“The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.”
Henry A. Kissinger
The group must duplicate a structure based on instructions from their team. The person building at any given time will have eyes closed and breath held.
Setup Time: 10 minutes
Activity: 20 minutes
Debrief: 20 minutes (minimum)
Group Size: 5 – 20 participants
Space: 20 x 40 (minimum room size)
Open space – no chairs, tables, etc.
Using the long rope, create a circular space. Divide the Toobeez in half, creating two piles with exactly the same Toobeez pieces in each pile. Place one pile inside the rope circle. Use the other pile to build a structure outside the circle. This is what the group will be replicating during the activity. The more complex the structure, the more challenging the exercise will be.
In this activity you will be working as a team to build an exact replicate of this structure (point to the structure you’ve built outside the circle) inside this circle. There are some restrictions on how this can be done.
1. You may only use the Toobeez that are inside the circle at the beginning of the activity.
2. Only one person may be inside the circle at any given time.
3. Each person may only enter the circle once.
4. While inside the circle, you must remain blindfolded.
5. While inside the circle, you must hold your breath. You may only remain inside the circle for as long as you can hold your breath.
6. When you are on the outside, you may not touch the person inside the circle.
7. The rope delineating the circle may not be moved.
8. If any guidelines are broken, everyone will start over building the structure.
You will have 20 minutes to complete this activity.
Any questions on the material covered? (Answer any questions and get teams situated). Begin.
Once the activity begins, your role as facilitator is primarily to observe. Listen and look for how people communicate and demonstrate leadership. The questions below, based on the primary Learning Intentions, are provided to guide your observations.
In this activity, communication is controlled by the guidelines of the exercise. People may strategize before entering the circle or they may jump right in. Regardless, observe how they exchange ideas with their team? Listen and notice:
Use the complete 20 minutes. Even if everyone has gone and the structure is complete, let the team use that time; see what they do with it. Also, if everyone has gone once and the structure is s till not complete, do not let them go again. Let them experience the missed opportunity.
Concluding the Activity
After 20 minutes, regardless of how complete the structure is or how many people have gone, conclude the activity.
1. Highlighting: Strategic Thinking
In addition to the instructions above, before beginning, the team must spend ten minutes planning their strategy.
2. Highlighting: People Development
In addition to the instructions above, before beginning, the team will build the structure outside the circle as well.
3. Highlighting: People Development
Divide the room into two teams. One team will be instructed to build the structure on the outside while the other team is following the instructions above (with all the guidelines and limitations in place) to build an exact duplicate inside the circle. The goal is to create two identical structures.
The debrief should be an interactive discussion. Lead it by offering a series of questions and soliciting responses from the participants. To begin, ask questions about the activity itself and continue with specifics related to the skills you want to address or highlight. You may stick to one area of focus or choose to cover many topics. Suggested questions are offered below to guide you as you facilitate this debrief.
The debrief is organized with an Opening and Closing and then by Learning Intention, and it may be used in a variety of ways. You may use just the Opening and Closing for a basic debrief or add the Learning Intention-specific debriefs in between. To include the Learning Intention specifics in your debrief, either pick one or two questions from each area in order to touch on many topics or work in depth on one or more areas of learning and go through all of the questions for that topic(s). Look through the questions, TIPs, FCs, and Transitions prior to the training session in order to choose which ones you will cover (see “How to Use this Book”).
The intention of this activity is to enhance communication, trust, and leadership among the participants. However, it offers many lessons, so let the participants share with you what they learned and their comments as to the purpose of the activity.
We work together and act on the advice and guidance of others all the time. Often we have no way of knowing how a situation will turn out until it does; we cannot see how what we’re doing contributes to the outcome. Or, we have other limitations or distractions as we work on the project at hand. As in this activity, clear communication and a willingness to trust the guidance of teammates are both critical elements of effective leadership.
People are always engaged in many levels of communication.The following questions offer participants the opportunity become aware of their communication, the impact it has others, and the results it creates. Through this awareness people will then get to choose the alternatives that serve their goals.
We’ve just had the opportunity to recognize how each of us has been communicating as well as to identify role models and pitfalls. Now you can put that information into action to create clear and comprehensive mutual understanding. So, what do you think the results will be in your organization?
Leadership includes communicating powerfully, motivating and empowering others, creating results, and being responsible for the outcome regardless of your role.
Effective leaders communicate clearly, work with others , and get results. Some leaders are quiet while others are out in front where everyone can notice them. Regardless, leaders take responsibility and ownership over an outcome and have communication, people development, and management skills create the desired results. Not all great communicators are extraordinary leaders. However, all extraordinary leaders are great communicators.
Transition to Strategic Thinking…
“Part of being an effective leader is having a vision for your team’s future and growth. Let’s consider the behaviors that contribute to effective strategic thinking.”
Often we jump right into situations when taking some time to strategize would greatly increase our success and the speed at which we get there. Some smart planning often results in outcomes that would not be possible otherwise. Use the following questions to generate a discussion about strategic thinking, its value, and how to incorporate it into regular operations.
Using Variation #1:
The fundamental tool for successful people development, including for ourselves, is feedback . Excellent managers carefully observe people and communicate clearly. Outstanding employees are those that look for and listen to feedback on their own as well. Another important element is holding people to a higher level by both challenging them to grow and by giving them opportunities to do so.
Using Variation #2:
Using Variation #3: