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Activities

The following activities can be integrated into themes or be used by themselves towards improvement in targeted skills.

ORGANIZATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS (O)

IO1 Interpret written and unwritten values and goals of various types of organizations

Activity One (IO 1)

Objective: Students will be able to identify unwritten values of various types of organizations.

1. The instructor asks the students to write down answers to the following questions based on the job they have now or a job they had in the past:

Did you use formal or informal language? Were there opportunities for advancement? How friendly were you toward your co-workers? How friendly were you toward your boss? Were you free to express your opinions? How were people rewarded? How were people reprimanded? Did you feel valued? Did your workplace have certain symbols you were known by, such as an insignia, a uniform, or a number? Were there traditions?

2. In small groups students share their answers.

3. In their groups students create a list of sentences which describe their ideal workplace. They may use the questions on the board as a prompt.

4. Each group reports back a description of their ideal workplace to the whole class.

 

Activity Two (IO 1)

Objective: Students will be able to differentiate between four common types of organizations.

1. The instructor asks the students the following questions:

Do you like to have a boss who is "in charge" or do you like to be included when it comes to making big decisions? What makes you feel more motivated, a good pay check or knowing that you are growing personally and professionally in your career? Do you usually prefer working alone or as part of a team?

2. The instructor points out that there are a variety of values and rules which can govern a workplace and passes out the "Types Of Organizations" handout. (two pages)

4. Students get into groups. Each student takes a part of the reading, reads it, and prepares to teach the information to the rest of their group.

5. Students teach the information they read to the others in their group, and asks their group "Does this remind you of anyplace you've worked? If so, where did you work and how was it similar?"

6. The whole class joins together. The instructor asks the questions at random to the group members. Each group member should be able to define each organization if they listened carefully to the definition provided by the other members of their group.

7. The instructor passes out the "Types Of Organization Worksheet" to the students.

8. In small groups students answer the questions. The whole class shares responses and talks abut how different people like different organizations and why that might be.

"How was it for you to take a long reading, divide it up, and learn about it from others? Would you ever choose to learn information again that way?"

 

IO2 Determine the compatibility of their personal and organizational values

Activity One (IO 2)

Objective: Students will be able to identify the type of organization they would be most happy working in.

1. In pairs or small groups students contrast the four organizations that they looked at earlier ("Types of Organizations"). They write four to six sentences such as: "In some companies workers ______, while in other companies workers ______."

2. Students call out their comparisons and the instructor writes them on the board.

3. The instructor describes the kind of workplace that s/he enjoys working in.

4. Students write a paragraph describing which type of organization they would like to work for and why or which type of organization they wouldn't like to work for and why.

 

Activity Two (IO 2)

Objective: Students will determine the type of organization they would be happy working in and will be able to compare/contrast their values with the values of others.

1. The instructor points out that people can differ widely in their opinion of what would be an ideal organization to work in and asks for examples from the class.

2. The instructor passes out the handout "Determining Your Organizational Values."

3. Students complete the handout.

4. Students get into pairs or groups of three.

5. Students compare their answers with one another and fill out the form " How Are We Alike? How Do We Differ?"

 

Activity Three (IO 2)

Objective: Students identify their ideal workplace.

1. The instructor draws a giant "T" on the board. On top of the "T" s/he writes, "My Ideal Workplace." Under that on one side of the "T" bar, s/he writes, "would be". On the other side of the "T" bar s/he writes "would not be" (see handout: "My Ideal Workplace".)

2. The instructor explains that this is a "Force Field Chart" and its purpose is to help a person organize his/her thinking about a topic. The topic is written on top of the "T." In this case the topic is "My Ideal Workplace."Each student is given 6-8 small yellow post-its and 6-8 pink post-its.

3. On each yellow piece of paper students write one thing that would be true in their ideal workplace. Each student then puts his/her pieces in order of most importance with the most important first on the list. Students copy their ordered list under "would be" on the handout "My Ideal Workplace."

4. On each pink piece of paper students write one thing that wouldn't be in their ideal workplace. Each student puts his/her pieces of paper in order with least desirable first. Students copy their ordered list of papers under "would not be."

5. Each student shares with class the first item of each list.

6. Yellow post-its for whole class are clustered, given a title, and discussed.

7. Pink post-its for whole class are clustered, given a title, and discussed. Tell students that the Force Field process they just did is used in many workplaces to help solve problems.

 

Activity Four (IO 2)

Objective: Students will be able to create and conduct a survey.

1. Using the information from their "Ideal Workplace" handout, the class creates a yes/no survey to find out which kind of organization people outside of the class work for most commonly, such as: "Are you on friendly terms with your boss?" or "Is there a strict dress code where you work?"

2. Students conduct the survey, compile their results and determine whether or not a common type of organizational climate /set of values exists in these workplaces.

