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Icebreaker: Unusual Experiences

Icebreaker: Unusual Experiences
Games, Exercises, Icebreakers, Team Building

Article Rating:::: 1 Ratings :::: Tuesday, May 21, 2019

This light-hearted exercise is guaranteed to break the ice quickly and bring people together. In this exercise you set people a mission to find out about other delegates and to share what they have found with the group. It is designed to be entertaining and educational. As such it is ideal for a new team or at the beginning of a new course, workshop or seminar when you want to get people to become familiar with each other quickly.

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Convergent vs Divergent Thinking Exercise

Convergent vs Divergent Thinking Exercise
Leadership, Exercises, Team Building, Creativity, Decision Making, Design

Article Rating:::: 1 Ratings :::: Tuesday, May 14, 2019

A useful distinction in thinking process was suggested by Joy Paul Guilford in 1967. Guilford coined convergent thinking in contrast with divergent thinking. With convergent thinking, you are trying to find a single best solution to a given problem. Examples are multiple choice tests, math quizzes, spelling tests and many other standardised tests in education systems. Convergent thinking is systematic and logical (Williams 2003).

In contrast, you can use divergent thinking to create several unique solutions for a given problem. Divergent thinking is creative, spontaneous, non-linear and free-flowing. Several solutions are generated over a short period of time and they can lead to unexpected connections, encouraging discovery of yet more unusual solutions.

After carrying out divergent thinking, you end up with a bunch of solutions. You can then use convergent thinking to organise these solutions, analyse pros and cons of each and find the most optimal answer.

The point of the distinction is that you need both processes for good thinking. Being good at convergent, analytical and logical thinking is not enough as you could miss on some creative solutions. In contrast, just coming up with spontaneous creative ideas is not good enough; you need to examine solutions systematically before embarking on an implementation.

Researchers such as Guilford have found that personality traits tend to promote divergent or convergent thinking. As such, in a given team you will have people who are natural at either divergent or convergent thinking and therefore resistant to the other style of thinking

The following exercise helps to bring this distinction to focus and help delegates see the power of thinking differently to what comes naturally to them.

This exercise is ideal for team building or training delegates on management and creativity.

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Eliminate Wrong Beliefs: Turn Should to Could

Eliminate Wrong Beliefs: Turn Should to Could
Exercises, Coaching, Motivation, Emotional Intelligence, Appraisal

Article Rating:::: 6 Ratings :::: Tuesday, May 7, 2019

This exercise is designed to make the coachee think about potential liming views and beliefs. Through a systematic step by step process, you first help the coachee see what these beliefs are and then gradually lead them to see how they can be limiting. Often, such limiting beliefs are the root cause of many unwanted behaviours. They manifest themselves in thoughts and in actions. This exercise helps to go back to the root cause of issues and aim to address them.

It is best to run this exercise on an individual basis such as in a coaching or mentoring session. Before embarking on this exercise, create a safe and trusting environment where the coachee feels comfortable sharing their weaknesses with you.

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Team Building Exercise: Clock Types

Team Building Exercise: Clock Types
Leadership, Exercises, Team Building, Communication Skills

Article Rating:::: 1 Ratings :::: Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The purpose of this exercise is to show that each person in a team has certain characteristics that can contribute to the team. It is not necessarily about casting each person into an ideal team member role; instead, it is about taking advantage of each person’s unique strengths.

The exercise uses a visual technique—a clock that represents four types of personalities; hence, Clock Types exercise.

This exercise is ideal for team building, management, enhancing communication skills and coaching.

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Dissolving Resentment Exercise

Dissolving Resentment Exercise
Exercises, Coaching, Anger Management, Emotional Intelligence, Self-esteem

Article Rating:::: 0 Ratings :::: Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Resentment can consume people. Constantly thinking negatively about others can make an individual sad, angry and ultimately depressed. This strong emotion should be addressed before it becomes chronic or habitual.

The technique presented here borrows from NLP with a strong emphasis on visualisation. It is also useful to address self-resentment and self-loathing.

The power of this technique is in repetition. You can conduct this in a class, though it is best if it is carried out on an individual basis. The instructions should be provided once, and individuals should then go through the exercise without interruption or disturbance. They can then repeat this over a period of time to get its full effect.

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Chocolate Packaging Design Competition Exercise

Chocolate Packaging Design Competition Exercise
Exercises, Team Building, Exercises for Kids, Marketing, Art, Design

Article Rating:::: 2 Ratings :::: Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Imagine walking into a supermarket and going to the isle dedicated to sweets and chocolates. Here, you are likely to find a section with a variety of block chocolate bars. These are often presented as a package in the form of a rectangle which are usually the same standard size. Most often people go after brands they already recognise. Or perhaps they go for certain flavours or zoom in on 85% dark chocolates and above. This narrows down the search and they quickly decide which chocolate to pick.

However, suppose you go to an upmarket supermarket or specialist chocolate shop where you are presented with many chocolate bars that you don’t recognise. A good example is going to Whole Foods supermarket (which is now owned by Amazon). If you have a local branch, pop in one day and see the chocolate section for yourself. You will see a large selection of chocolate bars that you have never seen before, all claiming to be high-quality, tasty, organic and made from beans in some tropical country. The only differentiator is the price and the design of the chocolate wrap.

