Category Archives: Training

Situational Leadership Development Levels (ICEBREAKER)


Time

15 minutes
Description

This icebreaker is specifically for teaching Situational Leadership and the four Development Levels.  However, it can be used with workshops on coaching, mentoring or general leadership skills.  You will teach the participants to sing a simple song at an expert level.

Audience

Teens, Adults

Materials

o  PowerPoint slide with the lyrics of your simple song, LCD projector and screen

o  (Alternative) Flipchart and marker to write and post the lyrics

o  Flipchart and marker to keep track of the participants’ progress

 

Preparation

o  This icebreaker assumes that you have already taught the group about the four Development Levels of Situational Leadership.  If you have not, leave out any references to Development Level and just talk about Beginning Skill, Medium Skill and Expert Skill.

o  Select a song (with motions if possible) that they don’t know.  Pick a song that it very easy to learn with repetitive lyrics, e.g., “Jesus Loves Me,” “B-I-B-L-E,” “Mercy Is Falling,” “River of Life” or “This Is the Day” would work.  It’s okay if different participants are more familiar with the song, but most should not know the words and/or motions.  If you have some D4’s (experts) in the group, get them to teach the song to everyone else, or if you have a significant number of D4s, have them teach smaller groups.  This activity can work especially well for teaching a group that doesn’t have English as its first language.

o  Create a PowerPoint slide or flipchart with the lyrics of a simple song

o  Create a flipchart with four columns, labeled, “D1,” “D2,” “D3” and “D4”

o  Practice the script

 

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “How many of you recognize this melody?”  (Hum the song for the group, or play it instrumentally.  Don’t sing the words yet.)
  • “Now, I’m not going to embarrass you in any way, but I’m curious to find out.  How many of you feel like you have the skills and knowledge to sing this song?”  (Look for a show of hands.)
  • “How many of you would be confident and motivated to sing this song in the privacy of your own home with no one else listening?”  (Look for a show of hands.)
  • “How many of you would still be confident and motivated to sing this song here in this room?”  (Look for a show of hands.  If you have several hands up, ask how many would STILL be confident and motivated to sing this song alone in front of the class.  If they are willing and wouldn’t be embarrassed, let them come up and perform the song.  Otherwise, you should sing it for the class with the motions – if there are any.)
  • “I am going to teach you how to sing this song (and do the motions).”
  • “My goal is to help you all become either D3 – Cautious Performers – or D4 – Self-Reliant Achievers – before I am done.”
  • “But I want to track my progress, so I would like to get a count of how many people we have at each level.”
    • Ask each group to assign a table leader.  You can add energy to this and make it quicker if you tell everyone to point their fingers toward the ceiling and then point to the person they think should be the leader on the count of three. 
    • Ask the table leaders to talk to their teams and get a count for each development level.
    • Then, ask each leader for a count, and write it on the chart.
  • “How many at your table would you say are a D1 – confident and motivated but lacking skills and/or knowledge?” (Get the counts from each table leader, and post them on a flipchart.)
  • “How many at your table would you say are a D2 – lacking confidence and/or motivation and lacking skills and/or knowledge?” (Get the counts from each table leader, and post them on a flipchart.)
  • “How many at your table would you say are a D3 – lacking confidence and/or motivation but having both skills and knowledge?” (Get the counts from each table leader, and post them on a flipchart.)
  • “many at your table would you say are a D4 – having confidence, motivation, skills AND knowledge?” (Get the counts from each table leader, and post them on a flipchart.  You might want to tally the number of each Development Level and turn it into a percentage to track progress.)
  • “Great, let’s learn the song!”
    • Teach the song one line at a time along with any motions (one word at a time if your participants do not know the English words). 
    • Have them repeat after you each time until they get it. 
    • After several times through the entire song, ask table leaders to count the number of people in their group at each level, and write these new numbers on the chart.
    • Then, ask your brave D4s to come and teach to the whole group (if the D4s are willing). 
    • Let them go through the song twice at a moderate pace so that others can learn. 
    • If some in the larger group are still struggling, ask someone who has moved to D3 or D4 in each group to help the rest of the group, or have your D4 experts go to those tables to coach them. 
    • Give them a few minutes to work through it, and then ask the table leaders to find out what development level their team members are at. (You won’t always be able to motivate everyone to D4, but you can at least give them the skills and knowledge to reach D3.)
    • Write these totals on the chart, and talk about the progress that has been made.
    • Finally, ask all your D4s (old and new) to lead everyone two more times through the entire song (with the motions).
    • Congratulate the group on their expertise! 
    • Reward your D4 volunteers for their bravery.
    • If you want to debrief the exercise, you can ask the following.

