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Argument Clinic

In this activity a "client" enters an Argument Clinic like the one in the famous Monty Python sketch.

As in the original, one person is the client, the other the Arguer. Also as in the original, there is a time limit.

The objective is simple: to argue just for the sake of arguing. No need to repeat the Monty Python sketch, just feel free to be disagreeable, contentious, contrary.

Variations:

The Flattery Clinic: Client enters room. Greets flatterer. Flattery ensues. Time limit.

The Skepticism Clinic: Client enters room. Greets skeptic who doubts everything the client says. Time limit.

The OMG! Clinic: client enters room. Greets OMG! person who finds everything the client says to be totally true! And SO interesting!! OMG! Time limit.

The Boredom Clinic: client enters room. Greets bored person who finds everything the client says boring. Client must try to provoke some reaction other than boredom. Time limit.

The Distracted Listening Clinic: client enters room. Greets person who is easily distracted and has trouble focusing on what the client says. Client must try to break through the distraction. Time limit.

The Gullibility Clinic: client enters room. Greets person who will believe anything s/he is told. Client tries to tell most implausible stories possible. Time limit.

And so on...

Variation
Choose a problem that has emerged from participants' previous discussions, e.g., union bureaucracy, and play the game with that problem. For example:

The Union Bureaucracy Clinic: union member enters room. Greets bureaucrat who... acts like a bureaucrat (the challenge of this variation is that people have to demonstrate their understandings of the problem). Union member tries to get something done. Time limit. Follow with debrief: what did others see? How does it compare to their experience? What is the bureaucrat doing? Why?

You could use this problem-posing version of the activity to follow up on problems identified in the Problem Tree activity, or in other discussions.

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