You are on page 1of 299

50 Activities for

Coaching/Mentoring

Donna Berry
Charles Cadwell
Joe Fehrmann

HRD Press, Inc. • Amherst • Massachusetts


Copyright © 1993, Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann

The materials that appear in this book, other than those quoted from prior sources,
may be reproduced for educational/training activities. There is no requirement to
obtain special permission for such uses. We do, however, ask that the following
statement appear on all reproductions:

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by Donna


Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD
Press, 1993.

This permission statement is limited to reproduction of materials for educational or


training events. Systematic or large-scale reproduction or distribution, or inclusion of
items in publications for sale, may be carried out only with prior written permission
from the publisher.

Published by: HRD Press, Inc.


22 Amherst Road
Amherst, MA 01002
1-800-822-8201 (U.S. and Canada)
413-253-3488
413-253-3490 (fax)
www.hrdpress.com

ISBN 0-87425-218-0

Production services by Jean Miller


Cover design by Eileen Klockars
Editorial services by Sally M. Farnham
Contents

Preface ........................................................................................ v
Introduction ................................................................................... 1
Developing Coaching/Mentoring Skills .................................................... 5
Index to Activities............................................................................ 9
Time Checklist ................................................................................ 13
Symbols ........................................................................................ 15
The Activities
1 Rock, Paper, Scissors .............................................................. 17
2 Strike Three, You’re Out .......................................................... 25
3 Card Exchange ...................................................................... 31
4 Who am I?............................................................................ 35
5 Attitudes or Attributes? ........................................................... 39
6 Picture That ......................................................................... 47
7 How do you rate? ................................................................... 49
8 Focus on Coaching Skills........................................................... 53
9 String Toss ........................................................................... 57
10 Let’s Have a BEER .................................................................. 59
11 Wanna BET?.......................................................................... 65
12 Making a Sandwich ................................................................. 67
13 Chair Walking ....................................................................... 71
14 Positive Feedback .................................................................. 75
15 Goal Ladder ......................................................................... 77
16 Construction......................................................................... 85
17 Origami............................................................................... 89
18 Card Houses ......................................................................... 93
19 Idea Exchange....................................................................... 97
20 Reel Movies .......................................................................... 99
21 Coaches Bowl........................................................................ 103
22 How am I doing? .................................................................... 107
23 Trivia Quiz ........................................................................... 117
24 Dueling Families .................................................................... 119
25 Concentrate on. . . ................................................................ 125
26 Coaching Challenge ................................................................ 131
27 Opposite Poles ...................................................................... 139
28 Nonverbal Behaviors ............................................................... 141
29 Fishbowl.............................................................................. 151
30 Recognition Brainstorm............................................................ 153
31 Word Search ......................................................................... 157
32 Finish the Sentence ................................................................ 163
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

33 Theory X/Theory Y Assumptions ................................................. 165


34 Letter to a Friend .................................................................. 175
35 The Lovers ........................................................................... 177
36 Say what you mean!................................................................ 185
37 Three-Element Messages .......................................................... 189
38 Proxemics............................................................................ 195
39 What are you gonna do? ........................................................... 201
40 Translation, Please................................................................. 215
41 “Yeah, but. . .” .................................................................... 221
42 Making Assignments ................................................................ 225
43 Coaching Miscues ................................................................... 235
44 Tic-Tac-Toe.......................................................................... 245
45 Information Overload .............................................................. 249
46 Listen up! ............................................................................ 255
47 “Just Thought I’d Ask” ............................................................ 257
48 “Say what?” ......................................................................... 267
49 Tearing up Communication ....................................................... 273
50 You want me to do what? ......................................................... 279

About the Authors ............................................................................ 291


Preface

Everyone wants to write a book, but very few people do. We wanted to write a book
too, but not a whole book. So we each wrote one-third of a book. They say two heads
are better than one. For us, three heads were just the number we needed.

Although we’re not that old (in our own minds at least), among the three of us we
have nearly 60 years of experience in education and training. Coming up with 50
activities meant less than one activity for each year of experience. The hard part was
remembering back through all those years and then finding the best ones. We think
we’ve succeeded.

You can teach old dogs new tricks—and for that we’re grateful. We appreciate the
input we received from several members of the Sunflower Chapter of the American
Society for Training and Development (ASTD) who attended our pre-publishing party
and helped us fine tune many of these exercises (and eliminate some that didn’t quite
hit the mark).

If you have tricks you would like to share with these “old dogs,” we’d be glad to hear
from you. In the meantime, we hope you’ll enjoy using these activities as much as we
enjoyed putting them together.

Donna Berry
Charles Cadwell
Joe Fehrmann

∼v∼
Introduction

About Us
All three of us started out in an academic environment and later switched to the
business world. It was there that we began to learn how important active involvement
was in adult education. We soon realized what most trainers now take for granted—
adults want to be actively involved in the learning process.

As trainers in the corporate world we also learned the difference between “active
learning” and “having a good time” in class. That was the signal that we needed to
develop our own specialized activities that related directly to the performance that
management expected when our participants returned to their jobs.

We subscribe to Robert F. Mager’s belief that training is only a means to an end—and


that the end is performance. Unless the people who attend training can perform their
jobs in a way to help their organizations accomplish their goals and objectives, we
might as well not bother conducting training in the first place. That belief has led us
to strive for continuous improvement of our training activities so that the people who
attend our sessions can apply what they learn on the job.

About Course Participants


Experience tells us that the more involved participants are in the process, the more
they will learn. We know that the simple act of asking questions and getting people
involved in a discussion increases their retention.

We also know that some people are hesitant to get involved in a large group activity,
but will do fine in a smaller group. That knowledge has helped us remember that no
matter what size group you are working with, you can have active involvement of all
participants if you break down larger groups into smaller subgroups. That’s why you’ll
find that a majority of the activities in this book can easily be adapted to participant
groups of 3 to 300.

We also know that participants often learn more from each other than they do from
us. This revelation has led us to stop thinking of ourselves as trainers and to start
thinking of ourselves as learning facilitators. The activities in this book will encourage
your participants to interact more with each other than with you. Don’t feel left out—
that’s a good sign. Remember your job is to facilitate their learning, not to be the all-
knowing trainer.

∼1∼
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

About You
Being a facilitator may sound like less work than being a trainer, but it’s really harder
work. Effective facilitators are always looking for ways to help their participants learn
as much as possible from their experiences in the classroom. While activities are in
progress, facilitators circulate through the groups to provide help and assistance to
ensure that learning objectives are met.

The best facilitators are constantly learning right along with their participants. They
learn new ways of looking at things and are willing to admit they don’t have all the
answers. They learn what works and what doesn’t work and make necessary modifica-
tions for future participant groups. The best facilitators are true practitioners of
excellent customer service and do whatever it takes to satisfy their customers’ (par-
ticipants’) need to learn.

The activities in this book are designed to help your participants learn through active
involvement. Whether you are an experienced veteran of the classroom or are new to
the task, this volume will enable you to provide your participants with a wide variety
of interactive exercises that will enhance their on-the-job performance of coaching/
mentoring skills.

About This Volume


Although the activities in this volume are commonly referred to as training activities,
we consider them to be performance improvement exercises. We chose this approach
because, as stated earlier, we understand that the real purpose of training is to im-
prove performance. Anyone can be a trainer and conduct activities, but improving
performance is about facilitating learning.

Improving performance requires being able to connect the classroom activity to the
learner’s job. Improving performance means answering the often unspoken participant
question, “What’s in it for me?” With this in mind, each activity is organized in a user
friendly format that, when followed, will guide you through the following process:
• Establishing the objectives
• Conducting the activity
• Reviewing participant experience
• Discussing key learning points
• Considering application to job performance

This process will ensure that learners do more than just participate in an activity. The
proper execution of the total learning experience will provide learners with proven
methods of improving their job performance—which means successful facilitation for you.

∼2∼
Introduction

This volume contains a wide variety of activities. They range from the simple and
lighthearted to the complex and risky. Some take only a few minutes, while others
take longer. Some will provide an obvious “ah-ha” to the learner, while others will
require more contemplation and analysis. Many different learning methods are
employed. You will find questionnaires, physical activities, games, role plays, and
simulations. This mix reflects our belief that different approaches are required to
achieve different learning objectives.

Use the Index to Activities to identify the various coaching/mentoring skill areas
covered in this volume. Then select the appropriate activity to develop the skill and
performance of your learners.

About the Activities


Each activity is presented in a uniform way. The facilitator is provided with the fol-
lowing:
• Activity number and title.
• Description. A short outline of the activity.
• Objectives. What the participants should be able to do after they experience
the activity.
• Skill areas. A summary of the skills that can be developed by using this par-
ticular exercise.
• Participants. Guidance on size and type of group.
• Time. This is an estimate only. Timing will depend on group size and the
depth to which you wish to pursue learning points.
• Resources. The materials you’ll need to prepare to facilitate learning.
• Method and note. A step-by-step, at-a-glance guide to conducting the
activity. Provides guidance on timing, how to best use the activity,
background information, and suggested discussion points. In order to initiate
the discussion, we have often provided a list of suggested questions to ask.
• Exercises. These are designed to increase participant involvement. They are
ready to be photocopied for use during the activity.
• Handouts. Again, these are ready to be photocopied. They provide a means
for communicating some of the key learning points or background information
about the exercise.
• Observer sheets. These are used in conjunction with some of the exercises
and are also in a form that can be photocopied.
• Trainer’s notes. These notes, when given, provide either further background
information or precise details of materials required for the activity. They are
not intended for distribution and are found in only some of the activities.

∼3∼
Developing Coaching/Mentoring Skills

Importance of Coaching/Mentoring
We have developed and assembled this collection of activities because we believe
that the role of the coach/mentor is critical in today’s organizations. Organizations
are changing. They are getting smaller and flatter. Middle managers are expected to
do more with less. One of the keys to the success of today’s supervisors will be their
ability to lead and coach their people.

Coaching and Mentoring Roles


We define coaching as “the process of developing employees by providing them with
opportunities to develop their skills and experience while ensuring they receive con-
tinuous feedback, counseling, and follow up.” Closely associated with coaching is the
concept of mentoring. The two terms are often used interchangeably and indeed they
have very similar meanings.

One distinction that can be drawn is to think of coaching in terms of the boss-employee
relationship. A mentor, on the other hand, may be a peer or another person in the
organization, but does not necessarily involve a direct reporting relationship. The men-
tor’s role is to provide guidance, answer questions, and help develop the individual’s
skills and experience. The mentor has to rely on his/her ability to influence the other
person without benefit of a supervisory relationship.

Regardless of the term you prefer, the successful coach/mentor has to be able to help
the people they are working with to
• better appreciate their own strengths and weaknesses;
• encourage them to establish goals or targets for further performance
improvement;
• monitor and review progress in achieving their goals;
• identify problems that may be adversely affecting progress;
• generate alternatives and an action plan for dealing with identified problems;
• improve their understanding of the work environment; and
• realize their full potential.1

1
Pareek, V., & Venkateswara, R. (1990). Performance coaching, The 1990 Annual: Developing Human
Resources (San Diego, CA: University Associates).

∼5∼
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Coaching Characteristics
Successful coaches/mentors have to possess a variety of skills in order to succeed in
their roles with those assigned to them. Dennis C. Kinlaw, Ed.D., in his book Coaching
for Commitment: Managerial Strategies for Obtaining Superior Performance, has sug-
gested that successful coaches have to possess the following characteristics:
• Contact and core communication skills. The role of coaching is largely
undertaken in a variety of informal conversations. Thus, the coach must have
regular and easy contact with those they are supposed to coach.
• Counseling. This consists of helping other people solve their own problems
rather than providing solutions.
• Mentoring. Kinlaw suggests this is the process of developing in others such
things as political savvy, sensitivity to the organization’s culture, and proac-
tively managing their own careers.
• Tutoring. Success is measured by the degree to which a person helps others
to obtain the knowledge and expertise needed in their work.
• Confronting and challenging. These skills are needed to help the less-than-
successful performers to become successful and to challenge the successful
employees to become superior performers.2

The confronting and challenging skills require the use of a coaching model to deal
with performance problems.

Coaching Model
When the performance of their people does not meet expectations or developmental
goals are missed because of performance deficiencies, effective coaches use a four-
step process to solve performance problems:
1. Get agreement that a problem exists.
2. Decide on a solution.
3. Follow up.
4. Give recognition when the problem is solved.

This coaching model is explained in detail in Activity 39, What Are You Gonna Do? This
activity also gives participants the opportunity to apply the coaching method in both a
simulated and real work situation.

2
Kinlaw, D. C. (1991). Coaching for commitment: managerial strategies for obtaining superior
performance (San Diego, CA: University Associates).
Developing Coaching/Mentoring Skills

The 50 Activities
Developing the skills and characteristics necessary to be effective and using the
coaching model in a positive manner requires providing the would-be coach/mentor
with a variety of learning experiences. This volume is designed to do just that.

