What are the Different Types of Leadership Training Activities?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

There are dozens of leadership training activities that can be used to promote effective, informed leadership among various groups of people. These sorts of activities are used for all sorts of groups from high school students to executives of large companies. These activities may be as simple as having people break off into groups and discuss certain topics pertaining to effective leadership. They may be as complex as taking part in ropes courses or having teams complete complex tasks within the framework of limiting rules. Many leadership training activities are also team-building activities.

Many leadership training activities are also team-building activities.
Many leadership training activities are also team-building activities.

Leadership training activities often have to do with the development of trust because effective leaders must have the trust of the people with whom they are working. In one such activity, a group is broken up into pairs. One person is blindfolded and other other has to lead the blindfolded person from one point to another without touching or otherwise physically guiding the person. Perhaps there are a few obstacles between the two points around which the leader will have to guide the blindfolded person. In most cases, the teams of two will switch positions after one person has been successfully led from point A to point B.

In addition to establishing trust, most leadership training activities also involve the development of communication skills. In the exercise described above, for example, communication is key. The person who is leading the blindfolded team member must be very good about communicating in order for the blindfolded team member to make it safely from one point to another. Listening is also an important part of these activities. If the blindfolded person does not listen well, he might trip or go in the wrong direction.

In other kinds of leadership training activities, teams might have to complete a task without being able to speak or write notes to each other. This will cause the members of the team to find creative ways of communicating, which, in turn, can inform their leadership skills. Sometimes teams will have to complete two parts of a task in separate rooms with one "runner" who can go between the rooms ferrying updates.

Most leadership training activities involve a problem-solving element. This is because leadership is often about solving problems, overcoming obstacles, or finding creative ways to avoid problems. One game that is commonly used in leadership training seminars involves building a structure out of flimsy or weak materials. For example, a team might have to work together in order to build a model of a bridge out of nothing more than newspaper and tape. The bridge must be strong enough to support a brick.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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