 

Debrief Questions

  • “What helped you move from D1 or D2 to D3 or D4?”
  • “What techniques did you notice me using in order to help you improve your skills and knowledge?”
    “What techniques did you notice me using in order to help you improve your confidence and motivation?”
  • “What else might have been helpful?”
  • “Why didn’t everyone make it to D4?”  (If this was the case)
  • “What did you learn from this activity that you could apply to your leadership?”

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4MAT Learning Styles of Biblical Characters (BIBLICAL CASE STUDY)


Audience

Teens, Adults

Time

45 minutes
Description

A Biblical Case Study is an exercise that uses Scripture to practice the use of modern business and leadership tools.  In this case study, participants will try to determine where Biblical characters fit in Bernice McCarthy’s 4MAT Learning Styles.

 

Scriptures

Nehemiah, chapters 1-4

 

Materials

  • Flipchart paper and markers for each table group (1 page each).
  • Masking tape (if you want to hang the flipcharts on the wall)
  • Sticky notes (one pad per table)
  • Marker (one per table)
  • Bible for each table group

Preparation

o  Teach about Bernice McCarthy’s 4MAT Learning Styles.

 

Procedure

Use the following process (or modify to suit your needs):

o  After teaching about the four quadrants, ask participants to draw the model on their own flip chart.

o  Allow them to customize it with language or symbols that are meaningful to them as long as they don’t lose the essence of what the quadrants represent.

o  Give them a list of Biblical characters.  (My recommendations are Noah, Job, Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, Moses, Samuel, David, King Saul, Jonah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar, Esther, John the Baptist, Peter, James, John the Beloved, Andrew, Paul, Timothy – but feel free to use others if you like.)

o  Have each group work as a team to put the names of each of these characters on an individual sticky note and place it in the quadrant on the chart that they think best represents the character’s learning style.

o  When they are all done, pick one character and discuss as a group.

o   Why do they think he/she fits in that quadrant?

o   What do other teams think?

o  Try to reach consensus among the teams, and keep your ears open for misunderstandings about the model. If you hear some incorrect understandings, correct those with the entire class.

o  Do a few characters like this until you are comfortable that they understand the model well.

o  Then, step out of the discussion, and let them debate among themselves. If they can’t reach a consensus, step back in to guide the decision making with some reminders about the model.

 

I’m including some recommended quadrants for each of the characters I mentioned above, but these are subjective and you could make strong arguments in some cases for placing them in other quadrants. “Correct answers” are not the most important outcome of this activity. What’s much more important is the process of participants wrestling with the model to find a place for the Biblical characters. In the end, they should have a much stronger understanding of the model even if their answers are “wrong.

 

Recommended Quadrants

Q1 – Imaginative Learner

·      Abraham

·      Samuel

·      Jonah

 

Q2 – Analytical Learner

·      Noah

·      Job

·      Jeremiah

·      Daniel

·      Esther

·      Andrew

·      James

·      Timothy

Q3 – Common Sense Learner

·      Sarah

·      Jacob

·      Paul

 

Q4 – Dynamic Learner

·      Moses

·      King Saul

·      David

·      Isaiah

·      Nebuchadnezzar

·      John the Baptist

·      Peter

·      John the Beloved

 

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Filed under Biblical Case Study, Facilitation, learning, Personality, Teaching, Training

I’ve Done Something (ICEBREAKER)


 

Time

10-15 minutes (depending upon group size)


Description

This icebreaker can be used as a meeting opener.  It works particularly well for groups that already know each other fairly well and will help them to understand something new about each person.

