Are You A Participant, Passenger, Protester, Prisoner Or Pilot?

The next time you have a staff meeting or you find yourself in a CPD session then think about the 5Ps.

Generally speaking, a group is made up of 5 different folks:

1. Participant

Someone who gets involved and participates. This is a ‘player’ who wants to learn and is enthusiastic and fully engaged with the process. They are active, enjoying it and positive.

2. Passenger

Someone who is happy just to sit back. This person won’t disrupt the session but won’t engage with it or play an active role.

3. Protester

Someone who will disagree and argue and often tries to go a different way sometimes just to be awkward. They will say “but that won’t work” and shake their head. They can also be disinterested in a task/activity and want everybody to know it. They will complain, respond negatively and are disruptive and disengaged.

4. Prisoner

Someone who feels trapped and wants to escape. The session is an uncomfortable experience and their body language will speak volumes (folded arms, sullen demeanor).

5. Pilot

Someone who guides and leads. This person is happy to get hands-on and set a course. They take control.

At the end of a session it’s worth sharing this with everyone. If you have 5 signs made in readiness (Participant, Passenger, Protester, Prisoner, Pilot) then place them in different corners of the classroom or hall.

Now ask everyone to place themselves in one of the corners depending on the role they played in the team during that activity.

Then come back together and talk about the role they choose for themselves. Would others choose the same role for you or do they see things differently?

What does it mean to be a passenger, versus a pilot, when the school is about to embark on a particularly difficult challenge?

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