We have included activities that address such skills as building trust, collaboration,
counseling, goal setting, listening, and setting expectations. These and other skills
areas are identified in the Index to Activities.

We are confident, as you select and use the appropriate activities for your learning
environments, the coaches and mentors you work with will be able to develop the
skills they need to be successful and to lead their organizations.

∼7∼
Index to Activities

Icebreakers
Analyzing Performance
Problems
Assertiveness
Building Trust
Collaboration
Communication
Delegating
Evaluation
Goal Setting
Listening
Networking

Page Number
Nonverbal Communication
Nurturing
Orientation
Questioning
Role of Coach/Mentor
Setting Expectations
Training
Course Closures

Counseling
Recognition and Reward

1. Rock, Paper, Scissors 17 O O

2. Strike Three, You're Out 25 O O O O O O O

3. Card Exchange 31 O O O O

4. Who am I? 35 O O O O O

5. Attitudes or Attributes? 39 O O O O

∼9∼
6. Picture That 47 O O O

7. How do you rate? 49 O O O O

8. Focus on Coaching Skills 53 O O O O O

9. String Toss 57 O O O

10. Let's Have a BEER 59 O O O O

11. Wanna BET? 65 O O O

12. Making a Sandwich 67 O O

13. Chair Walking 71 O O O

14. Positive Feedback 75 O O O O O O

15. Goal Ladder 77 O O O


Developing Coaching/Mentoring Skills
Index to Activities

Icebreakers
Analyzing Performance
Problems
Assertiveness
Building Trust
Collaboration
Communication
Delegating
Evaluation
Goal Setting
Listening
Networking

Page Number
Nonverbal Communication
Nurturing
Orientation
Questioning
Role of Coach/Mentor
Setting Expectations
Training
Course Closures

Counseling
Recognition and Reward

16. Construction 85 O O O O

17. Origami 89 O O O

18. Card Houses 93 O O O

19. Idea Exchange 97 O O O O O

20. Reel Movies 99 O O


50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

∼ 10 ∼
21. Coaches Bowl 103 O O

22. How am I doing? 107 O O O O

23. Trivia Quiz 117 O O

24. Dueling Families 119 O O O

25. Concentrate on... 125 O O O

26. Coaching Challenge 131 O O

27. Opposite Poles 137 O O O

28, Nonverbal Behaviors 139 O O O

29. Fishbowl 149 O O

30. Recognition Brainstorm 151 O O O O O


Index to Activities

Icebreakers
Analyzing Performance
Problems
Assertiveness
Building Trust
Collaboration
Communication
Delegating
Evaluation
Goal Setting
Listening
Networking

Page Number
Nonverbal Communication
Nurturing
Orientation
Questioning
Role of Coach/Mentor
Setting Expectations
Training
Course Closures

Counseling
Recognition and Reward

31. Word Search 155 O

32. Finish the Sentence 161 O O

33. Theory X/Theory Y Assumptions 163 O O

34. Letter to a Friend 173 O O O O O

35. The Lovers 175 O O

∼ 11 ∼
36. Say what you mean! 183 O O O

37. Three-Element Messages 187 O O O O O

38. Proxemics 193 O O

39. What are you gonna do? 199 O O O O O O

40. Translation, Please 213 O O O

41. "Yeah, but..." 219 O O O O

42. Making Assignments 223 O O O O

43. Coaching Miscues 233 O O O O O

44. Tic-Tac-Toe 243 O O

45. Information Overload 247 O O O O


Developing Coaching/Mentoring Skills
∼ 12 ∼
46. Listen up!

48. "Say what?"


47. "Just Thought I'd Ask"

50. You want me to do what?


49. Tearing up Communication

Page Number
277
271
265
255
253

Icebreakers
Analyzing Performance
Problems
O

Assertiveness
Building Trust
O
O

Collaboration
Communication
O

Counseling
Delegating
Evaluation
Goal Setting
O
O

O
O
O

Listening
Networking

O
Nonverbal Communication
O
Index to Activities

Nurturing
Orientation
Questioning
Recognition and Reward
Role of Coach/Mentor

O
O

O
Setting Expectations
Training

O
Course Closures
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring
Time Checklist

This checklist gives an approximate indication of the minimum time necessary to


conduct each activity. The actual time will depend on size of group, length of time
allowed for discussion, and other variables that can occur during any course.

One-half hour or less


Strike Three, You’re Out
Card Exchange
Picture That
How do you rate?
String Toss
Wanna BET?
Chair Walking
Positive Feedback
Construction
Origami
Card Houses
Idea Exchange
Reel Movies
Trivia Quiz
Coaching Challenge
Opposite Poles
Fishbowl
Word Search
Finish the Sentence
Say what you mean!
Three-Element Messages
Proxemics
Translation, Please
Listen up!
“Say what?”

Between one-half hour and one hour


Rock, Paper, Scissors
Who am I?
Attitudes or Attributes?
Focus on Coaching Skills
Let’s Have a BEER
Making a Sandwich
Coaches Bowl
How am I doing?
Dueling Families
Concentrate on. . .
Theory X/Theory Y Assumptions

∼ 13 ∼
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Letter to a Friend
The Lovers
“Yeah, but…”
Tic-Tac-Toe
Information Overload
“Just Thought I’d Ask”
Tearing up Communications
You want me to do what?

More than one hour


Goal Ladder
Making Assignments
Recognition Brainstorm
What are you gonna do?
Nonverbal Behaviors
Coaching Miscues

∼ 14 ∼
Symbols

The following symbols are used throughout this document:

Handout

Exercise

Trainer’s Notes

∼ 15 ∼
1
Rock, Paper, Scissors

Description
This activity illustrates the issues that arise when people are assigned to team
situations and are encouraged to compete with and beat the competition.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• describe the value of collaboration rather than competition; and
• explain the factors that affect building a trust relationship.

Skill Areas
• Building trust
• Collaboration

Participants
Number: 12 to 18
Type: Any, but especially those for whom a working relationship built on
trust is important

Time
30 to 60 minutes, including discussion

Resources
• One copy each of Handout 1.1 and Exercise 1.1 for each participant
• Sufficient space for two teams to work without being overheard by each other
and an open space for participants to meet
• Flipchart stand, paper, and markers

∼ 17 ∼
Activity 1
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Introduce the activity.

Notes:
Identify between 12 and 18 participants to take part in the activity. Remain-
ing participants, if any, are to record their observations for later discussion.
• Divide participants into two teams.
• Have each team elect or appoint a player.
• Have each team elect or appoint a scorekeeper.
• Have each team select a name for the team.

Step 2: Distribute Handout 1.1.

Notes:
Give each participant, including the players, a copy of Handout 1.1. Explain
the purpose of the activity: to accumulate as high a score as possible for the
team. Explain the rules:
• The activity is based on the old game of Rock, Paper, Scissors.
• When meeting, players will face each other and maintain eye contact as
they will each raise and lower one fist three times in a “table pounding”
motion.
• On the count of 3, they will each use their hand to represent one of the
following:
Rock = closed fist
Paper = open hand
Scissors = V formed with index and middle fingers
• Scorekeepers will record the results on Exercise 1.1 based on the scoring
guidelines and these rules:
1. Rock (+) breaks Scissors (—)
2. Scissors (+) cuts Paper (—)
3. Paper (+) covers Rock (—)

Step 3: Explain exercise “rounds.” Refer participants to Exercise 1.1.

Notes:
• Rounds 1, 2, and 3: Players start the game without consulting their
respective team and without talking to each other.
• Rounds 4, 5, and 6: Players consult with their team to decide how to play
the game. They do not talk to each other.
• Rounds 7, 8, and 9: Players may talk with each other as well as with their
team. Players must, however, proceed the way the team decides.
At no time during the exercise are participants to talk to members of the
other team or to class members who are observing.

∼ 18 ∼
Activity 1
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Step 4: Explain scoring.

Notes:
Scorekeepers will assign points based on scoring guidelines.
• During rounds 1, 2, and 3, scores are face value.
• During rounds 4, 5, and 6, scores are doubled.
• During rounds 7, 8, and 9, scores are tripled.
• Scores are totaled after round 9. The team with the highest score is the
winner.

Step 5: Conduct the activity.

Notes:
Allow discussion for 30 seconds per round for rounds 4, 5, and 6. Allow
discussion for 60 seconds for rounds 7, 8, and 9. Have scorekeepers record
scores after each round. Have observers, if any, verify scores.
Total the scores at the end of the activity and congratulate the “winners” and
give condolences to the “losers.”
Option: You can influence the game’s outcome by
• instructing one of the teams to establish a “win-win” strategy; and/or
• instructing one of the teams to “double-cross” the other team.

Step 6: Review the activity by asking the participants to describe what happened.

Notes:
Lead a discussion on how this exercise revealed issues in collaboration and
teamwork.
Questions you might ask:
• What was the objective of each team?
• In what ways did the teams collaborate?
• Did anything prevent collaboration? How could these obstacles have been
overcome?
• Was there a clear “winner” or “loser”? Why or why not?
• Did one team have a higher score than the other? Does that create a
“winner” or a “loser”?
• What was done to build trust between the players?
• What was done to build trust between the teams?
• If trust was “betrayed,” what could have been done to restore it?
• How were the teams like work groups or organizational units?
• What behavioral comparisons can be drawn?
• Did the players identify with their teams or with each other?

∼ 19 ∼
Activity 1
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Step 7: Summarize the learning points on a flipchart.

Notes:
Allow 5 to 10 minutes. The learning points should be those that emerged from
Step 6. Focus on how learning can be applied on the job.
Some possibilities could be:
• Teams tend to be competitive.
• Collaboration between teams is sometimes difficult because of a natural
competitive spirit.
• Trust between individuals on a team has to be established before trust
between teams is possible.
• Collaboration can result in everyone being “winners.”

∼ 20 ∼
Handout 1.1

Rock, Paper, Scissors


This activity is based on the old game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. In this game, two
players form symbols for rock, paper, or scissors with their hands, trying to guess
what their opponent will do. The goal is to accumulate the highest possible score for
your team.

Team members who have been selected as players will face each other in an area
apart from their team. Maintaining eye contact, they will raise and lower one of their
fists three times in a “table pounding” motion. On the count of 3, they will each use
their hand to represent one of the following:

Rock = closed fist


Paper = open hand
Scissors = V formed with index and middle fingers

Scoring follows this guideline:

Rock (+) breaks Scissors (—)


Scissors (+) cuts Paper (—)
Paper (+) covers Rock (—)

The game will include nine rounds of play. Scorekeepers will use the following scoring
guidelines: scores are at face value during rounds 1—3, doubled during rounds 4—6,
and tripled during rounds 7—9.

After the activity, the facilitator will lead a discussion.

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 21 ∼
Exercise 1.1

Exercise 1.1: Scoresheet


Using the guidelines below, the scorekeepers will indicate each player’s choice and
score for each round.

Rounds 1—3: Players play without consulting their teams. They are not allowed to
talk to each other.
Player 1 Player 2
Round 1: Choice Score Choice Score
Round 2: Choice Score Choice Score
Round 3: Choice Score Choice Score

Rounds 4—6: Players may consult with their teams to decide how to play. Discussion
time is limited to 30 seconds per round. Scores are doubled.
Player 1 Player 2
Round 4: Choice Score Choice Score
Round 5: Choice Score Choice Score
Round 6: Choice Score Choice Score

Rounds 7—9: Players must now consult with each other. Discussion time is limited to
one minute per round. Scores are tripled.
Player 1 Player 2
Round 7: Choice Score Choice Score
Round 8: Choice Score Choice Score
Round 9: Choice Score Choice Score

Scoring Guidelines
Player 1 Player 2
Choice Score Choice Score
Scissors +5 Scissors +5
Scissors 0 Rock +10
Scissors +10 Paper 0
Rock 0 Rock 0
Rock 0 Paper +5
Paper +10 Paper +10

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 23 ∼
2
Strike Three, You’re Out

Description
This activity illustrates the necessity of complete communication between the
coach and the team or individual. It also demonstrates how an ineffective coach
can cause people to become frustrated, fearful, resentful, and generally non-
productive.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• describe the need for complete, honest, and open communication to meet
competition;
• experience the frustration of the worker who is expected to perform to
standards that are either unknown or vague;
• appreciate team effort; and
• describe the attributes of an effective coach.

Skill Areas
• Analyzing performance problems
• Collaboration
• Communication/Nonverbal communication
• Goal setting
• Role of the coach
• Setting expectations

Participants
Number: Any
Type: Any

Time
20 to 40 minutes

Resources
• Exercise 2.1 for the coaches
• One copy of Exercise 2.1 for each team
• Balloons in a variety of colors (enough for 12 balloons per participant)
• Straight pins (or any sharp object)
• A timer, flipchart, or whiteboard for scorekeeping
• Prizes (optional)

∼ 25 ∼
Activity 2
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Introduce the activity.

Notes:
In order to illustrate the effectiveness of teams to produce in a competitive
environment, divide the participants into groups of five. Explain that each
team will have a coach and that the team’s goal will be to produce more
“acceptable” inflated balloons than the opposing team(s). Give 12 balloons to
each participant. Instruct the teams that they will be given five minutes to
produce balloons. Ask each team to select a coach to lead the activity.

Step 2: Explain Exercise 2.1 to the coaches.

Notes:
Take the coaches out of the room and give them complete written instructions
for what will be judged as an acceptable inflated balloon. They will also re-
ceive the pin or some other sharp object. The only feedback they are allowed
to give their team is approval or rejection of balloons. Rejection of inferior
work will be indicated by the coach popping the balloon with the sharp object.
Take the coaches back into the room. If you have an extra person, appoint
that person as scorekeeper.

Step 3: Brief the team.

Notes:
Tell the teams that their coach will accept only those balloons that meet the
criteria; only acceptable balloons will count in their competitive standing. If
the participants ask what constitutes “acceptable,” tell them that their coach
will give them constant feedback concerning the acceptability of the balloon.

Step 4: Brief the coaches.

Notes:
Participants are to hold acceptable balloons high in the air until they are
counted by the scorekeeper. Remind them once again that they have five
minutes to produce more acceptable balloons than the opposing team(s).

Step 5: Set the timer for five minutes and give the “Begin” signal. Start timer.

Notes:
The participants will want verbal feedback and will become increasingly
frustrated as unacceptable balloons are popped. Some teams will attempt to
uncover the riddle of what made one balloon okay and caused another to be
popped. Some teams will become fearful of the “reprimand pop” and will
stop producing. In each respect, the lesson will be clear.

∼ 26 ∼
Activity 2
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Step 6: Call “Time” and stop production.

Notes:
Congratulate the winning team. Give condolences to the loser(s).

Step 7: Nonverbal feedback: Distribute prizes to the winners if you have chosen
that option.
Verbal feedback: Prepare to answer outcry.

Notes:
In response to the complaints about the lack of fairness, ask for feedback.
Questions you might ask:
• What problems did you have with production?
• What would have facilitated production?
• What caused frustration, anxiety, or confusion?

Step 8: Review the activity.

Notes:
Ask the participants to describe:
• What just happened?
• What was learned?
• Why was this activity conducted?
Lead a discussion about the necessity of complete and fully understood
communication for team or individual production and morale. Lead the
participants in understanding and discussing the attributes of the effective
coach as a person who sets specific standards and makes sure that those
standards are fully understood and accepted by the person or persons doing
the work.

Step 9: Summarize the learning concepts on a flipchart.

Notes:
Allow 5 to 10 minutes. The concepts learned should be those that emerged
from the discussion during Step 8. Focus on how that understanding can be
applied on the job. Some possibilities could be:
• Effective communication should be specific.
• Employees want to know what is expected of them.
• Ineffective communication results in lower productivity.
• Ineffective communication causes people to become frustrated, fearful,
and resentful.

∼ 27 ∼
Exercise 2.1

Exercise 2.1: The Coach’s Dilemma


Instructions for the coach:
As coach, your team will depend on you for leadership in this competition. As a team,
they will produce balloons for your approval. You will be guided by the following
criteria for the acceptance or rejection of each balloon submitted.

You may accept balloons only if all of the following standards are met:

1. The inflated balloons are handed to you, one at a time, by members of the
team.

2. Production team members use only their left hands to give the balloons to
you.

3. No production team member may submit two balloons in a row. You will take
a balloon only from a team member different from the last person who
handed you one.

4. You accept only a balloon that is different in color than the last one handed
to you.

If balloons do not meet all of the above conditions, you must reject the balloon by
immediately popping it. No talking or explanations of any kind are permitted.

Accepted balloons are held in the air until the scorekeeper counts them and then they
may be lowered.

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 29 ∼
3
Card Exchange

Description
This activity encourages involvement and the interaction of all group members.
The activity is flexible and can be used at the beginning, during, or at the end of
a course.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• interact with other participants; and
• describe several roles of a coach/mentor.

Skill Areas
• Icebreaker
• Networking
• Role of coach/mentor
• Course closure

Participants
Number: Any
Type: Any

Time
20 to 30 minutes

Resources
• Business cards
• Index cards cut to the size of business cards
• Pen or pencil for each participant
• Flipchart stand, paper, and markers

∼ 31 ∼
Activity 3
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Prepare the activity.

Notes:
Before the session in which you use this activity, find out how many
participants have business cards with them.
Each participant will need the same number of cards as there are group
members.
Cut index cards to use as business cards for those participants who need
them.

Step 2: Introduce the activity.

Notes:
Explain that the goal is to learn as many different coaching roles as possible
and to network with as many other participants as possible.
Note: Depending on the size of the group, you may wish to divide into smaller
groups.

Step 3: Prepare the cards.

Notes:
Distribute blank cards to those who do not have business cards. Have them
write their names and any other pertinent information on one side of the
card.
Each participant is asked to select the role of a coach/mentor that they think
is most important and write it on the back of their business cards/index cards.
Each participant should complete the same number of cards as there are
group members.

Step 4: Start the activity.

Notes:
Have participants walk around the room and meet with one another.
As they meet, they exchange business cards and take 1 to 2 minutes to discuss
the roles they have written on their cards.
The activity continues in this manner until everyone has collected a card from
each group member or until you call “Time.”

∼ 32 ∼
Activity 3
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Step 5: Getting acquainted (optional).

Notes:
If used as an icebreaker, when participants meet they should introduce
themselves and find out about one another. You should provide a list of things
for them to find out about one another.

Step 6: Review the activity.

Notes:
Have participants go through the cards they collected and select the three
coaching roles that they think are most important. Have them rank order their
three choices.
As participants share their choices, write their responses on a flipchart.
Determine the group’s top three choices and discuss why they selected them.
If time permits, discuss other choices that they considered to be less
important.
Conclude by relating the top choices to information you have (or will) be
covering during the course.

∼ 33 ∼
4
Who am I?

Description
This activity encourages physical interaction and encourages participants to get
involved in the learning process.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• ask questions to obtain information; and
• name several other participants.

Skill Areas
• Icebreaker
• Communication
• Listening
• Networking
• Questioning

Participants
Number: Any
Type: Any

Time
30 minutes

Resources
• Self-stick labels/name tags or paper signs and straight pins
• Paper and pen or pencil for each participant
• Prizes (optional)

∼ 35 ∼
Activity 4
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Prepare the activity.

Notes:
Prior to participants arriving, prepare name tags with names of famous people
who would be known to participants.
Names can be of those who are either living or dead, real or fictional, all of
the same type, or mixed.
Some examples:
John Wayne Jimmy Stewart
Madonna Cher
George Bush Bill Clinton
Moses Jesus
Tom Sawyer Huck Finn
Another option is to prepare name tags in pairs so that the activity has two
steps:
1. Find out who you are.
2. Find the person who goes with you.
For example:
Salt/Pepper
Sugar/Cream
George/Gracie
Abbott/Costello
Bush/Cheney
Bill/Hillary

Step 2: Introduce the activity.

Notes:
Review the objectives.
Explain to participants that the greater number of people they interact with,
the better their chances of being successful.

Step 3: Put a name tag on the back of each participant to prevent the individual
from seeing it.

Notes:
One way to do this is to give each participant a name tag and have the group
stand in two circles—one within the other.
Participants put the name tag on the back of the person standing in front of
or behind them.

∼ 36 ∼
Activity 4
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Step 4: Start the activity.

Notes:
Each participant is to ask someone else in the group a yes/no question about
his/her identity.
Examples include:
• Am I a living person?
• Am I male?
• Am I a thing?
• Could you taste me?
The activity continues until each person in the group learns his/her identity.
Have participants keep track of how many questions they ask.

Step 5: Getting acquainted (optional).

Notes:
If used as an icebreaker, after participants learn their secret identity, have
them meet with another person and learn about their real identities.
This works well if you use the “pairs” concept. In this case “Salt” and
“Pepper” would interview each other.

Step 6: Award prizes (optional).

Notes:
To create a contest, you could give a prize to the person who learns his/her
identity first.
You could also give a prize to the person who asks the fewest questions before
learning his/her identity.

Step 7: Review the activity.

Notes:
Questions you might ask:
• How easy/difficult was it asking only yes/no questions?
• What other types of questions would have been helpful?
• What does this tell you about the types of questions you should ask to
obtain information?
• How important was listening?
• Why did it take you so long to learn your identity?
• How can you apply what you’ve learned to a coaching situation?

∼ 37 ∼
5
Attitudes or Attributes?

Description
This activity encourages participants to explore the importance of attitudes and
attributes of successful coaches. Participants also have the opportunity to
evaluate their own attitudes and attributes.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• list attitudes of successful coaches;
• list attributes of successful coaches; and
• evaluate their own attitudes and attributes.

Skill Areas
• Evaluation
• Orientation
• Role of coach
• Training

Participants
Number: Any
Type: Any

Time
1 hour

Resources
• One copy each of Exercises 5.1 and 5.2 for each participant
• Flipchart stand, paper, and markers

∼ 39 ∼
Activity 5
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Introduce the activity.

Notes:
Ask participants to define the terms “attitude” and “attribute.”
Discuss the differences between attitudes and attributes.

Step 2: Distribute one copy of Exercise 5.1 to each participant.

Notes:
Review the directions with the group and allow 5 to 10 minutes to complete
the questionnaire.

Step 3: Discuss the importance of a coach’s attitude.

Notes:
Ask participants to share the results of their questionnaires. Discuss specific
attitudes and their importance. Record pertinent comments on the flipchart.
Questions you might ask:
• What role do you think attitudes play in a coach’s success?
• Think of someone you consider to be a successful coach. What attitudes
does he/she have?
• Which attitudes do you think are most important? Why?
• What can you do if you have a “low” attitude score?
• How can you use the results of this questionnaire on the job?

Step 4: Distribute one copy of Exercise 5.2 to each participant.

Notes:
Review the directions with the group and allow 5 to 10 minutes to complete
the worksheet.

Step 5: Discuss the importance of a coach’s attributes.

Notes:
Ask participants to share the results of their worksheets. Discuss specific
attributes and their importance. Record pertinent comments on the flipchart.
Questions you might ask:
• What role do you think attributes play in a coach’s success?
• Think of someone you consider to be a successful coach. What attributes
does he/she have?
• Which attributes do you think are most important? Why?

∼ 40 ∼
Activity 5
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

• What can you do if you have a “low” attribute score?


• How can you use the results of this questionnaire on the job?

Step 6: Discuss the relationship between attitudes and attributes.

Notes:
Go back to the definitions agreed to earlier.
Ask participants if they still think their original definitions are valid or if they
need to be changed.
Ask participants which they think are most important—attitudes or attributes.
Ask participants to describe the relationship between attitudes and attributes
as they relate to successful coaches.

Step 7: Review the activity.

Notes:
Challenge participants to identify one or two attitudes and/or attributes that
they want to improve.
Have them write a brief statement of what they plan to do. The statement
should be as specific as possible.

∼ 41 ∼
Exercise 5.1

Exercise 5.1: Coaching Attitudes


Listed below are several attitudes that can affect your success as a coach. Circle the
number that you think best describes your personal attitudes as a coach.

Rarely Sometimes Often


1. I am genuinely interested in what my 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
people do.

2. I support the decisions my people 1 2 3 4 5 6 7


make.

3. I praise my people when they are 1 2 3 4 5 6 7


successful.

4. I encourage my people to think for 1 2 3 4 5 6 7


themselves.

5. I allow my people to participate in 1 2 3 4 5 6 7


decisions.

6. I encourage my people to work 1 2 3 4 5 6 7


together as a team.

7. I am able to remain objective when 1 2 3 4 5 6 7


discussing problems.

8. I look for the “good” in what people 1 2 3 4 5 6 7


do rather than the “bad.”

9. I display a positive attitude even 1 2 3 4 5 6 7


when things are going wrong.

10. I enjoy seeing my people be success- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7


ful.

11. I enjoy helping my people be 1 2 3 4 5 6 7


successful even when they get more
credit than I do.

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 43 ∼
Exercise 5.2

Exercise 5.2: Coaching Attributes


Coaches who are successful display some basic attributes in their relationships with
their people. Effective coaches focus on four activities described below. Use this
worksheet to evaluate what you are currently doing and any improvements you may
want to make.

1. Orientation and Training

† I have an orientation plan that I use with new people.