 

Materials

None

 

Preparation

None

Procedure

·       Explain to group that everyone is going to participate in an icebreaker.

·       Introduce yourself first using the criteria described below so that they can see how it’s done.

·       Have each person introduce himself/herself (basic info – name, time with company, time in leadership, functional area….) and then state something they have done that they think no one else in the class has done.

·       If someone else has also done it, the same participant must state something else until he/she finds something that no one else has done.

·       Proceed to the next person until everyone has had a chance to introduce himself/herself.

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Heart, Head, Hands (REVIEW)


Time

10-15 minutes
Audience

Children, youth, adults

 

Description

This is a simple review process that you can use in almost any situation.  Participants first talk about how they feel about what they just experienced (HEART), then about what they learned (HEAD), and finally about what they are going to do as a result of what they experienced and learned (HANDS).  You can have the participants discuss this is groups, or you can do a facilitated discussion.

 

Materials

  • None

 

Preparation

  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “Let’s review what you’ve just experienced.”
  • “We will use a simple process, called ‘Heart, Head, Hands.’”
  • “First, I would like you to share how you feel about the experience.  That’s the HEART part.”
  • “Then, I want you to discuss what you learned from it.  That’s the HEAD part.”
  • “Finally, discuss what you will do as a result of what you experienced and what you learned.  That’s the HANDS part.”
  • “HEART, HEAD, HANDS is just a simple way to help you remember the process for the debrief.”
  • “Does anyone have any questions about what we are about to do?” (Answer any questions.  Then, let them discuss the three aspects of the debrief.  Finish with a large-group debrief and ask for volunteers to share any insights or commitments that they made.)

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Review Dice (REVIEW)


Time

10-15 minutes

Audience

Children, youth, adults

Description

This review activity uses dice to debrief just about any learning exercise.  Each die has six questions on it (e.g., “What did you learn?” or “What questions do you still have?”)  Use the dice as a fun way to have participants think about what they learned from different perspectives.  They can be used over and over, and participants will still have a unique experience as they roll different questions in different situations.

Materials

  • Blank foam dice that you can write on with a marker (one per group)  You can usually find this type of supply at a teachers’ supply store or craft store.
  • (Alternative) Print out of the die pattern at the end of this lesson.  If you use this approach, you will need a cutting tool and some glue (or clear, plastic tape) to assemble your dice.

 

Preparation

  • Prepare your dice. (You do this by writing questions on the foam dice or by printing out the die pattern and assembling the dice provided at the end of this lesson.  Feel free to change the questions.)
  • Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “To review what we’ve talked about today, we are going to use these Review Dice.” (Show one of the die.)
  • “Each table has a one.”
  • “Each person in your group will roll the die and take a turn answering the question that it lands on.”
  • “Go around the group and have each person roll the die and answer a question.”
  • (Allow them to begin.  After everyone has answered their question, you might want to ask a few participants to share insights with you from the activity.)

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Review Chips (REVIEW)


Time

20 minutes
Audience

Children, youth, adults

 

Description

This review activity uses Learning Chips from Kagan (www.kaganonline.com) to debrief just about any learning exercise.  Each chip (similar to a poker chip) has a question on it (e.g., “What did you learn that was new?” or “What questions do you still have?”)  Use the chips as a fun way to have participants think about what they learned from different perspectives.  They can be used over and over, and participants will still have a unique experience as they get different chips with different situations.

Kagan offers learning chips with different themes, like “Teambuilding,” “Lesson Review,” “Story Discussion,” “Reading Comprehension,” “Interview,” or “Discussion.”

 

Materials

  • Set of Learning Chips for each group of participants (There are 16 chips in a package, and you can purchase one package online for $5 or eight packages for $29.)

