Best/Worst Outcomes

Type of strategy: Brainstorming and DiscussionGroup ManagementProcessing

Intended Audience: StudentsTeachers

Learning styles: EN: Extraversion and IntuitionES: Extraversion and SensingIN: Introversion and IntuitionIS: Introversion and Sensing

To help participants identify what could be the best thing that could happen and the worst thing that could happen in a meeting or situation.  


This is great for meetings where the participants might be concerned about the meeting outcome, such as when a controversial or difficult topic will be explored.

Pre-Steps: Start with an opening excercise to set a safe tone, state the purpose and agenda prior to this activity.


  1. State and give the participants a chance to think about what might be the best thing that could happen in this meeting, and what might be the worst thing.
  2. Ask participants to take two different colored sticky notes. On the one, they are to write the best thing that could happen at this meeting. On the other, they are to write the worst thing that could happen.  You can make it electronic by using a Google Form to collect the best and worst.
  3. Post two large pieces of chart paper next to each other in the room. One with "best case scenarios" and the other with "worst case scenarios" labeled on the top. If you are using a Google Form, have the completed form posted on the projector, but also give the URL to the participants.
  4. After everyone has posted, the facilitator reads all the "worst case scenarios," grouping those that are similar.*
  5. The faciltator then reads all the "best case scenarios," again clustering* those that are similar. 
  6. The facilitator explains to the group that his/her objective will be to do everything he/she can to minimize the worst case scenarios and maximize the best case scenarios. The faciltator asks the group if they are willing to do the same. Maybe give the "Fist of Five" strategy to get buy in.
  7. The facilitator then asks the group if they are willing to risk whatever the worst outcomes might be in order to gain what the best outcomes might be.



  • This could also be used with a class to model best and worst outcomes of an upcoming activity. For example, a field trip, a play.
  • Used with students to brainstorm best and worst scenarios of digital citizenship, bullying, etc.


Meiss Education Institute. Rich Meiss

Related strategies: 

Fist to Five

Submitted by: Jennifer Arns


Aurelio Jacinto's profile
Aurelio Jacinto

This sounds like an interesting subject… it can help us with understanding scenarios and situations as they arise in our environments.