retired), Lakeside Elementary School, Coppell, Texas
If you would like to learn more about Mark or the workshops he conducts through his consulting company, Precision Team Building, contact him through his Web site, http://www.marklukert.com/.