In last Thursday’s Learning Lab, one of the activities we did was called Secret Handshake. This is a fun one for building rapport and trust in pairs or trios, and works well after an activity where people have established some sort of connection already.

In-person, two players create a secret “handshake” that they can do every time they see each other again.*

Naturally, in virtual settings there’s no way to do an actual handshake, but partners can come up with moves that they do together, making use of their whole screen.

For example, coming in close to the camera, hand/body gestures, moving in and out of the frame, etc.

You might want to demo coming up with a “secret handshake” with a partner, before sending pairs off into breakout rooms for a couple of minutes to come up with a 2 to 3 part “secret handshake” of their own.

When participants come back to the main room, it’s fun to ask for volunteers to teach everyone their handshake.

You can also have everyone do their handshakes at the same time.

Of course, now the handshakes are no longer secret, so if you do choose to share them, make sure to reference this! I like to make a joke about it.

Possible debrief questions:

  • What was that experience like?
  • How did you decide on your handshake moves?
  • What did you learn about your partner?
  • How do you feel now, compared to how you felt before we started?

Let me know if you try this activity, and what your experience is!

*You can do this activity in trios, or even groups of 4!

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