† I have a training plan to teach new people their jobs.
Whether a person is new to the organization or just new to the team, orientation
is necessary to give the person the right start. Orientation occurs during the first
few days or weeks on the job. Training, on the other hand, is an ongoing activity.
Use the space below to list any action(s) you need to take with regard to
orientation and training.

2. Development

† I have met with each of my people individually to discuss strengths,


weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement.
† I have written development plans for each of my people that list specific
activities and deadlines.

Whether a person is new to the organization or just new to the team, orientation
is necessary to give the person the right start. Orientation occurs during the first
few days or weeks on the job. Training, on the other hand, is an ongoing activity.
Use the space below to list any action(s) you need to take with regard to
orientation and training.

(Continued)

∼ 45 ∼
Exercise 5.2 (concluded)

3. Support and Encouragement

† I provide regular feedback, positive and corrective, to my people about their


performance.
† I provide resources, remove barriers, or work directly with my people to help
them be successful.

Effective leaders know that when their people are successful, they will be
successful. Regular support and encouragement leads to enhanced confidence,
new skills, and better overall performance. Use the space below to list any
action(s) you need to take to provide support and encouragement to your people.

4. Performance Problems

† I accept responsibility for helping my people with performance problems.


† I use a systematic process to resolve performance problems.
Effective coaches help their people understand and overcome problems that get
in the way of their best performance. They develop skills in dealing with per-
formance problems. Use the space below to list any action(s) you need to take to
improve your ability to handle performance problems.

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 46 ∼
6
Picture That

Description
This activity works well as either an icebreaker exercise or a discussion starter.
This exercise can also be used to determine the skill level of the participants.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• express individual coaching skills;
• identify individual coaching skills needed; and
• name the other participants and the skill level of each.

Skill Areas
• Icebreaker
• Evaluation
• Setting expectations

Participants
Number: Any
Type: Any

Time
10 to 15 minutes

Resources
Tent cards and broad tip markers for each participant

∼ 47 ∼
Activity 6
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Introduce the activity.

Notes:
Explain that in addition to writing their name on the tent card, participants
should draw a representative picture of a coaching skill they currently possess
(or a coaching skill that they need and want to acquire as a result of this
training). Ask that they use the broad tip markers and prepare to interpret
their artwork.

Step 2: Exchange information.

Notes:
Ask participants to share introductory information (if you are using this
activity as an icebreaker) along with the skill they have depicted on the tent
card. If this is the first opportunity to discuss coaching skills, the skills can be
compiled on a chart as the target for training. This activity can be used to
remind the trainer of the participant expectations. This is also a good
indicator of the current skill level so that training can be adapted to meet the
needs of the audience.

Step 3: Lead a discussion as a review of this activity.

Notes:
Questions you might ask:
• What skills are essential to the effective coach?
• Which skills named do you need to improve on?
• What are your expectations for this training?
• How could you use this activity with the people you coach?

∼ 48 ∼
7
How do you rate?

Description
This activity can be used at any time during a session or as a course closure to
identify your coaching/mentoring strengths and weaknesses.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• identify their strengths and weaknesses as a coach;
• discuss their strengths and weaknesses with other participants; and
• set goals for improving their weaknesses.

Skill Areas
• Evaluation
• Goal setting
• Networking
• Course closure

Participants
Number: Any
Type: Any

Time
30 minutes

Resources
• Tent cards for names
• Pen or pencil for each participant

∼ 49 ∼
Activity 7
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Introduce the activity.

Notes:
Review the objectives.

Step 2: Participants identify their greatest strengths and weaknesses.

Notes:
Have participants write their greatest strength on the outside of their tent
cards.
Have participants write their greatest weaknesses on the inside of their tent
cards.

Step 3: Participants find a partner.

Notes:
Have participants walk around the room until they find a participant(s) who
identified as a strength something they consider to be a weakness.
Have them write down the name(s) of the person(s) whose strengths
correspond with their weaknesses.

Step 4: Set up small groups.

Notes:
Ask each participant to name one or two people who could be his/her
partner.
Use this time to identify participants who have “matching” strengths and
weaknesses.
Have participants form small groups in which people who have strengths meet
with people who have the “matching” weaknesses.
In most cases, you will have three or more people in the group. In rare
instances, you might find two people who “match” exactly.

Step 5: Begin discussions.

Notes:
Allow groups 5 to 10 minutes to discuss strengths and weaknesses with each
other.

∼ 50 ∼
Activity 7
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Step 6: Review the activity.

Notes:
Ask participants to comment on what they learned in their small group
discussions.
Have participants set goals to improve their weaknesses based on what they
learned during the discussions.
Point out the importance of networking with other people.
Encourage participants to keep in touch with the people they identified who
might be able to provide them with help for their “weaknesses” after the
course is over.

∼ 51 ∼
8
Focus on Coaching Skills

Description
This activity allows participants to interact with one another and to discuss their
strengths, weaknesses, and goals in a nonthreatening manner.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• describe their strengths and weaknesses;
• identify other group members who have similar strengths and weaknesses;
• discuss coaching skills with other group members; and
• set goals for improvement.

Skill Areas
• Building trust
• Goal setting
• Networking
• Role of coach/mentor
• Setting expectations

Participants
Number: Any
Type: Any

Time
1 hour

Resources
One copy of Exercise 8.1 for each participant

∼ 53 ∼
Activity 8
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Introduce the activity.

Notes:
Review the objectives.
Explain that participants will be working in small groups.

Step 2: Divide the group.

Notes:
Set up small groups of three to seven participants.

Step 3: Distribute one copy of Exercise 8.1 to each participant.

Notes:
Review the exercise and answer any questions participants have.

Step 4: Conduct the activity.

Notes:
Have participants fill in the top row of Exercise 8.1 with information about
themselves.
Have participants share with other people in their group what they have filled
in on their exercise. Participants should fill in their exercises with information
from other participants.
As they fill in the information, they should discuss each person’s responses.
Allow groups 30 minutes to discuss the questions and complete the exercise.

Step 5: Review the activity.

Notes:
Reassemble the group.
Discuss the exercise by reviewing the questions.
Give participants the opportunity to find others in the larger group who share
similar strengths and weaknesses.
Discuss how knowledge of these strengths and weaknesses can be used during
the training.

∼ 54 ∼
Exercise 8.1: Focus on Coaching Skills

Hot buttons
The best coach My two best that keep me Coaching skills
Name What I get paid I ever had coaching skills from being a I want to
for: was… because… are… successful improve:
coach:

∼ 55 ∼
Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by
Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.
Exercise 8.1
9
String Toss

Description
This activity can be used to brainstorm coaching skills or as a technique for
review.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• list coaching skills; and
• describe team cooperation.

Skill Areas
• Evaluation
• Networking
• Course closure

Participants
Number: 6 to 10
Type: Any

Time
10 to 15 minutes

Resources
A ball of yarn or string

∼ 57 ∼
Activity 9
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Introduce the activity.

Notes:
Ask the participants to stand and form a circle as a group. Explain that they
will take turns calling out a coaching skill while holding the end of the string
and tossing the ball to someone in the circle.

Step 2: Explain the activity.

Notes:
This activity calls for spontaneous response prompted by catching the ball of
string. Before one can toss it to another, he/she must recall or think of an
essential coaching skill.

Step 3: Conduct the activity.

Notes:
Give the ball to one of the participants and make sure he/she holds the end
of the string while tossing the ball and calling out a skill. Listen for someone
to call out “teamwork” or “team leadership” or some skill that indicates the
teaming concept. When skills have been exhausted, draw the participants’
attention to the web of string that has formed, connecting each person with
the others.

Step 4: Lead a discussion.

Notes:
Questions you might ask:
• When you observe the web that has resulted, what comes to mind?
• What happens when one person drops the string that they hold? (Instruct
someone to do just that.) Another? And another?

Step 5: Review the activity.

Notes:
While reviewing or brainstorming coaching skills, the participants have woven
a team representation. You can choose to draw that application or not,
depending upon how you use this exercise. If this activity has been an
evaluation tool, you will be able to determine course content recall by the
responses.

∼ 58 ∼
10
Let’s Have a BEER

Description
This activity provides a four-step model for criticizing and correcting behavior and
performance problems as well as an exercise to practice using the model.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• describe the four-step model;
• correct behavior in a nonthreatening manner, using the four-step process; and
• enhance the four-step process with additional coaching activities.

Skill Areas
• Analyzing performance problems
• Assertiveness
• Evaluation
• Setting expectations

Participants
Number: Any
Type: Any

Time
30 to 40 minutes

Resources
• Flipchart stand, paper, and markers
• Exercise 10.1 (optional)

∼ 59 ∼
Activity 10
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Introduce the activity.

Notes:
Ask for two volunteers for a role play. Describe the “situation” by addressing
the volunteer you select to play the role of a supervisor (be sure this person
can role play in front of a group):
You supervise a work team here at (organization). One of your best
workers is “X” (the other volunteer). “X” is always on time, doesn’t
complain, and does acceptable work.
This morning, though, one of the other members of your team took you
aside and voiced a complaint—“X” has a bad habit of picking his/her nose,
often in front of customers. It’s gotten to the point that you need to
confront “X” about this problem.
Direct the volunteer “supervisor” to face “X” and confront him/her. Allow 2
to 3 minutes, then thank both volunteers, asking the group to show special
appreciation for the effort given by the “supervisor.”

Step 2: Discuss the role play.

Notes:
Ask the participants to list all the effective things that the supervisor did. The
list will probably include:
• Used polite tone
• Expressed appreciation for “X’s” past work
• Got to the point
• Made clear what needs to be done

Step 3: Describe the model.

Notes:
Explain that you will now present a model for confronting an employee whose
behavior or performance is unsatisfactory.
Write on the flipchart:
B
E
E
R

∼ 60 ∼
Activity 10
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Explain the acronym:


B Behavior—What the employee is doing or not doing that is unacceptable
E Effect—Why the behavior is unacceptable, how it hurts productivity,
bothers others, etc.
E Expectation—What you expect the employee to do or not do to change
R Result—What will happen if the employee changes (positive tone) or the
consequences of this behavior continuing (negative tone)

Step 4: Practice the model.

Notes:
Instruct the class to recall a current or recent example of unacceptable
behavior or performance.
Have participants pair up. Have each pair practice the BEER model by
confronting each other using their own examples. Each “supervisor” will need
two to four minutes.
Option: You may choose to use Exercise 10.1 for practice.

Step 5: Summarize the activity.

Notes:
Refer once more to the BEER model. You may also have class members
volunteer additional elements that can be added to the model to make it
more supportive (such as asking the subordinate for his/her ideas to correct
the problem).

∼ 61 ∼
Exercise 10.1

Exercise 10.1: Let’s Have a BEER


1. Susan has a bad habit of speaking sharply to coworkers. She sometimes even calls
them stupid if they ask her a question. You’ve just overheard her berating a new
employee.

2. Whenever Jack makes a mistake, has a problem, or drops something, he swears


loudly. His voice carries, and other employees have occasionally complained
about his bad language. You just heard the sound of a file hitting the floor, and,
sure enough, Jack started cussing.

3. Bobbie can’t seem to remember to clean up after herself. After lunch, food
wrappers litter her area. At the end of the day, it’s not uncommon for the mess
to remain on the floor. It’s almost 5:00 now, and she’s once again showing no
signs of cleaning up.

4. Ray and Marsha are obviously attracted to each other, enough so that they
frequently spend time together that should be spent working. In fact, they are
together right now.

5. Tom is a good worker, but he has one nagging problem: he can’t seem to get back
to work on time after lunch. In fact, he just strolled back in, 15 minutes overdue.

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 63 ∼
11
Wanna BET?

Description
This activity provides a three-step process for praising employees, as well as an
opportunity to practice the model.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• describe the three-step model; and
• praise another person using the three-step process.

Skill Areas
• Recognition and reward
• Nurturing
• Evaluation

Participants
Number: Any
Type: Any

Time
10 to 15 minutes

Resources
Flipchart stand, paper, and markers

∼ 65 ∼
Activity 11
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Describe the model.

Notes:
A useful opening is to ask the class, “How many of you have been praised too
much lately?”
Explain that you will present a model for praising good performance.
Write on the flipchart:
B
E
T
Explain the acronym:
B Behavior—What the employee is doing that is valuable
E Effect—Why the performance is important; how it contributes
T Thank you—A tangible expression

Step 2: Practice the model.

Notes:
Instruct the class to recall a recent example of good performance. Have
participants pair up. Have each pair practice the BET model by praising each
other using their own examples. Each “supervisor” will need one to three
minutes.

Note: This exercise is also effective when paired with Activity 10: Let’s Have a BEER.

