Goal Setting Exercise: Role Models

Goal Setting Exercise: Role Models


This exercise is ideal to explore role models and the importance and significant of having one. Instead of trying to explain directly how useful role models are, the exercise takes an indirect approach by simply getting delegates feel excited about their role models or feel the excitement of others when they talk about theirs. Such discussions can inspire the participants to look more closely at role models and if they have not thought of one so far, choose one during the exercise.


Share information about your role model and learn about other delegates’ role models.

What You Need

  • Blank cards.


Part 1:

  • Ask delegates to think of their most ideal role model. They should consider the following:
    • This can be a person who is alive or dead.
    • It can be a person they already consider as a role model or one they can think of now during the exercise.
    • It is best if the role model is associated with a particular skill, profession or field which helps to focus on the right areas when examining a role model.
  • Allocate 5 minutes for this part.
  • Ask delegates to write the name of their model on a blank card, fold it and then put it in a pile at the centre of a table.
  • It’s ok if a few delegates cannot think of a role model at all.

Part 2:

  • Now get the delegates to sit in a circle around the central table where everyone can access the pile.
  • Ask a volunteer to start.
  • Ask the volunteer to pick a card at random, unfold it and read out the name of the role model.
  • If the card is written by the volunteer, he should drop it and pick another one.
  • Ask the delegate who has picked up the card to briefly explain the following about the person.
    • Who is this person?
    • What is he or she most famous for?
    • What was most significant about his life that he can be considered as a role model?
    • How do you relate to this role model and what behaviours or attitudes inspire you the most?
  • You can optionally write the 4 questions on a flipchart or whiteboard so that everyone systematically answers the questions one by one without forgetting them.
  • If the delegate doesn’t know much about the person, others can step in to answer the questions.
  • After about 5 minutes, ask who chose the role model.
  • The person who chose the role model should now answer the 4 questions by adding more details that have not been discussed already.
  • Encourage delegates to ask questions in relation with the role model from the delegate and see if the role model can also inspire them. Since a delegate is usually passionate about his role model and knows a lot more than average about the character, explanations are probably given with a lot of passion and enthusiasm. This is great as it can inspire others greatly while they can also learn something new about that particular character.
  • Allocate 5 minutes for this part but you can consider allocating more time if you have enough time for this exercise as a whole.
  • Follow one by one until all delegates have picked up a card and went through the exercise.
  • Optionally, you can encourage those who did not pick a role model in Part 1 to do so now and then drop their cards in a pile so their chosen characters can also be examined if they are different from characters that have been considered already.


Explaining the Exercise: 5 minutes


Part 1: 5 min

Part 2: (5 min answering four questions + 5 min role model chooser explaining) * N number of delegates

Total: 85 minutes for 8 delegates.

Group Feedback: 10 minutes


Did you know much about the role models selected by other delegates? Do you feel inspired by the choices? If you did not think of a role model before the exercise, did the exercise inspire you to think of one now?

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