 

CAREER GROWTH WITHIN AN ORGANIZATION (IC)

IC1 Recognize requirements for career advancement

Activity One (IC 1)

Objective: Students will assess their work habits and attitudes to determine areas where they need to improve and areas where they perform satisfactorily.

1. The instructor tells a story about someone who lost a job because of having poor work habits. (Students can determine what the specific habits were.)

2. The instructor asks the students, "What habits and attitudes are necessary to have in order to keep a job and feel satisfied?"

3. Students brainstorm answers. The instructor writes them on the board.

4. The instructor passes out the "Your Work Attitudes" assessment form.

5. Students self-assess using this form.

6. Students share their findings in small groups or write about them in their journals. They discuss incidents to illustrate the areas where they performed satisfactorily, and/or discuss areas they'd like to improve.

 

Activity Two (IC 1)

Objective: Students will be able to determine behavior/attitudes which lead to career advancement/promotion.

1. Several students volunteer to tell stories about when they were promoted on their job.

2. The instructor asks the students what led to their promotions and writes what they say on the board.

3. The instructor asks the students, "Why would people want to get promoted?" "What is usually necessary in order to get a promotion?"

4. The instructor passes out the handout "How To Get Ahead."

5. Students read the handout silently or aloud and choose one item which is important to them.

6. In groups of 3-4 students share the significance of that item.

7. Students create a role-play which illustrates one of those items.

8. Students discuss how they felt in their particular role.

 

Activity Three (IC 1)

Objective: Students will be able to determine who should get a promotion.

1. Students scan the handout "How To Get Ahead." They then set it aside, recall the behavior/attitudes which led to job advancement and call them out.

2. The instructor writes whatever is called out on the board.

3. The instructor passes out the "Who Should Get Promoted?" handout.

4. In small groups students determine who should get a promotion.

5. Each group shares who they would promote and gives their reasons why.

 

IC2 Recognize how their behaviors affect their job performance and satisfaction

Activity One (IC 2)

Objective: Students will be able to identify behavior/attitudes which help or hinder people in their careers.

1. The board is divided into two. One side is labeled, "Going Up," the other, "Going Down." The class brainstorms good and poor workplace behavior/attitudes. The good behavior is written on one side. The poor behavior is written on the other.

2. The instructor hands out the "Six Scenarios In The Workplace" readings.

3. Students get into groups of three or six. If there are three people in the group each person is responsible for reading two of the stories. If there are six people in the group each person is responsible for reading one story.

4. Each student reads his/her assigned reading and prepares to retell the story or stories to the other group members. (They retell the story from memory rather than reread it.)

5. Group members recap the stories for one another. At the end of each story there is a question to be answered. Students discuss each question and agree on an answer

6. The whole class joins together. One person from each group shares their group's answers. Others are encouraged to agree or disagree with a particular group's answers.

7. Students check their answers with those provided. The instructor passes out the handout, " How To Handle Each Situation." Students may wish to agree or disagree with those answers.

8. In their journals students discuss any experiences they have had which were similar to those of the characters in the stories.

 

Activity Two (IC 2)

Objective: Students will be able to discuss successful employment experiences they have had.

1. The instructor writes the following on the board:

Think back to a successful employment experience you had and answer these questions in your mind: When did your successful experience take place? What was your job? What happened to make it a successful experience? Have you ever experienced success like that since then?

2. Students get into groups of 5-6. They are told to choose the most humorous story in their group and students take turns talking about their successful experiences.

3. Each group votes on the most humorous story.

4. All of the chosen speakers get in front of the class and tell their stories again.

5. Students are asked if they can notice any improvement between the two presentations. (The first speech was done in small groups, the second was done in front of the class.)

 

Activity Three (IC 2)

Objective: Students will be able to generate a list of behavior/attitudes which affect their careers and can help them to get ahead.

1. Students review what was discussed in activity two.

2. Students brainstorm a list of behavior/attitudes that led to job success.

3. These behaviors are written on the board and students list them neatly on a piece of paper.

4. Students rate themselves on a scale of 1-5 on each behavior/attitude ( 5 being high).

5. The instructor goes through each item asking students if they gave themselves a "5" on it. Students indicate "yes" by a show of hands.

6. On another piece of paper students list the items they scored high on. Below them the students list the items they wish to improve. Next to each of those items they write down how they can improve their behavior/attitudes. For example: "I can improve my attendance by waking up earlier," or "I can improve my temper by breathing more deeply when someone is making me mad."

7. Students volunteer to share their ideas for improving themselves with the class.

 

Activity Four (IC 2)

Objective: Students will be able to teach others appropriate workplace attitudes and behavior.

1. Students review the good workplace behavior they have discussed.

2. Students identify an audience to whom they can make a presentation.

3. In small groups students make a poster illustrating good job behavior or giving advice for getting along in a new job. The posters are put on the walls. They are encouraged to use magic markers, pictures out of magazine, drawings, etc.

