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Leadership Exercise: Which Word is Common

Leadership Exercise: Which Word is Common
Leadership, Exercises, Communication Skills, Decision Making, Brainstorming

Article Rating:::: 42 Ratings :::: Monday, January 2, 2012
 

Purpose

This is an entertaining exercise encouraging delegates to think on the spot, make decisions and self-organise to complete a task. It is ideal for teambuilding and leadership courses to show the value of communication from all members and how a leader can coordinate the activities and information exchange to significantly increase the performance of the group as a whole.

Objective

Find out the common word included in a series of cards given to all members of a team.

What You Need

  • “Word Cards” with a number of words written on each of them. A set of these cards are provided below. You need one card per delegate. You can expand the cards using your own design though making sure the exercise remains challenging. Print these on coloured papers or cards so they don’t get mixed up with other white cards used for notes.
  • 50 Blank white cards or more depending on the number of delegates.

Setup

  • Ask the delegates to form a circle while looking away from each other (looking to outside of the circle).
  • Distribute one “Word Card” to each delegate.
  • Distribute several blank cards to each delegate. There is no limit to this so they can have as many as they want during the exercise.
  • Explain that there is one word common between all cards and their objective is to find it. However, there are a number of rules they need to adhere to:
    • Delegates cannot show their cards to anyone else.
    • Delegates cannot pass their cards to anyone else.
    • Delegates cannot talk to each other.
    • The only way to communicate is to send notes written on blank cards to another person adjacent to them.
    • The note cards can have a maximum of three words on them.
  • Allocate 15 minutes for this part or until they find the common word.
  • Time their performance so you can compare different groups’ performance across multiple courses.
  • Bring back everyone and follow with a discussion.

Timing

Explaining the Exercise: 5 minutes

Activity: 15 minutes

Group Feedback: 10 minutes

Discussion

How did you approach the problem? Did you pass messages to each other to nominate a leader so you could coordinate your activities? Did you organise information methodically? Did the task feel daunting? Did you try to solve the problem on your own or did you rely on others? Did you use the principles of self-organisation to coordinate the activities and work towards channelling the information towards a particular direction? How did you nominate a leader (Example: pass the name of nominee to everyone and everyone messaging back that they agree)? How much messaging was required to complete the task? Were you happy with you performance?

Optional:

To Tutor: Once you have provided feedback and the group has discussed their performance, you can let them have another attempt at the exercise to see if they can improve on it. You will need to use a different set of card for the second attempt so the common word is different.

 

Word Cards

 

Card 1

Achievement

Destiny

Fear

Unknown

Lost

Failure

 

Card 2

Success

Fear

Motivation

Respect

Destiny

Unknown

 

Card 3

Mission

Unknown

Failure

Need

Achievement

Ambition

 

Card 4

Greed

Achievement

Money

Unknown

Fear

Ambition

 

Card 5

Unknown

Direction

Mistake

Answer

Achievement

Fear

 

Card 6

Decision

Unknown

Achievement

Ambition

Failure

Direction



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