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Session Builders Series 100 Volume 2

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Session Builders Series 101 is a 2 Volume set of 60 Activities.Ã_ It covers over 20 of the most important management and supervisory skills, from active listening to time management.With more than 200 exercise options and variations you will always have a choice of realistic, easy-to-use designs that will add ñsomething extraî to your training programs.

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126—What horseplay?

PDF

Preparation

• Make copies of Handouts 1 and 2 for each participant.

• Provide pencils for participants.

• Have a whiteboard or flipchart and markers available during the discussion

(optional).

Process

• Distribute the handouts to participants, and allow them a few minutes to read

the directions.

• Explain that not everything on the list of what to avoid in counseling will be

used in the case study. The choices will depend on how participants read and interpret the manager’s remarks. In fact, there may be times when more than one answer will be given for a manager’s error. An example might be when the manager tells Donnelly in the first sentence to “cut out the horseplay.” This could be interpreted as being sarcastic (G) or as prejudging the situation (J).

The explanation or interpretation the participants give for their choice may be entirely justified. Allow for these individual differences.

• Allow participants 10 to 15 minutes to complete this part of the exercise.

• For the convenience of the facilitator, suggested answers are provided.

 

127—Decision Making in Practice

PDF

Preparation

• Make copies of each role play for the six participants—three for the manager

and one each for Accountant #1, Accountant #2, and Accountant #3.

• Make copies of Observer Sheets for the remaining participants.

• Provide pencils and sufficient writing space for participants to complete the

observation sheets.

• Arrange an office-like setting in the front of the room. Provide an area for the

accountants to sit as if they are at their desks. Prepare name cards at each position so that the group can easily identify each individual, such as Accountant #1

(include participant’s name), Accountant #2 (participant’s name) etc.

• Arrange a secluded area where role players can study their parts before

starting.

Process

• Select six participants to play the various roles: three people to portray the

accountants, and three people to portray the manager. Suggest that each person portraying an accountant use his or her own name. This procedure will help personalize the role play and make participants feel more comfortable.

 

128—Measuring a Problem

PDF

Preparation

• Make copies of Handout 1 for each participant.

• You may want to make copies of the Breakdown of Issues in Part II to give to the

participants at the end of the session.

• Provide pencils for participants to complete the exercise.

• Have whiteboards or flipcharts and markers available for participants to

summarize Part II.

• The room should be flexible enough for separate small group discussions.

Process

• Because of the nature of this exercise and the controversy surrounding many of

its issues, you may want to use a small-group approach. This method often helps overzealous and experienced managers already set in their ways to see other points of view. It also provides the opportunity for all participants to share their ideas and perceptions of similar problems.

• Divide participants into small groups of equal size, and distribute the handout.

• Read or summarize the following instructions:

In this exercise, you’re given a list of words typically used to describe employee behavior. In Part I, each group is to decide whether these behaviors are indeed problems and if they’re measured objectively or subjectively.

 

129—Sensitivity to Others

PDF

Preparation

• Make copies of the Role Play/Case Study for each participant.

• Provide pencils for participants.

• Arrange space in the room for a role play.

Process

• Introduce the exercise by paraphrasing the following information:

Building and supporting a motivational climate through recognition and rewards can come both from what managers do and how they do it. It’s not something you can schedule or take care of every once in a while. It must be a continuous, ongoing process based on your sensitivity to the needs of your employees and the many opportunities you’ll get to meet those needs.

While many organizations have formal systems for recognition and appraisal, the sum of all the little things a manager does or fails to do every day is much more significant. There will be many opportunities, but they come quietly and without warning—buried in the flow of everyday activity. That’s why it’s so important for you to understand how recognition and rewards motivate people.

You should be alert to your opportunities and use them.

 

130—What's it worth?

PDF

Preparation

• Make copies of the handouts for each participant.

• Arrange space in the room for a role play, but make sure participants have

sufficient space to complete the handouts.

