Tell the group they are going to be doing a silent exercise in pairs where they will discover what it is like to be someone else. Ask them to pair up with someone who they do not normally spend much time with. Tell them that one person in the pair is going to silently walk around for five minutes and their partner is going to follow them and copy everything they do, including the details of how they walk; how they move their legs, how big their steps are and how they place their feet on the ground. They are to copy the way their partner moves their arms and hands when they walk, and they are to notice what their partner looks at and what he/she hears. After five minutes they can stop and switch roles.

Back in the large group facilitate a discussion about what the participants discovered in the exercise.

“Walk a mile in my shoes” is good advice. People will learn to respect others and have tolerance for others if they are used to imagining themselves in another’s place.

Remember the definition of tolerance above. Being tolerant does not mean you have to adopt the behaviors of people that are different to you. Walking in someone else’s shoes is a way to develop understanding and a fair attitude towards someone else’s differences.