Before starting the exercise as such, ask the participants to clarify the topic they want to work on. You can then ask them to discuss the beneficiaries of the selected idea, project or process: Who are they? Do they need to distinguish between several types of beneficiary?
Once everyone is agreed on the beneficiaries, split the participants into sub-groups of 3 to 8 people.
Ask them to fill out the blank empathy card template below, starting with perceptions (the four boxes at the top: thinking, seeing, speaking, hearing). Ask them to be as specific as possible, imagining how the beneficiary would write things in their own words.
Once they’ve filled in the perceptions, ask the participants to reflect on the beneficiaries’ fears and aspirations and to fill out the two boxes at the bottom. This will help them to identify areas of concern and relevant information they can use to improve the idea, project or process in question.
Bring the sub-groups together so that they can share the main lessons they’ve learnt from the exercise.