 

Preparation

  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “To review what we’ve talked about today, we are going to use these Learning Chips.”
  • “Each table has a set.”
  • “Please open up the container, and pass a chip to each person in your group.”
  • “Now, go around the group and have each person answer the question on your chip.”
  • “If for any reason, you cannot answer the question, you have to trade your chip in and get another one that you can answer.”  (After everyone has answered their question, you might want to ask a few participants to share insights with you from the activity.)

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The Mafia Game (GAME)


Audience

Children, Teens, Adults

 

Time

20-30 minutes
Description

This game shows the negative impact of distrust and lack of role-clarity on collaboration within a team.  Participants are assigned a secret role to play (Mafia, Police, Doctor or Townspeople), and “good” and “evil” try to eliminate each other. It is based on a game originally invented by psychology student Dimitry Davidoff in Russia in1986.  (A variation for young children is described at the end.)

 

Scriptures

If you would like to connect this game to a biblical lesson, you can choose from the following (depending on what point you would like to make):

  • Psalm 133 (It is good for God’s people to live together in peace.)
  • Proverbs 3:29 (Do not plot harm against your neighbor, who lives trustfully near you.)
  • Proverbs 12:22 (The Lord detests lying lips but delights in the trustworthy.)
  • 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 (One body but many parts)

 

Materials

o  Deck(s) of playing cards – one deck for every 8 to 12 people (If your group is larger than 12 people, you will need two decks.  If it’s larger than 24, you will need three, and so on…  However, if you have a total of people that is bigger than 12 but too small for two groups, you can just play with one large group.)

o  Flipchart or whiteboard and markers (optional)

o  Prizes for the winners (optional)

Preparation

o  Take out the following playing cards from each deck:

o  2 Aces – representing the Mafia

o  2 Kings – representing the Police

o  1 Queen – represents the Doctor

o  Enough number cards for the rest of the people in each group (For example, if you have a group of 8, you will have 2 Aces, 2 Kings, 1 Queen and 3 number cards.  If you have a group of 12, you will have 2 Aces, 2 Kings, 1 Queen and 7 number cards.)

o  Shuffle the cards up for each deck, but keep the decks separate from each other.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “We are going to play The Mafia Game.”
  • “First, I need to divide you into groups.”  (Divide the participants into groups of 8-12 people each, and have each group sit in a circle, facing each other.)
  • “Everyone in your group is part of a town.”
  • “There are both good people and bad people in your town.”
  • “During the game, we will have both day and night in your town.”
  • “Each day and night together are a round of play.”
  • “I have a deck of cards for each group, and in this deck are four kinds of cards – Aces, Kings, Queens and number cards.  I’ve taken all the extra cards out.”
  • “I am going to come to you and ask you to draw one card from the deck.”
  • “You can look at your card, but please do not let anyone else see what you drew.”
  • “The card you draw will determine which role you play in the game.”
  • “There are four roles.”  (You may want to write these roles on a flipchart or whiteboard so that participants don’t forget what the cards mean.)
  • “If you draw an Ace, you are part of the Mafia.  Your goal is to eliminate the Townspeople, the Police and the Doctor during the night.”
  • “If you draw a King, you are part of the Police.  Your goal is to figure out who the Mafia are and to persuade the Townspeople to eliminate them during the day.  You probably will want to keep your identity a secret so that the Mafia doesn’t get rid of you first!”
  • “If you draw a Queen, you are a Doctor.  Your goal is to protect people from the Mafia during the night.  Each night, you can choose one person to protect – it can even be yourself!”
  • “If you draw a number card (no matter what number), you are one of the Townspeople.  Your goal is to eliminate the Mafia during the day.”
  • “I am the Narrator, and I’ll be giving you instructions.”
  • “We will have both days and nights in each round.”
  • “During the night, everyone will close their eyes and put their heads down.”
  • “I will give the Mafia, Police and Doctor roles the opportunity to wake up at night and do their work.”
  • “The Townspeople will stay asleep all night.”
  • “When I say it is day, everyone will lift their heads and open their eyes.”
  • “During the day, everyone can pretend to be a Townsperson, because no one will know what your real role is.”
  • “Everyone will get a chance to try to convince each other who to eliminate.”
  • “If you are eliminated, you will have to leave the circle without telling your identity, but you will be allowed to watch the rest of the game with your eyes open.”
  • “Does anyone have any questions about how the game is played?”  (Answer any questions.  Then, have each person draw one card from the deck(s).  Remind them to keep their card and their role a secret.)
  • “Let’s play! Please do what I tell you when I tell you, and be sure that no one hears you if you are doing your work at night!”

