A Study in Puppets


Choosing puppets, and subsequently collecting them at the start of later days in the course had the immediate affect of increasing the level of discussion, and movement in the room.Despite being uncertain as to their purpose initially, having something tangible became a talking point, encouraging humour, and suggesting novelty.

Although the puppets drew mixed reactions amongst the delegates, there was an overall feel of ‘this is different’. Having to collect their puppets at the start of each course day offered an immediate yet indirect hint of what type of work was to come throughout the day. Positive feedback included that the tone of the day was set early on, partially by use of the puppets, as being out of the normal range of training courses, a fact which was considered in a positive light.

Use of puppets – Delegates seemed to fit into one of two categories with regard to the use of their puppet. The first group seemed reticent to use their puppets, demonstrating embarrassment when selecting them and reluctance to hold them, even when being asked to use them for the purpose of the current exercise. They appeared to use them simply because they were expected to.

The second group were fully engaged in doing so, enjoying the selection process, taking their chosen puppet with them from task to task without prompting.

None of the group engaged with the puppets as far as to ‘mock’ dialogue with them, however they were used significantly for gesticulating, enhancing emphasis on key points, and several delegates ‘looked’ at things with the puppets.


Specialists in Leadership and Organisational Change using the skills and creative techniques of experiential learning and action learning with great success.