created by the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council
Activities for Transforming Teams
and Igniting Change
ATTIC is a collection of tools, games, and activities to inspire innovation, teamwork and engagement in health care settings.

Flame Throwing

Body language can be a huge indication of how a person is feeling, and facial expressions are often the conveyor of meaning. We can free ourselves from feelings of rejection and threat by eliminating eye contact. Removing eye contact allows us to stay present and absorb feedback more effectively.

Download Activity Worksheet

  • 30-60 minutes
  • Groups of 8-10
  • Paper on which to write feedback

  • Source: Adapted from THNK School for Creative Leadership

What to do

  1. Arrange the room with 1-2 chairs for those pitching their idea(s) at the front of the room, facing a semicircle of 6-8 chairs.
  2. Ask 1-2 participants to volunteer to pitch an idea to the group.
  3. Ask 6-8 participants to volunteer to be flamethrowers.
  4. All volunteer participants are invited to come up to the chairs at the front of the room.
  5. The volunteers with the idea(s) take three minutes to make a pitch to the flamethrowers.
  6. Flamethrowers should have a few minutes to ask clarifying questions of the idea pitchers.
  7. After the pitch, those pitching the idea should turn their chair(s) around so they are facing away from the flamethrowers.
  8. The flamethrowers provide feedback on the pitch and try to “burn down” or pick holes in the idea. Note: The idea pitchers are not allowed to respond to feedback during this time, they are only allowed to listen.
  9. Once the flamethrowing is over, the idea-pitching volunteers are given five minutes to refine their idea(s).
  10. A new group of flamethrowers are chosen.
  11. Idea-pitching volunteers present their refined idea(s), and repeat the questioning and flamethrowing process a second time.


For those receiving feedback (idea pitchers):

  • Was it difficult listening to feedback?
  • Did it get easier over time?
  • What elements did you hear that needed improvement?
  • How did you improve/adjust for your next pitch?

For those giving feedback (flamethrowers)

  • Was it difficult to provide feedback?
  • What did you like about this method of providing feedback?
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