 

NIGHTTIME

  • “It is nighttime, so everyone please go to sleep.” (Everyone puts their head down and closes their eyes.)
  • “Mafia, please wake up.” (Only the member(s) of the Mafia quietly open their eyes. As long as there is more than one Mafia member, they must unanimously choose a person to eliminate by pointing to someone in the group. The Narrator must remember the person chosen.)
  • “Mafia, please go to sleep.” (The Mafia close their eyes and place their heads down again.)
  • “Police, please wake up.” (The member(s) of the Police quietly open their eyes and point to one person, who they suspect is a member of the Mafia.  The Narrator gives a thumbs-up if they are correct and a thumbs down if they are not, but even if they are correct, the person is not eliminated.  The Townspeople have to be persuaded to eliminate the Mafia.)
  • “Police, please go to sleep.” (The member(s) of the Police close their eyes and place their heads down.)
  • “Doctor, please wake up and choose someone you would like to protect.” (The Doctor wakes up and silently points to someone they would like to protect for that day. It’s okay if he/she chooses himself/herself.)
  • “Doctor, please go to sleep.” (The Doctor closes his or her eyes and puts his/her head down.)
  • “It’s morning. Everyone please wake up.” (Everyone opens their eyes and raises their head.)

 

DAYTIME

  • The Narrator announces the person who was eliminated by the Mafia. 
  • Unless the Doctor protected that person, he/she MUST quietly leave the circle.
  • This person may not speak to anyone for the remainder of the entire game, but he or she may now keep his/her eyes open to watch everything.
  • The townspeople (along with the Mafia, Police and Doctor who may pretend to be Townspeople) then nominate and vote on people who they suspect are part of the Mafia.
  • Each person nominated may make a defense and plead their case, but they cannot show their card.
  • The ONE person receiving a majority vote (which must include at least 50% or those voting) is eliminated.
  • After someone is voted off, the day is over.
  • The day may also end without any elimination if the entire group decides not to eliminate anyone.
  • The Narrator again gives the instructions for the Nighttime, and the cycle repeats.
  • The game continues until:
  1. A.    All the Mafia are eliminated (the Police, Doctor and Townspeople win!)
  2. B.    All the Townspeople (at least the ones with number cards) are eliminated (the Mafia win!)
  • Once the game is over, award prizes to the winners in each group if you would like.
  • Then, have the group sit together to discuss the following debriefing questions.  (You might want to put these on a flipchart or whiteboard.)

 

Debrief Questions

  • How difficult was it to collaborate when you weren’t sure whom you could trust?
  • How difficult was it to collaborate when you weren’t sure what role everyone was playing?
  • Were you ever wrong about who the Mafia members were?  What problems did that cause?
  • What types of problems does lack of trust cause in our organization?
  • What types of problems does lack of role clarity cause in our organization?
  • What are some ideas for how we could solve trust and role-clarity issues?

 

Variation for Children – “Predator”

Instead of Mafia members, there are “Predators,” and instead of police there are “Hunters.” Usually three separate Predators (Lion, Wolf, Bear) are chosen and instructed to “wake up” separately at night and attack someone (it’s possible that they will attack each other). Instead of using cards, you can just tap them while their heads are down (“If I tap you now, you are the Bear.”)

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