THIS ACTIVITY HELPS DEVELOP ESSENTIAL TEAM WORKING SKILLS
Listening skills and influencing are key to this activity. There will be an exchange of ideas, feelings, intentions, attitudes, expectations and perceptions - all important areas for effective communication.
Participants invariably choose different solutions in response to this situation, so conflict develops. Sometimes a participant will say "I don't care what the rest of you are going to do, I am going to ....." How does each participant deal with the conflict?
All participants need to work together to find a mutually acceptable solution (rather than producing a "we-they" situation). They will discover that a key positive of achieving consensus is that no member feels violated or ignored; this results in higher-quality decision making and stronger commitment to the agreed solution.
Decision making and problem solving
- Here are just a few of the many questions participants in the training game will have to answer:
- Should they go for help or should they stay?
- What is our strategy - survival or rescue?
- What items are important for these?
- What are the best options for solving this?
- What should we do when half the group have prioritised an item and the other half want another item?
- We are running out of time; how can we achieve the best result in the time left?
Influencing and negotiation
Participants will have different ideas and priorities, but as a team must agree on a strategy. If they fail to negotiate a successful solution, lives can be lost! Much negotiation and influencing will need to take place.
Leadership, management and supervising
If the participants do not choose a leader/chairperson, there is a need for a natural leader to evolve and take charge. Otherwise they will run out of time and bad decisions will be made. The leader also has to:
- Create a positive, informal atmosphere
- Agree common objectives, targets and standards
- Co-ordinate the team's efforts and provide direction
- Ensure that all team members actively contribute to achieving these goal
- Ensure open communication
- Set an example and manage time effectively
- Support and motivate.
- Managing meetings
This training resource is excellent for demonstrating how and how not to chair a meeting effectively, providing useful insight not just for the group leader, but for all participants.
As well as benefiting from the practicalities of this training activity, participants will also be involved in a useful debriefing session, which will ask questions such as:
- How do you feel you handled the activity?
- How well did you organise yourselves at the beginning?
- Did you have a strategy? Did it work? If not, why not
- What barriers to communication were present?
- What went well for you?
- What did your team do well?
- Where could your team have done better?
- What are the key learning points that you can take back to your workplace?
THE TRAINER'S ROLE
Read through the Trainer's Guide and briefing sheet to ensure you are familiar with the activity and your role as facilitator
Explain to the group the scenario they are going to deal with and ask them to individually rank the items in order of importance. They have 10 minutes to complete this task.
When all participants have completed their individual ranking, explain to the participants how to reach a consensus and issue them with a copy of the Consensus Seeking notes.
Tell them they have 20 minutes for a small group (up to 45 minutes for a large group) to work as a team and reach a team consensus.;
Share the expert's opinion with the participants so they can compare their individual and team rankings with the experts. In most cases the Team Difference score is better that the Individual Score i.e. the team's rankings were closer to the experts.
Debrief both the individual and group part of the game.