∼ 66 ∼
12
Making a Sandwich

Description
This activity provides participants with a simple training model and employs a
humorous approach to avoiding assumptions.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• describe an assignment or task using the Step/Key Idea outline; and
• explain the danger of making assumptions regarding others’ knowledge.

Skill Areas
• Delegating assignments
• Training

Participants
Number: 10 to 50
Type: Any

Time
30 to 45 minutes

Resources
• One copy of Exercise 12.1 for each participant
• Sandwich-making supplies: bread, peanut butter, jelly, knives, paper plates,
towels, apron, spoons, etc.

∼ 67 ∼
Activity 12
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Distribute Exercise 12.1.

Notes:
Introduce the purpose of this exercise: to describe an assignment or a task in
a step-by-step sequence.
Explain the Steps and Key Ideas of the exercise.
Steps of a task are just that—the actions necessary to complete a task. Key
Ideas include the “why” of a step (important for adults!), safety tips,
shortcuts, optional steps—any information that helps the learner.

Step 2: Provide an example.

Notes:
Illustrate the use of the Step/Key Ideas outline with an example (such as
starting a car, shaving, frying an egg, etc.). Have participants list steps and
offer their ideas for the Key Ideas column. Spend only two or three minutes
doing this.

Step 3: Lead participants in the exercise.

Notes:
Instruct participants to explain the making of a peanut butter and jelly
sandwich using the outline. Allow about seven to eight minutes. As
participants are writing, circulate through the room, selecting one or two of
the participants’ work to demonstrate. (Be sure to select examples that will
illustrate the need to be clear, avoid assumptions, keep steps in sequence,
and so forth.)
As participants continue to write, display the sandwich-making supplies.
Secure the example(s) you will use and begin making the sandwich according
to the instructions the participant wrote. Follow the steps literally, and make
the sandwich as though you’ve never seen one in your life (put the peanut
butter and jelly on opposite sides of the bread, spread jelly on the crust
edge, grab the jellied bread with your hand, use the wrong end of the knife,
etc.). When you’ve completed the “sandwich,” serve it to the participant.

Step 4: Review the activity.

Notes:
Questions you might ask:
• What does this demonstration show us about assumptions?
• Has anyone ever been surprised by someone not understanding you?

∼ 68 ∼
Exercise 12.1

Exercise 12.1: Step-by-Step

Objective or Task:

Steps Key Ideas

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 69 ∼
13
Chair Walking

Description
This activity demonstrates the necessity of trust in the coach/employee
relationship. The trainer can also use this exercise to illustrate the advantage of
networking.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• describe the feeling of trust; and
• translate the need for trust to the coach/employee relationship.

Skill Areas
• Building trust
• Networking
• Nonverbal communication

Participants
Number: Five to six per team
Type: Any

Time
20 to 30 minutes

Resources
• Five to six sturdy, straight back chairs
• One blindfold per team (optional)

∼ 71 ∼
Activity 13
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Introduce the activity.

Notes:
Explain that this activity illustrates the need to have a trusting relationship in
the workplace.
Through this activity, you can demonstrate the need for trust in the coach/
employee relationship, the advantage of networking, and the impact of
nonverbal communication.

Step 2: Explain the activity.

Notes:
After dividing the larger group into small teams of five to six, ask each team
to position straight back chairs in a line so that the sides are touching (as
closely as possible) and all chair fronts are facing in the same direction.
(Chairs with rollers on the legs will not work. The best choice of chairs are
those with flat bottoms—padded or not—with straight, sturdy legs and straight
backs.)
Each person on the team will walk, eyes closed or blindfolded, on top of the
chair seats with the guidance of team members. Team members will want to
stand alongside the chairs to give physical aid and reassurance to the
“trusting” (blindfolded) walker.
Explain that this is not a competition; it is an opportunity to experience
vulnerability and trust.
Give each team time enough to complete the exercise, with each person on
the team taking a turn at walking the length of the chairs. If someone has
vertigo, allow the person to walk without the blindfold and with eyes open.

Step 3: Observe the teams and the hesitancy or confidence exhibited.

Notes:
Attempt to determine why one team appeared to accomplish the task with
greater ease and confidence than another.

Step 4: Lead a discussion.

Notes:
Questions you might ask:
• How did you feel as you walked blindfolded or with your eyes closed?
• Would you have felt more or less confident without the help of your team
members?

∼ 72 ∼
Activity 13
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

• Have you ever lacked confidence with a task in the workplace and
depended on the support of a coach, mentor, or coworker for guidance
and direction?
• Have you ever worked in a situation where there was no trust?
• How did that affect productivity or quality?

Step 5: Review the activity.

Notes:
Questions you might ask:
• Why did we do this exercise?
• What did we learn?
• How does this illustrate coaching responsibility?

Step 6: Summarize the activity.

Notes:
Ask the participants to list the following:
1. Reasons trust is essential to coach/employee relationships.
2. Results of a trusting relationship in the workplace.

∼ 73 ∼
14
Positive Feedback

Description
This activity is useful as a summary for all or a portion of a session dealing with
interpersonal skills such as counseling or listening. It also serves as a trust builder
for participants.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• provide specific, positive feedback to fellow participants; and
• increase their comfort in giving positive feedback to another.

Skill Areas
• Communication
• Counseling
• Evaluation
• Listening
• Nurturing
• Course closure

Participants
Number: Any
Type: Any

Time
10 to 20 minutes

Resources
None

∼ 75 ∼
Activity 14
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Introduce the activity.

Notes:
Have participants pair up. Each participant is to take two to three minutes to
write down one or two skills or characteristics his or her partner has shown
during the session that is a strength in coaching.

Step 2: Conduct the activity.

Notes:
Allow four to five minutes for partners to exchange their comments.

Step 3: Review the activity.

Notes:
Questions you might ask:
• Were you comfortable giving feedback? Why or why not?
• What made giving feedback easier?
• How did it feel to receive feedback?
• What topics of our program were mentioned?
15
Goal Ladder

Description
This activity gives each participant an opportunity to set goals. It can be used to
demonstrate the need for goals and expectations in the workplace, although the
exercise will concentrate on the entirety of the individual’s life. The coach can
use this exercise to better understand what will motivate the employee as he or
she trains in a new skill.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• define goals for seven separate areas of life;
• create a set of goals for work based on the same method; and
• focus effort on areas for specific professional development.

Skill Areas
• Goal setting
• Setting expectations
• Training

Participants
Number: Any
Type: Any

Time
45 to 90 minutes

Resources
• One copy of Exercise 15.1 for each participant
• Flipchart stand, paper, and markers

∼ 77 ∼
Activity 15
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Introduce the activity.

Notes:
Explain that this activity is an opportunity to think about goals—both long-
and short-term—for several separate areas of each participant’s life. The
exercise will illustrate a technique that can be used repeatedly to update and
track both personal and professional goals. The process is easily adapted to
the workplace for setting and tracking quarterly, semi-annual, and annual
goals. It is also a method that has been used effectively for long-range
planning.

Step 2: Explain the activity.

Notes:
Distribute Exercise 15.1 to each participant. After defining each area, assure
the participants that
• there will be sufficient time allowed to complete the exercise;
• they will not be required to share the goals with anyone; and
• even though some areas are foreign (in that they have never given
thought or planning to that aspect of their life), they should attempt to
set a goal for each division. Encourage them to dream, to envision, and to
have fun with this exercise.

Step 3: Define the Goal Areas.

Notes:
Area 1—Vocation
Explain that this area focuses on job, current profession, desired profession—
what you do or plan to do to earn a living.
Area 2—Avocation
This is the recreational or leisure part of life. What do you do for fun? This
would include hobbies, sports, clubs, civic involvement, friends, or
entertainment.
Area 3—Family
Explain that these are plans regarding marriage, having children, buying
homes, taking vacations, educating someone, retiring, buying a car, planning
a family reunion, etc.
Area 4—Financial
Explain that any plans involving money, loans, or credit belong here:
establishing savings or retirement, paying off loans or credit cards,
establishing credit, purchasing insurance, paying for college, etc.

∼ 78 ∼
Activity 15
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Area 5—Physical
Ask about plans to improve or change physical condition: starting exercise or
diet program; giving up a habit; establishing a nutritional eating plan; training
for developing physical endurance (a road race, tournament, league play,
etc.). Goals that involve the body belong here.
Area 6—Mental
Ask about plans to “exercise” the mind. Explain that you want goals that will
stretch the mental capacity—reading, learning a new language, taking a class,
earning a degree, visiting local cultural spots, learning more about anything
that will improve a person mentally.
Area 7—Spiritual
Explain that humans are spiritual and ask each to consider what it is that
gives their life purpose and what offers meaning to their existence. What
goals could they establish for themselves that would bring them to a level of
greater development.

Step 4: Define the rungs of the Goal Ladder.

Notes:
Explain the rungs on the ladder as follows:
Long term. Depending on the goal area, long-term goals will vary from 6
months to 10 years. Completion of a degree program may require a long-term
goal of 6 years. Losing 20 pounds may only need 6 months. Both of these are
long-term goals and require the support of the following goal increments.
Intermediate. This could possibly be a place described as “half-way there.”
For the 8-year goal, this would be 4 years from now; for the 20 pounds, this
would be 3 months.
What we are attempting to do is establish a tracking system so that our goals
can be attainable and measurable.
Short term. This would be the goal that falls somewhere between tomorrow
and the intermediate point. For the degree program, this would be a 2-year
goal; for the weight loss, this would be a goal that comes at the 6-week point.
Remind participants to keep their goals realistic. Plan for success, not failure.
Next month. This would be a measurable point between now and the short
term.
Next week. This is self-explanatory: a tracking point for the very near future.
Tomorrow. Ask participants to plan the first thing they must do to start on
the road toward accomplishment. This is material for tomorrow’s “to do list.”

∼ 79 ∼
Activity 15
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Step 5: Conduct the activity.

Notes:
Allow participants at least 30 minutes to work through the exercise. In the
interest of time, you might suggest that they first complete each area through
the short term. Then for the three goals that seem most urgent to the
individual, they should plan activity completely through the tomorrow rung.
Experts tell us that we can only give concentrated effort to three of the areas
at a time; all the others seem to suffer or take a back seat until those areas
demand priority.

Step 6: Lead a discussion about the activity.

Notes:
Ask someone to share the goal ladder in his/her chosen area. This is strictly
voluntary, but many times people are anxious to disclose what they learned
about themselves, especially the way in which several areas are connected.
For example, the person who is planning to retire and travel in 5 years finds
that the goals of vocation, family, financial, and avocation are tied together,
and it is impossible to work on one without impacting the others.
Questions you might ask:
• How did this exercise feel?
• Was anyone uncomfortable?
• Why?
Many people feel discomfort because they are not accustomed to planning.
These are the people who live in a reactive kind of existence and the
proactive exercise of goal setting is strange and somehow threatening to
them.
Additional questions you might ask:
• What have you learned about yourself?
• How might you use this in the workplace?
• How would this facilitate your workplace production?
• In what ways would this discipline help you manage your time and
projects at work?
• In what ways could this activity enhance communication at work?
At home?

Step 7: Review the activity.

Notes:
Ask the participants:
• In what ways could you use this technique on the job to enhance
production and quality of production?

∼ 80 ∼
Activity 15
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Breaking into small groups and assigning a participant to record observations


will often create a need to work more diligently on this part of the task. It is
important that participants see the application of this tool to the professional
part of their life.

Step 8: Summarize the activity.

Notes:
List the application ideas on a flipchart or a whiteboard as they are
contributed.

∼ 81 ∼
Exercise 15.1: Goal Ladder Worksheet
Vocation Avocation Family Financial Physical Mental Spiritual

Long Term Long Term Long Term Long Term Long Term Long Term Long Term

Intermediate Intermediate Intermediate Intermediate Intermediate Intermediate Intermediate

Short Term Short Term Short Term Short Term Short Term Short Term Short Term

∼ 83 ∼
Next Month Next Month Next Month Next Month Next Month Next Month Next Month

Next Week Next Week Next Week Next Week Next Week Next Week Next Week

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.
Tomorrow Tomorrow Tomorrow Tomorrow Tomorrow Tomorrow Tomorrow
Exercise 15.1
16
Construction

Description
This activity illustrates the contribution of communication to productivity. This
exercise can also be used to demonstrate the benefit of collaboration for team
building.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• define the importance of communication for performance; and
• describe the advantages of collaboration for team production.

Skill Areas
• Analyzing performance problems
• Collaboration
• Communication
• Role of coach/mentor

Participants
Number: Five to six per group
Type: Any

Time
20 to 30 minutes

Resources
• A basic set of Tinkertoys (sticks and wheels) or building block set for each
group of five to six participants
• A picture of an object for each group to build
• A timer
• Prizes (optional)

∼ 85 ∼
Activity 16
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Introduce the activity.