Process

• Introduce the exercise by reading or paraphrasing the following paragraph as

you distribute Invoice #1:

Suppose you’re the manager in a department that’s about to select a new piece of equipment worth $39,000. If you billed your company for the time it took you to consider and purchase that piece of equipment, your invoice would look similar to the one I’m handing out. Assume your time is worth $23 an hour.

Then carefully estimate the time you’d spend on each of the items listed on the invoice, and total the invoice at the bottom.

• If participants have never been in charge of purchasing equipment, have them

estimate the time they think it would take.

• Provide time for participants to finish; then continue by saying something like:

You now have the total dollar amount that it costs your company for your time and consideration in making a new purchase. Let’s look at the cost of another purchase

 

131—Motivators and Satisfiers

PDF

Preparation

• Make copies of the Motivators and Satisfiers sheet for each participant.

• Provide pencils for participants.

• Have a whiteboard or flipchart and markers available to use during the

discussion period.

• Be sure there is ample writing area for participants to complete the handout.

• The room should be flexible enough to accommodate small group discussions.

Process

• Start by explaining the parts of the exercise. In Part I, participants will classify

company factors as either motivators or satisfiers according to Herzberg’s theory. Then in Part II, they will identify the factors that are generally controlled and influenced by the organization or the manager. Explain that some factors may be considered to be both the responsibility of the organization and the manager.

• Explain that according to Herzberg, satisfiers are factors that must be satisfied

before any motivation can occur—i.e., working conditions, salary. Job elements like achievement, recognition, and advancement are motivational factors. Your presentation on this material will be a lead-in to the exercise.

 

132—Supervisory Styles

PDF

Preparation

• Make copies of the Statement Exercise and Line Diagram for each participant.

• Provide pencils for participants.

• Have a whiteboard or flipchart and markers available during the discussion.

Process

• Distribute a copy of the Statement Exercise to each participant.

• Read or paraphrase the following instructions:

The effect we have on others depends somewhat on our assumptions about them. This instrument will give each of you a rough measure of your own assumptions. To be of any value at all, however, you have to be true to yourself. Don’t look for right or wrong answers. There aren’t any. Don’t respond the way you think you ought to respond. Try to respond based on what you truly believe. Feel free to strongly agree or strongly disagree.

Work quickly. Don’t dwell on any statement or try to analyze its implications.

Go with your first impulse. It will be the best measure.

Think of people in a general sense. Try to avoid thinking of specific individuals.

Please choose one of the four responses for each of the 15 statements. Otherwise, you won’t be able to analyze your score.

 

133—The Errors We Make

PDF

Preparation

• Make enough copies of the handout for each participant for the number of times

you want to run the timed exercise.

• Have a whiteboard or flipchart and markers available for the end of the session.

• The room should be flexible enough to allow participants to complete the

exercise and take part in the discussion.

Process

• Without instruction, distribute the handout to all participants, and ask them to

keep it face down.

• Explain that this is a timed exercise, but not a race. Have participants begin at

the same time and work steadily.

• When most of the participants have finished counting, tell them to stop.

Discussion

• One-by-one, ask each participant to tell you the number of Fs he or she found.

Record these figures on the whiteboard or flipchart.

• Surprise and laughter about high or low scores usually follow. Focus the

discussion on the “expected error rate” on a comparable task.

• In some areas of our jobs, we tend to look for 100 percent accuracy on what

appear to be simple tasks. This may not always be possible. It might be a good idea to look more closely at the task and analyze it before prejudging the employees who’ve been unable to obtain an accuracy rate of 100 percent.

 

134—What do you know about EEO?

PDF

Preparation

• Make copies of the true and false inventory sheets for each participant.

• Provide pencils for participants.

• Have a whiteboard or flipchart and markers available to use during the

exercise.

• Prior to the session, make a visual aid with the correct answers on it. These

answers are provided on Handout 2. Bring your visual aid along to the session, but keep the answers covered until you are ready to use them at the end of the session.