4. Students plan on what to say during their presentation.

5. Students give their presentation.

 

LEADERSHIP (IL)

IL1 Understand the difference between management and leadership

Activity One (IL 1)

Objective: Students will be able to identify several differences between management and leadership.

1. The instructor writes management on one side of the board and leadership on the other.

2. Under the appropriate heading the instructor writes: "I led the housekeepers in changing all of the drapes in the building." "I managed the housekeepers as they changed all of the drapes in the building." Students discuss any differences that occur to them between the two sentences.

3. The students brainstorm vocabulary that come to their minds in regards to each word and the instructor writes them on the appropriate side of the board.

4. The instructor passes out the handout, "Management and Leadership."

5. Students read the handout and in pairs or small groups determine which behaviors/attitudes belong to the category of management and which belong to the category of leadership. They put an "L" next to the descriptions of leadership skills and a "M" next to the management skills.

6. The instructor divides the board in two. S/he writes "Management" as one heading, and "Leadership" as another. Students call out their answers.

7. Students have an opportunity to negotiate any differences they may have.

8. In pairs students choose one leadership or management trait and create a role-play illustrating that trait. The class determines if the role-play depicts leadership or management behavior/attitude.

 

IL2 Identify the qualities of a successful leader

Activity One (IL 2)

Objective: Students will be able to identify successful leadership skills in others.

1. Students recall the leadership skills identified earlier.

2. The students are told to shut their eyes and to think about someone who stands out in their mind as a good leader.

3. Students are handed the "Checklist For Leadership" and are asked to assess the person they were thinking using the criteria.

4. In groups of three to four the students introduce the person they were thinking of and discuss 2-3 of his/her positive traits using examples.

 

IL3 Assess their leadership skills and identify areas for improvement

Activity One (IL 3)

Objective: Students will be able to rate themselves in relation to others on their comfort in being a leader or a follower.

1. The instructor labels one side of the room "Leader" and the other side of the room "Follower."

2. Students are instructed to stand somewhere along the continuum where they feel most comfortable being in most situations.

3. Students are instructed to tell the people on either side of them why they chose that spot.

4. Students may wish to readjust themselves.

5. They again tell the people are either side of them why they chose that spot.

6. Students sit down and write a paragraph in their journals describing the activity and what they learned about themselves from doing it.

 

Activity Two (IL 3)

Objective: Students will be able to identify leadership skills in themselves.

1. The instructor shares with the students situations in his/her life where s/he is called on to be a leader. For example: As a mother, as a member of the school faculty, in marriage, as a member of a food bank, as a teacher, etc.

2. On a piece of paper students individually brainstorm all of the situations in their lives where they are called on to be leaders.

3. The instructor writes their responses on the board.

4. Students fill out the "Leadership Self-Assessment" handout.

5. Students share their findings with each other or in their journal explaining what skills they now possess and those which they would like to improve.

6. Students discuss how they will go about improving those skills they wish to improve either in writing or in discussion with one person.

 

Activity Three (IL 3)

Objective: Students will experience facilitating/leading a meeting.

1. The students look up the word "facilitate" in the dictionary and write down its meaning.

2. The instructor passes out the handout, "Guidelines To Facilitating A Group" and reads it over with the students.

3. Instructor models process with task of team planning the classwork for the day.

4. At the next class meeting the class is divided into teams, each with a team leader. Each team leader facilitates the planning session for the team's classwork for the day.

5. On the following days the leadership of each team rotates until each class member has had a chance to facilitate.

6. Students identify opportunities to facilitate a group outside of the class (home, community, workplace). Each student does a facilitation outside of class and discusses the experience with the class. "Guidelines to Facilitating a Group" is used after each facilitation for self-evaluation.

 

Activity Four (IL 3)

Objective: Students will be able to discuss skills they possess.

1. Students divide into groups of six to eight.

2. Students are told that the reason that they are getting together in their group is to select one new group leader and one new team player and that each of them is going to nominate themselves for one of the roles.

3. Students are given 10 minutes to prepare a 3 minute promotional speech where they discuss their leadership or team player skills. They are required to cover the following points:

Do you feel more comfortable being a team player or a leader? Why? Give two real life examples which illustrate your skills.

4. Students give their presentations and are assessed by others in the group who write answers to the following questions following each speech:

How well could the individual express him/herself? Did the experiences s/he express seem representative of the person you've known in class? Does the individual seem like someone you could take direction from or work with on a team? What convinced you to choose or not to choose this person?

5. The group sees if it can reach consensus on who should be the leader and who should be the team player.

6. Each group reports back to the whole class who they chose to be the leader and who they chose to be the team player and provide the reasons why.

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