Notes:
This activity is more effective if the purpose is not disclosed at the outset.
Simply inform the participants that they will divide into teams of five to six
members and be given a construction project to complete within the seven-
minute time limit. First, they are to select a team coach.

Step 2: Brief the coaches and distribute materials.

Notes:
Take the coaches out of the room. Give each coach a black-and-white picture
of an object that can be built from this particular set of building blocks or
Tinkertoys.
Instruct them to lead their team in completing the task⎯building the object
to the specification shown in the picture in the seven-minute time limit. They
may share the name of the object only. They can give verbal instructions to
the team, but they are not allowed to touch the building pieces or show the
picture to the team.

Step 3: Brief the teams.

Notes:
Explain that their task is to construct the project, according to specification,
in the seven-minute time limit. (You may want to inject the competitive
component at this point. Teams enjoy the pressure of working to “beat an
opponent.” You may also choose to award prizes to the winners. This is
completely optional. Either way, the purpose is not affected.)

Step 4: Conduct the activity.

Notes:
Set the timer and have teams begin the construction. When time has elapsed,
call “Time” to halt the construction. Check to see which team is the closest
to completion and has built the project nearest to the specifications detailed
in the picture. Award prizes, if appropriate.

Step 5: Lead a discussion about the activity.

Notes:
Questions you might ask:
• Team: How did you feel during construction? Was there any frustration?
• Coach: What would have made your leadership tasks easier?

∼ 86 ∼
Activity 16
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

• What one thing handicapped production more than any other?


• What were the advantages of constructing this project with a team? (Each
person could/did take responsibility for a different portion of the
building.)
• With the handicapped conditions under which you worked, could an
individual—the coach, for example—have constructed the project quicker
and better alone?

Step 6: Apply the activity to the workplace.

Notes:
Explain that for a team to produce to specified standards and with high
morale, communication must be open and complete. This exercise illustrated
that with communication limited (full information was known only to the
coach), the team felt frustration when trying to achieve a quality perform-
ance within time constraints.

Note: Variation

Notes:
At this point, you might consider constructing the project again under slightly
different circumstances:
1. Dismantle the project and let the teams rebuild with the picture in full
sight of everyone. Establish a competition among the teams. The first
team to finish wins.
2. Give out new project plans (a different picture) and let the teams build
using the picture as a guide and in competition with one another.
3. Change coaches and let the team use the picture and complete the first
project as soon as possible.
4. Dismantle the project and give instructions that the construction goal will
be to build the tallest, free-standing object in four minutes.

Step 7: Review the activity.

Notes:
Ask some or all of these questions:
• Why did we do this exercise?
• What did we learn about teams?
• What is the advantage of working with teams?
• What one component is absolutely essential for team production and
morale? (Communication)

∼ 87 ∼
17
Origami

Description
This activity is a variation of the previous Construction exercise but is better
suited to larger groups (for which the cost of Tinkertoys or building block sets
would be prohibitive). Use this activity to demonstrate the importance of
communication to production and collaboration.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• define the importance of communication for performance; and
• describe the advantage of collaboration for team production.

Skill Areas
• Analyzing performance problems
• Collaboration
• Role of coach/mentor

Participants
Number: Five to six per group
Type: Any

Time
20 to 30 minutes

Resources
• A 6 x 6 square piece of lightweight paper for each participant
• A simple origami (paper-folding) project picture with instructions for each
coach (Origami kits can be purchased in toyshops or bookstores and come
complete with diagrams and instructions.)

∼ 89 ∼
Activity 17
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Introduce the activity.

Notes:
This activity is more effective if the purpose is not disclosed at the outset.
Simply inform the participants that they will divide into teams of five to six
members and be given a construction project to complete within the seven-
minute time limit. First, they are to select a team coach.

Step 2: Brief the coaches and distribute materials.

Notes:
Take the coaches out of the room, and give each of them a piece of folding
paper and the picture of the object (which is the instruction information) that
their team is to fold.
Give them time to fold the object once or twice. Most people are not
generally familiar with the art of paper folding, and this practice time gives
them a chance to figure out how they will verbally communicate the
instructions to the team.
Instruct them to lead their team in completing the task⎯folding the object to
the specification shown in the picture in the seven-minute time limit. They
may share the name of the object only. They can give verbal instructions to
the team, but they are not allowed to touch anyone’s paper, show the team
the picture, or demonstrate the folding.

Step 3: Brief the teams.

Notes:
Explain that their task is to construct the project, according to specification,
in the seven-minute time limit. (You may want to inject the competitive
component at this point. Teams enjoy the pressure of working to “beat an
opponent.” You may also choose to aware prizes to the winners. This is
completely optional. Either way, the purpose is not affected.)

Step 4: Conduct the activity.

Notes:
Set the timer and have teams begin the construction. When time has elapsed,
call “Time” to halt the construction. Check to see which team is the closest
to completion and has folded their papers correctly. Award prizes, if
appropriate.

∼ 90 ∼
Activity 17
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Step 5: Lead a discussion about the activity.

Notes:
Questions you might ask:
• Team: How did you feel during construction? Was there frustration? If so,
why?
• Coach: What would have made your leadership tasks easier?
• What one thing handicapped production more than any other?
• What were the advantages of constructing this project with the other
members of the team around you?
• Would this task have been more difficult if you had been required to
construct it on your own?

Step 6: Apply the activity to the workplace.

Notes:
Explain that for a team to produce to specified standards and with high
morale, communication must be open and complete. This exercise illustrated
that with communication limited (full information was known only by the
coach), the team felt frustration when trying to achieve a quality perform-
ance within time constraints.

Step 7: Review the activity.

Notes:
Ask some or all of these questions:
• Why did we do this exercise?
• What did we learn about teams?
• What is the advantage of working with teams?
• What one component is absolutely essential for team production and
morale? (Communication)

∼ 91 ∼
18
Card Houses

Description
This activity illustrates the morale and general effectiveness of a team when
managed with a directive style in comparison to a team-building attitude
displayed by a coach.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• define the importance of communication for performance; and
• describe the advantages of collaboration for team production.

Skill Areas
• Analyzing performance problems
• Collaboration
• Role of coach/mentor

Participants
Number: Five to six per group
Type: Any

Time
20 to 30 minutes

Resources
• A package of 3 x 5 index cards for each group
• Paper clips and masking or cellulose tape
• Instructions for coaches

∼ 93 ∼
Activity 18
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Introduce the activity.

Notes:
This activity is more effective if the purpose is not disclosed at the outset.
Simply inform the participants that they will divide into teams of five to six
members and be given a construction project to complete within a five-
minute time limit. First, they are to select a team coach.

Step 2: Brief the coaches and distribute materials.

Notes:
Take the coaches out of the room. Give them a package of 3 x 5 index
cards, a box of paper clips, and a 12-inch piece of tape. Instruct that they are
to lead their team to the successful production of a card house in the time
limit allowed. The house is to be constructed from their own imagination.
They should be given a few minutes to make sketches so that you can
evaluate the finished product against the design sketch.
Tell them they will give verbal instructions only; they will not be allowed to
touch the building materials or show the sketch to the team.

Step 3: Brief the teams.

Notes:
Explain that their task is to construct the project, according to specification,
in the five-minute time limit. (You may want to inject the competitive
component at this point. Teams enjoy the pressure of working to “beat an
opponent.” You may also choose to award prizes to the winners. This is
completely optional. Either way, the purpose is not affected.)

Step 4: Conduct the activity.

Notes:
Set the timer and have teams begin the construction. When time has elapsed,
call “Time” to halt the construction. Check to see which team is the closest
to completion and has built the project nearest to the specifications detailed
in the picture. Award prizes, if appropriate.

∼ 94 ∼
Activity 18
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Step 5: Lead a discussion about the activity.

Notes:
Questions you might ask:
• Team: How did you feel during construction? Was there any frustration?
• Coach: What would have made your leadership tasks easier?
• What one thing handicapped production more than any other?
• What were the advantages of constructing this project with a team?
(Each person could/did take responsibility for a different portion of the
building.)
• With the handicapped conditions under which you worked, could an
individual—the coach, for example—have constructed the project quicker
and better alone?

Step 6: Apply the activity to the workplace.

Notes:
Explain that for a team to produce to specified standards and with high
morale, communication must be open and complete. This exercise illustrated
that with communication limited (full information was known only by the
coach), the team felt frustration when trying to achieve a quality perform-
ance within time constraints.

Note: Variation

Notes:
At this point, you might consider constructing the project again under slightly
different circumstances. For example:
1. The first construction exercise was conducted under a highly directive
coaching style. This time use the team approach to leadership and allow
the team to design and construct their own creation. Lead a discussion
about the differences in attitude when everyone had a part in planning
the actual construction and reward of fulfillment.
2. In contrast to the original directive coaching style, give the coaches
instructions to adopt a completely laissez-faire attitude. Using the hands-
off approach, the coach gives the team only a general description of the
house (for example, a two-story colonial, a rambling bungalow with two-
car garage). From that point, the team will operate on its own. This
variation is more effective when used with an observer who records the
group dynamics and reports those during the discussion.

∼ 95 ∼
Activity 18
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Step 7: Review the activity.

Notes:
Ask some or all of these questions:
• Why did we do this exercise?
• What did we learn about teams?
• What is the advantage of working with teams?
• What one component is absolutely essential for team production and
morale? (Communication)

∼ 96 ∼
19
Idea Exchange

Description
This activity provides participants a way to initially explore a topic by listing their
own successful experiences with it.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• list 5 to 10 successful strategies for goal setting; and
• describe personal goal-setting strategies.

Skill Areas
• Icebreaker
• Goal setting
• Training
• Delegating
• Course closure
(Note: This activity is also appropriate for other topics, such as counseling,
communicating, etc.)

Participants
Number: 12 to 30
Type: Any

Time
10 to 20 minutes

Resources
• 3 x 5 index cards
• Flipchart stand, paper, and markers

∼ 97 ∼
Activity 19
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Begin the activity.

Notes:
Distribute index cards, one per participant. Instruct participants to write
down their most successful strategy for goal setting.
Collect the cards and shuffle them (or mix them in a hat). Redistribute them
to the group, one per participant.

Step 2: Facilitate group reports.

Notes:
Divide the class into groups of five to seven. Instruct the groups to select the
two best strategies they have. Allow five minutes.
Have each group volunteer one idea at a time as you list them on the
flipchart.

∼ 98 ∼
20
Reel Movies

Description
This activity uses clips of real Hollywood movies on DVD (as opposed to training
DVDs) to illustrate effective and ineffective coaching techniques. This is an
enjoyable and effective exercise that energizes participants.*

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• recognize some effective coaching behavior;
• contrast effective behavior with ineffective behavior; and
• forecast the production for various coaching behaviors.

Skill Areas
• Role of coach/mentor
• Training

Participants
Number: Any
Type: Any

Time
10 to 15 minutes per clip

Resources
• DVD player and monitor
• A movie DVD with appropriate credit and acknowledgment cued to the clip

*Adapted from an idea originally used by Sylvia Roba, St. Luke’s Hospital, Davenport, Iowa.

∼ 99 ∼
Activity 20
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Prepare the activity.

Notes:
To conduct this activity, you must select a portion of a movie that depicts the
skill, or lack of skill, that you are attempting to illustrate to the coaches. For
example, there are several examples of ineffective leadership in the movies
Joe Versus the Volcano and Shock to the System. It is helpful if you are
familiar with the movies and if you watch them for illustrations of the skills
that you want to teach.

It is in violation of copyright laws to copy any portion of a movie, so it is


necessary to acknowledge and credit the movie DVD and cue it (run it to
the place of the clip) prior to use in training. If you are in question about
copyright restrictions, the American Society of Training and Development
supplies a Copyright Information Kit by request. There may be a fee.

This is a highly effective training technique when used properly. Anyone who
goes to the movies or rents DVDs has made coaching application for them-
selves when watching various scenes. When you use this glitzy illustration
technique, it can have high impact.

Step 2: Introduce the activity.

Notes:
Explain that you will show a clip from a real movie that illustrates an aspect
of a coaching behavior. You may choose a clip that displays an effective
behavior or an example of ineffective skill.
“Set up” the clip by explaining something about the story line, the
characters, and what is happening. Explain only those elements that
participants can actually apply to the training.

Step 3: Show the clip.

Notes:
Make sure the monitor is large enough for everyone to see. Adjust the volume
so that everyone can hear. If the group is large, you will need a larger screen
or multiple monitors with a single hook-up.

∼ 100 ∼
Activity 20
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Step 4: Lead a discussion about the clip and the skill that was illustrated.

Notes:
Questions you might ask:
• How does this clip support or refute the principles or techniques we have
been exploring?
• Have you ever experienced someone who operated in this fashion?
• What was your response to that person’s method?
• What was the general morale?
• What do you believe to be the morale or attitude of those in this movie?