This is the dilemma every chocolate manufacturer has: how to design the chocolate packaging to sell. If you were a chocolate manufacturer, you want to get this design and pricing right. In the absence of brand recognition, they are the only things you have that makes the difference between a purchase and a pass.

The aim of this exercise is to help delegates practice various aspects of design that goes into making chocolate bar packaging. We will ignore the pricing part and instead focus on design. If all prices were the same, which chocolate bar will a customer choose?

This exercise is ideal for teambuilding scenarios where delegates are involved in design or marketing. You can then cover a large set of topics under a single exercise, such as product design, teamwork, leadership, resource management, marketing and artistic design. It is also great for kids and young delegates.

You can use this exercise in art courses and focus mainly on design aspects and product packaging. In short, there are many applications and you can use the instructions provided here as a template and tailor it to your own needs.

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Positive Affirmations: Turn Negative into Positive

Positive Affirmations: Turn Negative into Positive
Exercises, Motivation, Personal Impact, Emotional Intelligence, Appraisal

Article Rating:::: 7 Ratings :::: Tuesday, April 9, 2019

We are what we repeatedly do. We are also what we repeatedly think. If you think about something 200 times a day, you come to believe it to be true. If you think you are poor, unhealthy, socially unskilled or out of shape and repeatedly tell yourself this, then you come to strongly believe in them, irrespective of whether they are true or not.

The power of positivity is well known, so much so that it has become a large field as Positive Psychology. Nevertheless, most people don’t think enough of what they are good at or have and instead are focused much more on lack of stuff, problems, negativity, shortfalls and inadequacies.

This negativity seems to have been exaggerated by the culture of comparison which has been fuelled by social media. Awareness of an idealistic and exaggerated lifestyle of others consumed through social media can make us feel average at best or a lost cause.

We need to fight back. For this, we can use a powerful technique known as positive affirmations. The aim is to turn something negative into positive and consciously reinforce it in your mind until it becomes a thought habit. Gradually you get to eliminate the negative language altogether.

This exercise is ideal for courses covering emotional intelligence and motivation.

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How Trainers Use Icebreakers and Energisers

How Trainers Use Icebreakers and Energisers
Training Articles, Icebreakers, Train the Trainer, Motivation

Article Rating:::: 17 Ratings :::: Wednesday, April 3, 2019

We sent a questionnaire to the training community on the use of icebreakers and energiser. We asked questions such as, “Are they useful?”, “How do they help?”, “How long should they be?”, and so on. We have now got the results back and would like to share them with you.

There was a total of 103 respondents from around the world. As always, the results are fascinating and educational. They are then followed by what the training community thinks of them in their own words and how these tools are best used.

The results are presented first using graphs and our analysis is then followed.

Just to be clear to all readers, here is a brief intro to each training tool:

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Boost Creativity Using the 6-Step Problem Solving Technique

Boost Creativity Using the 6-Step Problem Solving Technique
Training Articles, Creativity, Problem Solving, Design, Creative Writing

Article Rating:::: 1 Ratings :::: Monday, March 25, 2019

In the 21st century world, we often need to be creative when solving problems especially with the constant need to stand out in today’s crowded markets. Being creative is therefore a very useful skill.

Much like any other skill, creativity is something you can get better at by following a proven structured approach and by practicing. The more systematic the method, the easier it is to practice and master it.

In the past few decades, there has been much progress on creative thinking. The researches on this topic has led to some great insights. It is now well known that resting the brain after intense periods of thinking and problem solving can significantly boost creativity. Many thinkers and experts such as Edison, Einstein and Salvador Dali have utilised this technique to great benefit. The question is how you should go about this to maximise the benefits.

The idea of resting the brain is about silencing your conscious thought (CT) in order to unleash the power of your unconscious thought (UT). That conscious thought, however, must get engaged enough at some point for this whole thing to work.

If you are a trainer or are in a position of teaching any subject, you will inevitably be giving your learners some problems to solve. Problem solving often requires creative thinking. You and your learners can use the 6-Step Problem Solving Technique described here to strengthen your creative thinking. It is designed to help our minds work at peak performance.

 

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How to Manage Regret: The Powerful 5-Action Exercise

How to Manage Regret: The Powerful 5-Action Exercise
Training Articles, Coaching, Motivation, Goal Setting, Appraisal

Article Rating:::: 6 Ratings :::: Tuesday, March 12, 2019

One of the primary reasons behind lack of motivation is regretting the past. When you are down, it is easy to question your past decisions and how they have let you down. Sounds kind of logical to look back and examine the past, right? May be somehow there is a clue there that would help. It is a tempting approach, except that this backward looking action can be quite damaging to current life.

This article offers insights on how to eliminate strong feelings created by regret, while exploring some significant findings over the past three decades. This is followed by a very effective exercise that consists of five primary actions helping to systematically manage the strong emotion of regret.

Examining regret is rather personal and this exercise is designed to be carried out in private. Hence, as a trainer, you don’t need to run this exercise in a group or during a course. To run as an exercise, do the following:

  • First, brief the delegates about regret and how it can be handled. Let them know about the research presented here and lead them to question assumptions.
  • Walk through the systematic 5-Action exercise and help delegates see what they need to do during each step. They can then complete the exercise in private to achieve best results.

This 5-Action exercise on regret is ideal for courses on emotional intelligence, motivating people, stress management, performance management and appraisal.

 

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