Process/Discussion

• Begin the session by passing out the true and false inventory sheets. Ask partici-

pants to individually complete the inventory. Tell them they are to circle T (for true statements) or F (for false statements) based on their present knowledge of EEO laws.

• Let participants know that the statements will be reviewed later in the session

after they have had a chance to evaluate and reconsider their answers. Mention that their answers are their own and will not be collected or reviewed by anyone else.

• Allow 5 to 10 minutes for participants to complete the true and false inventory.

 

135—Chocolate or Vanilla

PDF

 

 

Session

Builders

135 – Chocolate or Vanilla

 

Purpose/Objectives: This exercise stimulates participants to consider the differences between decision making and choice making and to examine how these differences affect the job. The facilitator begins by asking a volunteer two questions: first, “Chocolate or vanilla, which do you choose?” and then, “Why did you pick that one?” In the discussion that follows, participants learn that choices are based on whim and intuition and decisions are based on data and experience. Many managers believe a course of action based on data is more likely to succeed than one based on intuition. This exercise helps participants see that there’s usually an element of intuition in most decisions (as well as some hard data in most choices).

Type: Discussion stimulator

Time Required: 30 minutes

Group Size: 35 maximum

Use this Session Builder as: • An introductory exercise to a session on decision making/problem solving for managers at any level.

• A reinforcement exercise for material in the same

 

136—The Best/Worst Decision Maker

PDF

Preparation

• Make copies of the question sheets for The Best Decision Maker and The Worst

Decision Maker.

• Provide pencils and paper for participants.

• Have a whiteboard or flipchart and markers available to process the discussion.

• The room should be flexible enough to allow participants to split up into two

groups and discuss the traits of their decision makers.

• Decision Maker for each participant assigned to those groups.

Process

• Divide the entire group into two smaller groups, designating one as Group A and

the other as Group B.

• Inform Group A that they will be discussing the worst decision maker they have

ever known. Hand them the question sheets for The Worst Decision Maker.

• Next, inform Group B that they will be discussing the best decision maker they

have ever known. Hand them the question sheets for The Best Decision Maker.

• Before they begin working in their groups, ask participants to individually jot

down the answers to each question. Explain that once they finish writing their individual responses, they are to share them with the others in their small group.

 

137—Fogging the Message

PDF

Preparation

• No handouts are required for this exercise.

• Provide pencils and paper for participants.

Process

• Begin this exercise in one of two ways. You can have a short lecture on

communication that stresses the importance of using clear and effective communication that is free of the many barriers of semantics, jargon, perception, preconditioning, emotions, mental set, etc. Then introduce the exercise. Participants will then experience for themselves exactly how difficult effective communication can be when acronyms are overused.

• The second alternative is to begin the exercise by reversing the order given

above. First have the participants write paragraphs filled with as many acronyms as they can; then lead into the discussion. Either way provides the necessary striking points for the group to dramatically understand how important clear and effective communication is to the receiver.

• Divide the group into six or eight equal teams, depending on the size of the

total group.

• Read or paraphrase the following:

 

138—I'll Never Forget It

PDF

 

 

Session

Builders

138 – I’ll Never Forget It

 

Purpose/Objectives: The first few days in the life of a new employee can be a very critical period for both the employee and the supervisor. This exercise is designed to identify the feelings and concerns of new employees and the importance of proper orientation techniques and procedures.

Participants are divided into small groups and are asked to reflect on and share their personal experiences of being the “new kid on the block”—whether it was in their own organization, a neighborhood, a club, or some other organization. From these differing experiences, each group is asked to compile a list of proper and improper orientation techniques. Participants are also asked to identify ways in which managers can avoid poor orientation procedures. Through the discussion that follows, participants gain a more thorough understanding of the effects on orientation—both good and bad.

Type: Discussion stimulator

Time Required: 45 to 60 minutes

Group Size: 10 to 40

 

139—Painless Time Log

PDF

 

 

Session

Builders

139 – Painless Time Log

 

Purpose/Objectives: Helping managers make more efficient use of their time has become one of the mainstays of management training. This exercise is a simple, effective, and interesting way to demonstrate personal time management.