Step 5: Review the activity.

Notes:
Questions you might ask:
• Why did we view this movie clip?
• What application can we make from the contrast (or similarity)?
• What have we learned with this illustration?

Author’s note:
I have used this technique for years, and it has always been met with
resounding positive response. It does take some effort and there is a cost
investment, but it is another highly effective way to present the material. I
find that participants remember the concept better as a result of this tool.

∼ 101 ∼
21
Coaches Bowl

Description
This activity provides a fun and interesting way to review course material. This
activity can also be used to review individual sessions within a longer course.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• evaluate their knowledge of key learning points; and
• evaluate the knowledge of other participants.

Skill Areas
• Role of coach/mentor
• Course closure

Participants
Number: Any
Type: Any

Time
1 hour

Resources
• 20 3 x 5 index cards
• Pen or pencil for each participant
• Flipchart stand, paper, and markers
• Noise makers (optional)
• Prizes (optional)

∼ 103 ∼
Activity 21
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Introduce the activity.

Notes:
Explain what material will be covered during the activity.
Explain how the game will be played (refer to Step 4).

Step 2: Prepare materials.

Notes:
Divide the group into two teams.
Give each team 10 index cards.
Allow 15 minutes for each team to write 10 questions and answers based on
the material to be covered. The question should be written on one side of the
card and the answer on the other.
While teams are writing their questions, prepare a flipchart to use for keeping
score. Divide the chart into two columns and write the team names at the top
of each column.

Step 3: Set up the game area.

Notes:
Select one to four participants from each team to represent their respective
teams.
Seat the players at separate tables facing you. You will act as the moderator
for the game.
Determine how players will signal when they want to answer a question. (This
is where noise makers can be used, or you could have one team shout
“Green” and the other team shout “Red.”)

Step 4: Conduct the activity.

Notes:
Randomly select 15 of the cards for the game. Keep 5 in reserve as substitutes
in case some questions don’t work as planned. Note: Use an uneven number
of cards to prevent ties. It’s okay if teams get the questions they wrote since
the objective is to review material, not just to “win” the game.
Shuffle the 15 cards and draw them one at a time.
Read the questions. Players signal when they want to try to answer a
question. If no one responds within 15 seconds, read the answer and discuss
it. Then go on to the next question.

∼ 104 ∼
Activity 21
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

If the question is answered correctly, award 10 points. If the question is


answered incorrectly, do not deduct points. Give the other team a chance to
answer the question.
Option: You may want to deduct 5 points if teams signal to answer before you
finish reading the question and they answer it incorrectly.
Option: Players on the other team can challenge the “correct” answer. If
their challenge is a better answer, award them 10 points instead of the team
that originally answered the question. You will be the judge in these
situations.
Record scores on the flipchart.
The game is over after 15 questions have been asked.
Option: Award prizes.

Step 5: Review the activity.

Notes:
Summarize objectives and how they were met.
Reinforce the importance of participants’ applying the knowledge on the job
to be effective coaches for their people.

∼ 105 ∼
22
How am I doing?

Description
This activity provides participants with the opportunity to evaluate the quantity
and quality of feedback they provide as coaches. They will also be able to survey
their employees to determine their perceptions about the quantity and quality of
the feedback they receive.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• evaluate the feedback they provide others;
• describe the importance of providing regular feedback; and
• use a feedback tool to survey their employees.

Skill Areas
• Counseling
• Listening
• Recognition and reward
• Setting expectations

Participants
Number: Any
Type: Any

Time
30 to 45 minutes

Resources
• One copy each of Exercises 22.1 through 22.3 for each participant
• Paper and pencil or pen for each participant

∼ 107 ∼
Activity 22
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Introduce the activity and prepare the participants for the questionnaire.

Notes:
Explain that effective coaches provide regular performance feedback to the
people with whom they work. The feedback may be either positive or
corrective.
Most people want and need regular feedback about their performance. In
fact, it has been estimated that 80 percent of the performance problems that
occur on the job could be solved if supervisors gave better feedback more
often.
Author Ken Blanchard says, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” Ask
participants: “What do you think he means by that?”
Ask participants to think about the best coaches they have had. Ask: “Did
they provide a lot of feedback? What kind of feedback?”
Most supervisors think they do a good job of providing feedback to their
employees.

Step 2: Distribute Exercise 22.1.

Notes:
Read instructions together and have participants complete the exercise.

Step 3: Discuss the activity.

Notes:
Ask participants about their scores.
Questions you might ask:
• What were your highest/lowest scores?
• Why are these the highest/lowest?
• What benefit would there be to your employees if you raised your lower
scores?
• How do you think your employees would respond to similar questions
about your feedback style?
Explain that when employees are asked about their supervisor’s feedback,
many employees don’t have the same perceptions as their supervisors about
the quantity and quality of feedback they receive.
It has been estimated that people do things right 80 percent of the time. Yet
they rarely get 80/20 feedback (80 percent positive/20 percent corrective).

∼ 108 ∼
Activity 22
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

One employee survey found that poor use of corrective feedback was listed
among the top five causes of conflict at work. Poorly handled criticism was
noted as a significant source of friction. These people said they would be less
likely to cooperate or collaborate with their critics in the future.

Step 4: Discuss giving positive feedback.

Notes:
Key points you should make:
• Positive feedback (recognition) strengthens performance. Some
supervisors think that as long as they don’t tell someone there is a
problem, the person will assume everything is okay.
• These supervisors don’t realize that most people are motivated by the
desire to succeed and achieve results—as long as someone recognizes
their efforts. People will work hard and long and go to extraordinary
lengths if they know what they do is appreciated and recognized.

Step 5: Discuss giving corrective feedback.

Notes:
Key points you should make:
• As a coach, your time and effort should be focused on being positive.
Despite your best efforts, there will be times when your people don’t
meet performance standards.
• The goal for giving corrective feedback is to eliminate the behavior that
caused the problem.
• After giving corrective feedback, it’s important that you follow up. When
the performance improves or meets established standards, provide
positive feedback. If performance is still unacceptable, repeat the
corrective feedback.

Step 6: Distribute Exercise 22.2 and explain its use.

Notes:
Explain how this tool gives supervisors a chance to see if their perceptions
match their employees’ perceptions.
Explain that the survey should be anonymous in order to obtain honest
feedback.
Recommend that supervisors distribute the surveys to employees at a group
meeting and explain the reason for doing the survey.
Recommend that employees mail the surveys back to the supervisors.

∼ 109 ∼
Activity 22
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Step 7: Distribute Exercise 22.3 and explain its use.

Notes:
Explain how to use this sheet to compare their perceptions with those of their
employees.
Explain the importance of looking for trends in responses.
Participants should be cautioned against trying to determine who completed
the individual surveys.
Encourage participants to have a group follow-up meeting with their
employees and discuss what they learned from the employees’ surveys and
what, if anything, they plan to do differently.

Step 8: Review the activity.

Notes:
Conclude by answering questions and briefly reviewing the importance of
providing feedback.
If you will be meeting with participants again in a few days or weeks, you
might assign them to tally their employee surveys and bring the results to
class for discussion.

∼ 110 ∼
Exercise 22.1

Exercise 22.1: Rate Your Use of Feedback


Read each statement below and circle the number that you think best describes the
feedback you give to your employees.

I think that I. . .
Rarely Sometimes Often
1. Provide positive feedback. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

2. Provide specific feedback. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

3. Provide sincere feedback. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

4. Give corrective feedback. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

5. Criticize behavior, not the person. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

6. Provide help to improve. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

7. Try to find the good in things rather 1 2 3 4 5 6 7


than the bad.

8. Focus on what’s right. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

9. Listen to employees. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

10. Use graphs, charts, etc., to provide 1 2 3 4 5 6 7


feedback.

11. Offer support to employees. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

12. Pass on positive feedback received 1 2 3 4 5 6 7


from others.

13. Praise more than criticize. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Total Score:

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 111 ∼
Exercise 22.2

Exercise 22.2: Rate Your Boss’s Use of Feedback


Read each statement below and circle the number that you think best describes the
feedback your boss gives to you.

I think that my boss. . .


Rarely Sometimes Often
1. Provides positive feedback. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

2. Provides specific feedback. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

3. Provides sincere feedback. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

4. Gives corrective feedback. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

5. Criticizes behavior, not the person. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

6. Provides help to improve. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

7. Tries to find the good in things 1 2 3 4 5 6 7


rather than the bad.

8. Focuses on what’s right. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

9. Listens to employees. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

10. Uses graphs, charts, etc., to provide 1 2 3 4 5 6 7


feedback.

11. Offers support to employees. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

12. Passes on positive feedback received 1 2 3 4 5 6 7


from others.

13. Praises more than criticizes. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Total Score:

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 113 ∼
Exercise 22.3

Exercise 22.3: Feedback Perception Comparison


For each statement below, indicate the score (1, 3, etc.) that you gave yourself for
each item. Use the spaces to the right to indicate your employees’ scores for the
same items. Use additional sheets if needed.

Then determine the average score of the employee responses (columns E1, E2, etc.)
for each item and compare it with your average score. Differences of 2.5 or more can
indicate areas where improvement may be needed.

Mine E1 E2 E3 E4 E5 Avg.

1. Provides positive feedback

2. Provides specific feedback

3. Provides sincere feedback

4. Gives corrective feedback

5. Criticizes behavior, not the


person

6. Provides help to improve

7. Tries to find the good in things


rather than the bad

8. Focuses on what’s right

9. Listens to employees

10. Uses graphs, charts, etc., to


provide feedback

11. Offers support to employees

12. Passes on positive feedback


received from others

13. Praises more than criticizes

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 115 ∼
23
Trivia Quiz

Description
This activity is a tool for summarizing the important points covered in a coaching
program.

Objective
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to list and discuss key
learning points covered in a program.

Skill Areas
• Role of coach/mentor
• Course closure

Participants
Number: 12 to 30
Type: Any

Time
10 to 15 minutes

Resources
10 to 20 bells, buzzers, other signaling devices

∼ 117 ∼
Activity 23
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Prepare the activity.

Notes:
Before class begins, prepare a list of quiz questions that include both program
topics and trivia. These questions will serve as a review of a half-day or one-
day body of information. A typical list for part of a unit on communication
skills might include:
• Who was Fred Astaire’s dancing sister? (Adele Astaire)
• What do you call a question that forces someone to answer in a pre-
determined manner? (a leading question)
• What president caught pneumonia at his inauguration and served only one
month? (William Henry Harrison)
• What is the listening technique that has listeners repeat in their own
words what they heard another person say? (paraphrasing)
• Name three of the states that border on Missouri. (Kansas, Arkansas,
Illinois, Ohio)
• Name two positive and two negative listening behaviors. (Positive:
reflective listening, open posture, eye contact, etc. Negative:
interrupting, loaded questions, sarcasm, etc.)
• There is only one state that starts with the letter P. What is it?
(Pennsylvania)
• Which is a stronger communication channel, verbal or nonverbal?
(nonverbal)

Step 2: Conduct the activity.

Notes:
Divide the class into teams of four to seven participants. (You may also wish
to assign a panel of “judges.”)
Ask the trivia questions. The first team to ring the buzzer or bell may answer.
If they are right, they score one point. (You may assign a higher point value
for tougher questions.) If they are wrong, the next team to ring the buzzer
may answer. The team with the most points “wins.”

∼ 118 ∼
24
Dueling Families

Description
This activity works well to evaluate learning and/or to illustrate the effectiveness
of appropriate coaching skills.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• recite learning to this point;
• interpret the nonverbal communication of coach and team members; and
• collaborate to effectively produce team effort.

Skill Areas
• Assertiveness
• Evaluation
• Course closure

Participants
Number: Two teams of four to six each
Type: Any

Time
1 hour

Resources
• One copy of Exercise 24.1 for each of the team coaches
• Prepared questions for material covered to this point in training
• Instructions for the teams and the coaches
• A timer
• A scoreboard (flipchart or whiteboard) and markers
• Prizes (optional)

∼ 119 ∼
Activity 24
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Pre-course work.

Notes:
In advance, you will need to prepare questions that have multi-part answers.
Take these questions and answers from the material that has been covered in
the training to this point.
Print out the answers to each question separately on paper or poster board. It
will be necessary to display the answers as they are called out correctly by
the team members so provision should be made for adequate display.
Probably the best method of display is either a flannel board (which you can
make or purchase) or stick-on Velcro™ mounted to a large board with
corresponding Velcro™ on the back of each answer.
In some situations, there is enough tray space below chalkboards or
whiteboards to hold the answers.
You will need to prepare either four, six, or eight questions with multi-part
answers. An example of such a question would be:
Q: What are six characteristics of an effective team member?
A: Honest, open, unafraid of conflict, self-confident, good listener, flexible,
tolerant, etc.
Even numbers of questions ensure that both teams have equal opportunity to
play and to score even though the rules or play will allow each team to play
or pass when they receive that option.

