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Leadership And Teambuilding Activities Created by The University of North Texas in partnership with the Texas Education Agency
What Defines a Good Leader? -Self-Awareness -Conviction -Courage -Ability to Listen -Creativity -Curiosity -Ability to Reflect Excellent leaders have certain characteristics UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright © All rights reserved
Defining a Good Leader Knowing your own strengths and limitations Understanding your own emotions Understanding the impact of your behavior on others. Self Awareness Conviction Courage Ability to Learn Creativity Curiosity Ability to Reflect UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright © All rights reserved
Defining a Good Leader Self Awareness Conviction Courage Ability to Learn Creativity Curiosity Ability to Reflect Personal conviction is what you (as a person) strongly believe. Leaders have: -developed beliefs -communicated those beliefs to their team -taken action based on those beliefs. UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright © All rights reserved
Defining a Good Leader Self Awareness Conviction Courage Ability to Learn Creativity Curiosity Ability to Reflect Leaders have to have courage to act on their convictions because great leaders almost always face resistance to change. Great leaders ask themselves: ◦ Do I have the courage to lead despite the resistance? ◦ Do I have the courage to have my beliefs questioned? UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright © All rights reserved
Defining a Good Leader Self Awareness Conviction Courage Ability to Learn Creativity Curiosity Ability to Reflect Leaders are not just “good talkers” Great leaders are those who can -stop talking -start listening Leaders need to listen so that they can hear what - the outside world is saying - what team members are saying UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright © All rights reserved
Defining a Good Leader Self Awareness Conviction Courage Ability to Learn Creativity Curiosity Ability to Reflect Ability to make something new rather than imitate or copy something else. Creativity includes: ◦ products ◦ ideas ◦ actions UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright © All rights reserved
Defining a Good Leader Self Awareness Conviction Courage Ability to Learn Creativity Curiosity Ability to Reflect Great leaders are curious Great leaders ask questions Great leaders try new things – just to see what happens. Leaders do not have all the answers ◦ they ask questions and educate themselves UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright © All rights reserved
Defining a Good Leader Self Awareness Conviction Courage Ability to Learn Creativity Curiosity Ability to Reflect Don’t just learn by doing Learn by doing and then thinking about it ◦ See what can be learned ◦ What went right; what went wrong “Aha” moments only come with reflection Reflection brings about conviction UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright © All rights reserved
LEADERSHIP AND TEAMBUILDING Builds Trust Get to Know One Another Better Become a Team Develops Team Skills for Class and the Job. UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright © All rights reserved
Balloon Towers DIRECTIONS: Divide into groups of students each. Give each group a large bag of balloons and a few rolls of tape and minutes to complete the activity. Spread each group out so there is ample space to work without Interference from other groups. GOAL: Tell everyone the object of this activity is to build the tallest possible free-standing structure using only the tape and the balloons. (notice that it is not illegal if groups collaborate and build together – just do not tell them this. Once it appears as if some of the groups are getting close to finishing, yell a 2 minute warning (you can give more time if it is needed) this will just help other groups get busy and close to finishing. Have each group present their tower to the other groups and explain their strategy. NOTE: Before the groups build their tower you may want to have them write with a marker a positive characteristic or building block on the balloon. These can be used for a later project. If time permits you might want to do an overall briefing of your observations as you noticed each group working or not working Together – as leaders emerged, problems were overcome, etc. Skill Focus: Causes students to collaborate to reach an end. There are an infinite number of ways to complete this activity, so students will have to “give” and “take” on ideas and methods. This is great to identify positive and negative leadership skills. UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright © All rights reserved
Balloon Trolley 1. Divide groups into students per group. 2. Have students select a balloon and inflate it to maximum size. 3. All students should then form a line and place their balloon in front of them on their chest. They should stand close enough to the person in front of them so that their balloon is held in place by that person’s back. This will form a trolley line of people and balloons. 4. The GOAL of this activity will be for the entire “line of people And balloons” to move as “ONE” from point A to point B without using their hands to hold the balloons in place and without dropping any of the balloons. If any of the balloons are dropped, the line must start over or a consequence can take place – If anyone tries to use their hands – apply a consequence. Such as one or more people might be blindfolded or no one is allowed to speak. If the line is successful on the first try have them start over and try to beat their time. Debriefing: This activity can be a little more difficult than it first appears. It can also be quite frustrating if the line does not work together or if students try and use their hands to help hold the balloons. Did someone step up with a plan before the line started to form and move – Why or Why Not? If you had a second chance at this activity what would you do over? Are there any lessons that you learned in this activity that might be applied in any of your other classroom activities or your life? UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright © All rights reserved
Duct Tape Ski’s 1. Divide groups into students; then divide this group into 5-6 students. 2. Have the instructor/trainer prepare 2 strips of duct tape approximately 6-7 feet in length. The tape should be placed on the ground or floor sticky side up. The tapes need to be placed parallel with each other approximately 18 inches apart. 3. Have students step onto the tape one person at a time beginning at the front of the tape. The next student will step directly behind the first student with his feet within 1-2 inches of the person in front of him and then each student will follow until all students are on the tapes. 4. The GOAL is for all 6 students to begin walking/skiing together without any student getting off the tape (if one falls or gets off the tape – they need to start over). The goal is to start at Point A and get to Point B in as quick a time as possible. Every group will be timed and if time permits they can try to improve their time by trying again. Note: Consequences can arise as students fall off the tape. You can blindfold someone or you can tie someone’s arm in a sling or you can call for absolute silence. Debriefing: In today’s business world not everything goes according to plans and problems arise everyday. Good leaders will have to overcome these problems. When you de-brief this activity talk about if this was an easy or difficult activity and why. Did someone take the lead right away? Why or Why Not? What would have made it easier? How can you apply the lessons learned in this activity to your everyday life? UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright © All rights reserved
