Quick Leadership Exercises for Teams
By Amy Dano
Pinpointing leadership potential in a group of team members is one of the most valuable things to do for an organization. By working with your team and taking part in short activities, you can foster a sense of connectivity between team members, encourage conversation, and bring out valuable leadership qualities. Take a look at a few quick leadership exercises for teams.
Helps with: Developing interpersonal communication skills
Icebreaker, sometimes also referred to as Human Icebreaker, is a simple team activity to foster a sense of connectivity in a group. The participants in Icebreaker are asked to create a list of questions that generally relate to people. A few examples may be: Who in the group is from another state? or Who in the group likes pizza? Once everyone is armed with their list of questions, team members get 10 minutes to find people that meet the criteria they created with their questions. Individuals who find the most qualifying team members for their questions after 10 minutes are declared the winner.
2. Leaders You Admire
Helps with: Defining desirable leadership traits and encouraging bonding
Leaders You Admire starts with dividing the participants into smaller groups. Each group discusses the leaders they admire and why. Then, all participants and groups come back together to have a larger discussion about leaders that were brought up and why. Based purely on conversation, Leaders You Admire encourages bonding between colleagues, but it also sheds light on what leadership traits individuals most admire and why.
Helps with: Problem-solving, teamwork, and identifying leaders
In this experience, teams work together creatively to build a supportive structure. The supportive structure is a bridge that spans sixteen feet and carries the weight of one large egg. The theme of the supportive structure (the organization’s structure and processes) and the fragile nature of the egg (customers and employees) come to life when broken up into teams so they must take the initiative, communicate, and plan together, implement separately and then integrate their separate projects. This mirrors the relationship between the various teams in the organization (each with their own responsibilities but working to the same end). Employees reflect and generate solutions to close the strategic gaps they face at work, before building their work plan.
4. What I Need From You
Helps with: Working together and articulating needs to colleagues
What I Need From You involves allowing each team member to clearly articulate what they expect and need from others in the group. Others in the group are given the opportunity to respond directly to the team member expressing their needs. This kind of clear, open communication works well in even virtual meetings. The activity helps to dissolve blocks that get in the way of conversation, so direct action can be taken.
5. The Human Knot
Helps with: Problem-solving, teamwork, and communication
A sort of brainteaser, The Human Knot requires team members to stand in a circle. Each member of the group must use their right hand to hold the hand of someone else in the circle across from them. Each member must then give their left hand to someone else in the circle, not someone beside them. Once all hands are joined, everyone in the circle must determine how to untangle without compromising the chain. If a move causes the chain to be broken, the exercise must start all over. This unique challenge forces everyone in the group to work together to solve a group problem. Communication is necessary, and leaders may emerge.
Pull Your Team Together with Leadership Development Training
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