There are a number of types of exercises and each one targets a specific area of leadership. Popular categories include:
- Motivation: This category enables participants to understand the situations that motivate team members as well as the individual practices. Often defining the approach a new leader should follow, these exercises center on the leader's attitude.
- Change Implementation: Providing insight related to behavior within a team dynamic, this category attempts to provide team members tools for success during periods of restructuring through strategies arising from problems that occur during the process. These exercises establish clear objectives to achieve success and an individual will often have to take notes on the task and then reiterate them to the team as part of the exercise.
- Clear communication: As the name implies, the exercises that fall into this category revolve around achieving a target which is bound to fail if not properly communicated.
A Sample Exercise to Get You StartedGetting your group to work together as a team is crucial for effective management. And few exercises are more instructive (and fun) than tying people together - literally - and giving them a problem to solve.
For this leadership exercise, you'll need the following:
- Materials: Rope, bandanas or cloth strips; additional supplies for specific task
- Time: 15-30 minutes, depending on the goal and number of group members
- Group Size: 2-15
- Make root beer floats for everyone
- Wrap a package with gift wrap, bows and a signed card
- Prepare a snack
- Eat a meal
- Create a painting, clay sculpture or similar art project
- Pour a cup of water for each person in the group and then have each person drink their cup
As with any leadership exercise, the goal is to enhance individual and team skill. So after each exercise, ask questions to generate discussion related to areas of success as well as those that need improvement. Questions might include:
- Why were you successful at completing the task?
- How did the time restrictions aid or hinder your group?
- Did everyone in the group participate in achieving the goal?
- If someone didn't help, how did that affect the outcome?
- Do you ever feel "tied up" with someone you work with? If so, why, and how did you deal with this feeling?