Participants are given the “painless time log” and asked to record their work activities each day on a log sheet

(in 10-minute increments). Participants record their activities for three typical workdays and tally their times on the forms provided. Using their own judgment, participants determine the reasonable time for each activity and compare it against the actual time spent.

The “painless time log” is very demonstrative, thoughtprovoking, and sometimes amusing. It is an excellent tool for time management sessions.

Type: Application

Time Required: 10 minutes to give instructions; discussion optional

Group Size: Unlimited

Use this Session Builder as: • An action plan for individual use on the job as part of a single session or series training program on time management.

 

140—Three-Letter Words

PDF

Preparation

• No handouts are required for this exercise.

• Provide paper and pencils for each group.

• Have a whiteboard or flipchart and markers available to record group responses

(optional).

• The room should be flexible enough to accommodate simultaneous small group

discussions.

Process

• To prepare the group, read or paraphrase the following:

In order to be really creative or apply creativity to a problem situation, you really need to let yourself go. You need to temporarily abandon logical thinking and open up to new ideas and new ways of looking at things. But it’s sometimes difficult to just “jump right into” creative thinking. So, in just a moment, I’m going to ask you to break into small groups and take part in a mind-stretching exercise. It may seem somewhat frivolous; don’t worry about that. Its purpose is to energize the creative side of your brain and help you get a better understanding of the creative process.

• Using any convenient method, create small discussion groups that consist of

 

141—Getting Through the Sound Barriers

PDF

 

 

Session

Builders

141 – Getting Through the Sound Barriers

 

Purpose/Objectives: The delegation process provides many barriers for most supervisors and managers. This exercise gives managers an interesting view of delegation barriers. In a series of mini-case studies, the participants read situations where a manager is attempting to delegate tasks to an employee. In each delegation attempt, the employee provides a barrier. Participants are asked to assess four choices and select an appropriate response for the manager to make to the employee’s “barrier.” By weighing the implications of each response during the discussion, participants develop an awareness of the impact that each response is likely to have on the attitudes and feelings of their employees.

Type: Discussion stimulator

Time Required: 30 minutes

Group Size: Unlimited

Use this Session Builder as: • A reinforcement exercise to build on key points being emphasized in the session.

• An introductory exercise to stimulate discussion and

lead into a lecture on the subject material.

 

142—Work Pressures

PDF

 

 

Session

Builders

142 – Work Pressures

 

Purpose/Objectives: Managers and supervisors must be able to recognize the causes of stress and its effects on performance and productivity. In this exercise, participants are asked to identify what things or activities on the job are stressful. Then, after dividing into two groups, the first group is asked to identify some psychological reactions to these stress factors, and the second group to identify some of the physical effects that develop from continued exposure to these stress factors. Then participants use a questionnaire to analyze their own work environments. This application exercise highlights areas of stress in participants’ jobs and how to minimize that stress. A bonus of this exercise is a greater appreciation of how stress affects others.

Type: Application

Time Required: 90 minutes

Group Size: 10 to 20

Use this Session Builder as: • A reinforcement exercise to illustrate key points on stress in the work environment.

• An application exercise to focus on each participant’s

 

143—If I Had Known

PDF

 

 

Session

Builders

143 – If I Had Known

 

Purpose/Objectives: New employees want and need to know everything about a new job; however, it’s not possible for the manager to fit all of that information into one orientation session. As a result, managers must choose what to include based on the time available. This exercise stimulates managers to discuss what is important to include and what can be left out of the new employee orientation meeting. The participants first read statements made by new employees shortly after their orientation took place—statements that indicate a question or a problem. Then, in small groups, participants discuss whether or not that situation should have been addressed during the new employee orientation session.

Type: Assessment

Time Required: 45 minutes

Group Size: 2 to 25

Use this Session Builder as: • A reinforcement exercise within a session to build on key points.

• A pre-session assignment to stimulate thinking about

the subject area.

• An opener or beginning of an exercise to lead into the

 

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