Hula Hoop Pass 1. Groups of students. 2. Have students form a circle and hold hands. 3. Have one pair of people break hands, reach through the hula hoop and then re- connect hands. 4. The GOAL of the activity is to pass the hoop around the circle as quickly as possible WITHOUT breaking hands. The instructor for the group will be timing the group. 5. The hoop must travel in a clockwise direction and without letting go of hands. If anyone breaks hands; there must be a consequence (a blindfold) and start over on the timing. 6. Once the hoop has made it all the way around one time, provide 2 Hoops. Start them in the same location but ask the group to pass one hoop in a clockwise direction and the other hoop in a counterclockwise direction. 7. Time the group to see how long it takes them to get both hoops all the way around. Allow another attempt to break the record. Debriefing: The hoop(s) in this activity could metaphorically represent a hoop or hoops people jump through on a regular basis for one reason or another. Are hoops good or bad? Do some people have more to deal with than others? If so, why? Was this activity harder than you thought it was going to be? UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright © All rights reserved
Magic Carpet 1. Divide into groups with about 6 students per mat. 2. Mats should be just big enough for 7-8 people to stand on. 3. Place the mats about 2 feet apart from each other. 4. All members of each group should stand on one of the mats. Everyone MUST KEEP both feet on a mat. The area in between the mats is acid and we would not want to risk losing a foot. 5. The Goal is to flip the mat so that the masking tape “X” on the bottom of the mat will now be on the top of the mat. YOU MUST NOT step in the acid. 6. The goal is for EVERY MAT to be flipped within 5 MINUTES! Debriefing: At first this activity seems relatively simple, then almost impossible. Did someone in your group take the lead right away? Why or Why Not? What were some of your strategies for making this task work? Did knowing you had a time limit add to the stress or pressure of this activity? Great Problem Solving Activity UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright © All rights reserved
The Beam 1. Have the entire team (no more than 10 people) step up on the beam. Use a 2x6 piece of lumber feet in length. Or if more than 10 people use a heavy rope with both ends tied in a knot and laid out in a circle. 2. Allow the students a few minutes to stabilize their balance and get a feel for remaining stationary on the beam or rope. 3. Instructors should talk about safety procedures on the beam –Each member should help the person next to them keep their balance -there should always be one spotter on each side of the beam-if anyone falls off and takes several people with them, the activity will start over. If anyone falls off or one hand or foot touches the ground, a penalty will be assessed by the instructor. (see note) 4. Once the group is stabilized, tell them the activity is about to begin and there will be NO Talking within the group. Have each group line up a little differently on the beam Without Getting off the beam: --by height—by shoe size—by birthday month—last name alphabetically The GOAL of the activity is to line up as quick as possible without falling off the beam/rope, without talking, and without anyone getting hurt. Hopefully in this process a leader(s) will emerge and the group will work as a team to accomplish the task as quick as possible. De-briefing the success (or failure) of the activity-the leadership Skill utilized in the event. Did one person dominate? Did people listen to him or her? Why or why not? How can you use these skills in class? On the Job? What physical challenges were encountered? How did you overcome them? Debriefing Note: You can blindfold a student or students for a penalty as the Fall Off or Talk. After the first attempt is complete, de-brief and find out why it did or did not work. Ask them how they felt and what would make it work better if they got a second chance. They will probably say being able to talk, so let them line up again with a different theme and be able to talk. De-Brief! Was it better? Why? Was it that much better? Did leaders emerge? UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright © All rights reserved
Willow in the Wind 1. Group Size Gather the students in a circle and discuss the importance of learning how to spot team members safely. Make sure the group is ready for this activity. 2. Have the group form a circle (arms length from each other) and show them how to stand in a “spotters stance”... one foot behind to add stability with palms facing forward and elbows slightly bent. 3. Once everyone practices stance ask the group to step in and make the circle smaller, shoulder to shoulder while assuming the spotters stance. 4. Have someone step into the center of the circle and demonstrate how to become the “Willow in the Wind”. You will cross your arms across your chest and place your feet together and then make your body stiff like a board. 5. Tell the group their job, as the spotters, is to gently catch the Willow as they FALL, and then Gently push the Willow (shove you) back to another part of the circle. Have the group be close enough so they are gently touching the Willow with their hands. As comfort grows they can allow the Willow to “fall” a greater distance. 6. Before you actually start “falling” into the group you and all that follow must say, “Spotters Ready?” and the group says, “Ready”. The person in the middle stays in for the length of time that is comfortable for all involved. All members of the group should take turns being “the Willow”. RULES: 1. Spotters must always have a foot behind and hands up when anyone is in the center of the circle. 2. Only a serious and focused attitude is allowed when doing this activity. 3. It is important to place people in the circle in such a way as to make the strongest possible circle. Don’t allow the smallest people to stand next to each other because it is possible for a large person in the center of the circle to fall through if they are passed around to a side with several small people next to each other. Debriefing Suggestions: Who are the people you surround yourself with in your life (at home, school, work, church, etc.) on a scale of 1-10 what level do you trust them? What Level do they trust you? If we had tried this today with the Willow having their eyes closed what do You think would have happened? Better or worse? If we had tried this activity today in complete silence? Better or Worse UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright © All rights reserved
Teaming Web Sites Group Dynamix - Teaming Tips - Activities Resources Tom Heck – Teach Me Teamwork -Free weekly teambuilding activities UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright © All rights reserved
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