Step 1: Introduce the activity.

Notes:
Explain that the group will divide into two teams of four to six participants
per team. Each team will need to pick a coach. Explain that the teams will
compete against one another in a friendly version of the TV game show Family
Feud. Taking turns, the teams will be asked questions with multi-part
answers. Each team member will have an opportunity to contribute a part of
the answer in the order in which they stand. For each complete answer (all
parts correctly identified), the team will be awarded 50 points. If only part of
the question is answered correctly, they will receive 25 points and the other
team will have a chance to complete the answer. If the opposing team can
complete the answers, they will receive 50 points; if not, they receive
nothing but have the opportunity to play or pass the question to the other
team. Sometimes it is advantageous to pass, especially if the question is
difficult and you think your team knows only part of the answer—a part they
may be able to contribute later when the other team is stymied.

∼ 120 ∼
Activity 24
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Step 2: Brief the coaches and distribute Exercise 24.1.

Notes:
Explain to coaches that they speak for their team on matters of general
interest. For example, after conferring with the team, they express the
team’s wish to play or pass to the other. In tiebreaker or grand prize
categories, they will lead as the team decides who will be the spokesperson.
Give the coaches a copy of the exercise and ask that they discuss the rules
with their teams. Allow 5 to 10 minutes for review of the rules and material
prior to play. No materials will be used for reference during play.

Step 3: Conduct the activity.

Notes:
1. With the teams lined up on opposite sides, flip a coin to determine who
will have the first option to answer.
2. Display or ask the question.
3. Allow the team who won the coin toss to confer and choose to play or
pass.
4. The first team attempting to answer the question gets 50 percent more
opportunities to answer than there are parts to the answer. Example: If
the answer has 6 parts, the team gets nine chances; if the answer has five
parts, the team gets eight chances. If the team has still not arrived at all
of the correct answers, it receives 25 points for the answers given
correctly, and the turn passes to the other team.
5. The opposing team gets one chance for each missing part. If the team
answers correctly, it gets 50 points. If the team cannot fill in the missing
parts with correct answers, it does not score but has the opportunity to
play or pass the next question.
6. If the original team correctly answers all parts and scores the 50 points,
the opposing team gets the option to play or pass.
7. Play continues until even rounds have been played (four, six, or eight
questions).
8. If the score is tied, each team chooses a representative and the first to
answer the tiebreaker question correctly wins the game for his/her team.
9. Prizes can be awarded if that option has been chosen.

∼ 121 ∼
Activity 24
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Step 4: Review the activity.

Notes:
Ask some or all of these questions:
• What did we just do?
• What was the purpose of this exercise? (Most of the time the participants
are amazed that they just reviewed most of the material covered and had
fun doing it.)
• How could you use this technique, or a form of this technique, for those
whom you coach?

∼ 122 ∼
Exercise 24.1

Exercise 24.1: Dueling Families


Instructions for the coach:
As coach, the team will depend on your leadership for direction but not for the
answers. As a team, or one of the “dueling families,” you will strategize playing or
passing options in an attempt to answer more questions correctly when it is your turn
to play. The purpose of the exercise is to score more points for your team than the
other one scores.

You will be given time to meet with your team to review the rules for play and the
materials over which play will be based. When it is time to play:

1. Your team will line up opposite the other. The way in which you line up could
be critical. Each person will take turns giving an answer. Consider how that
might influence scoring.

2. A question will be asked or displayed. No reference materials will be allowed.

3. The team that won the toss will have the option (after considering the
question) to play and attempt to answer or to pass and give the question to
the other team.

4. The team that plays will give answers in the order that they stand in line.
The individual will receive no help, only encouragement, from the other
“family” members. There will be 50 percent more opportunity to respond to
the question correctly than there are answers. For example, if there are four
answers, the team would have six chances to get them right. If all parts are
answered correctly, the team receives 50 points. For even a portion of
correct answers, the team will receive 25 points.

5. If the team cannot answer all parts correctly, the other team gets the chance
to try. If the opposing team gets all the remaining portions correct, it
receives 50 points. If the opposing team cannot, it receives nothing but the
option to play or pass to the next question.

6. Play continues until all rounds have been completed. In case of a tie, each
team will confer and appoint a team representative to play in a tiebreaker.

7. The first person to answer the tiebreaker question correctly wins the game
for his/her “dueling family.” Once chosen to speak for the team, that person
will not be able to confer with the others about the answer.

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 123 ∼
25
Concentrate on. . .

Description
This activity can be used as an introduction to training or as a review technique.
It can be used in triads or with the larger group divided into teams working in
competition.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• recognize certain aspects of any topic; and
• review personal knowledge level and recall ability.

Skill Areas
• Orientation
• Training
• Course closure

Participants
Number: Any
Type: Any

Time
30 to 45 minutes

Resources
• Play card(s); either one large, for use by the entire group divided into two
teams, or enough for groups of three (see “Method”)
• Flipchart stand and paper or whiteboard and marker to be used for keeping
score for a large group
• Trainer’s Notes

∼ 125 ∼
Activity 25
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Prepare the activity (see Trainer’s Notes).

Notes:
You will need to prepare play card(s) based on the topic.
Cards can be small (8½ x 11) for using with groups of three, or a large play
card can be prepared on a flipchart page or poster board for larger groups.
When preparing the play card, remember to devise some method by which the
words can be covered until correctly identified in matching pairs. Playing
pieces such as checkers, buttons, or bottle caps can be used for the smaller
version. For the larger version, you can use Velcro™ on paper or poster board.
Magnetic strips can be used on a metal whiteboard. Number the outside so
that players call them as they attempt to match pairs.

Step 2: Introduce the activity.

Notes:
Explain that this activity will be used to either:
• Review the material just covered.
• Introduce the material to be covered.
• Explain that the exercise will work similar to the TV game show
Concentration. The object is to uncover matching pairs. When a person or
team remembers correctly and uncovers a pair, they score a point and get
to play again. When all the pairs have been matched, the person or team
with the highest score wins. Explain that actually everyone wins.
Everyone will have either been introduced to the new material or will
have reviewed the material just covered.

Step 3: Distribute materials if the group is playing in teams of three.

Notes:
Ask the group of three to decide which two participants will play and who will
keep score. Ask the participant keeping score and observing the play to cover
the words so that the other two can’t see. Allow play to continue until all
groups are finished.

Step 4: Begin play if two large teams are playing.

Notes:
Ask each team to appoint a representative who will play for the team. Play
starts with the team rep who wins the coin toss. That person continues to play
until unable to make a match. When that occurs, it is the opponent’s turn.

∼ 126 ∼
Activity 25
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Suggest that, while not calling out the matches, the team verbally encourage
their representative with enthusiasm. Play until all matches are made. Tally
the scores to determine the “winner.”

Step 5: Lead a discussion.

Notes:
If you are using this as an introduction, begin at this point to train the
participants. You can ask them to introduce themselves by identifying which
of the roles, skills, or concepts they need the most. You will have the
beginnings of a class needs assessment.
If this is a review technique, you will want to congratulate the participants on
how well they did.

Step 6: Review the activity.

Notes:
Questions you might ask:
• Which of these are easiest for you?
• Which are more difficult?
• Which are least often evident in your workplace?
• What benefit would result if all aspects were routinely apparent?

∼ 127 ∼
Trainer’s Notes

Trainer’s Notes: Sample Game


Coaching Roles

Negotiator Counselor Mentor Negotiator

Director Teacher Counselor Sponsor

Mentor Leader Listener Advocate

Leader Director Trainer Sponsor

Advocate Listener Trainer Teacher

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 129 ∼
26
Coaching Challenge

Description
This activity can be used to review key concepts presented during the training. It
can, at your option, also be used to create fun competition among participants.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• define key terms related to the role of the coach/mentor; and
• describe the importance of various coaching roles

Skill Areas
• Role of coach/mentor
• Course closure

Participants
Number: Any
Type: Any

Time
30 minutes

Resources
• Trainer’s Notes
• One copy of Exercise 26.1 for each participant
• Pen or pencil for each participant
• Prizes for winners (optional)

∼ 131 ∼
Activity 26
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Prepare the activity.

Notes:
Decide if the game will be played by individuals or teams.
Decide if you want to provide “prizes” to the winners.

Step 2: Introduce the activity.

Notes:
Review the objectives.

Step 3: Distribute Exercise 26.1.

Notes:
Have participants fill out their game cards. Random assignment of terms is
best so that cards are different.

Step 4: Explain the rules.

Notes:
You will provide only the definitions of coaching/mentoring terms.
Participants will find the correct answer and mark it with an “X.”
The first person/team to get five in a row vertically, horizontally, or
diagonally wins, provided they can explain the importance of the roles they
have marked.
The person/team is asked to read the terms that are marked. If they have
marked the correct term, they will then explain why that role is important for
a coach. If the explanation is satisfactory, they keep the “X.” If the
explanation is not satisfactory, another person/team can win the “X” by
giving the correct explanation.

Step 5: Conduct the activity.

Notes:
Read definitions one at a time.
Play until there is a winner.
Participants must be able to both identify the term and explain its
importance.
Award prizes to winners (optional).

∼ 132 ∼
Activity 26
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Continue playing until there are winners in all directions (horizontally,


vertically, and diagonally). Do not start a new game each time. Continue
from where you left off with the previous winner.
Go for “blackout” if time permits.

Step 6: Review the activity.

Notes:
Summarize objectives and discuss any questions participants have.

∼ 133 ∼
Trainer’s Notes

Trainer’s Notes: Coaching Definitions


Use the following definitions or modify the list as necessary to fit with your course
materials.

Use the definitions in any order.

Number the definitions as you use them so that you can repeat the order when
checking winners’ results.

Feedback Information given to employees to let them know how they are doing on a
daily basis.
Mentor A person who provides guidance and feedback to another person on a
regular basis.
Orientation The process of getting a new person started.
Goal An object or end that one strives to attain; it should be realistic and
attainable.
Communication The act of exchanging information; it works best if it’s two way.
Appraisal A formal method of providing feedback.
Listening A skill that allows coaches to find out what their people are thinking.
Trust Confidence in another person’s honesty; it has to be earned, not
demanded.
Training The process of helping an employee learn a new skill.
Teamwork The active participation of all members toward the same goal.
Networking The practice of using other people as resources in gathering information.
Performance The act of executing; it’s what really matters.
Recognition The act of letting employees know that their good work is appreciated.
Delegating The act of giving an employee the authority and responsibility to
complete a task.
Counseling An activity reserved for serious performance problems.
Expectations The performance that is expected; whatever they are, performance is
likely to be similar.

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 135 ∼
Exercise 26.1

Exercise 26.1: Coaching Challenge


Instructions:
Write the terms below in the squares in the matrix, one term per square. You choose
the square where you want to write the term. When you are finished, you will have
created your own individual “Coaching Challenge” game card.

Listening Appraisal Delegating Trust


Performance Expectations Recognition Training
Teamwork Counseling Networking Goal
Feedback Communication Orientation Mentor

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 137 ∼
27
Opposite Poles

Description
This activity enables participants to identify key benefits and problems associated
with delegating. It is also useful for an initial small group activity.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• list and discuss key benefits in delegating; and
• develop ways to overcome the disadvantages of delegating.

Skill Areas
• Icebreaker
• Delegation
• Setting expectations

Participants
Number: 12 to 40
Type: Supervisors or managers

Time
30 minutes

Resources
• Flipchart stand, paper, and markers
• 3 x 5 index cards

∼ 139 ∼
Activity 27
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Introduce the activity.

Notes:
Divide the class into groups of five to seven participants each. Instruct the
groups to develop a list of the most significant benefits of delegating and the
two biggest problems associated with delegating. Each is to be written on a
3 x 5 index card.

Step 2: Conduct the activity.

Notes:
Groups are to volunteer the benefits they listed, one at a time. Write each on
the flipchart. When all the benefits have been listed, instruct the groups to
exchange the problems they listed with those of another group. Give them 10
minutes to brainstorm ways of overcoming or minimizing the problems.

Step 3: Facilitate discussion.

Notes:
At the end of 10 minutes, have each group volunteer the two or three
solutions they like the most. List these on the flipchart, along with the
“problem” they attacked.
Note: This activity is useful for introducing many topics, especially those that
may be perceived as having disadvantages such as counseling, criticizing, etc.

∼ 140 ∼
28
Nonverbal Behaviors

Description
This is a “fish bowl” exercise to provide participants with practice in identifying
positive and negative communication behaviors.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• recognize when they are engaging in effective or ineffective listening
behaviors; and
• identify listening behaviors in others.

Skill Areas
• Communication
• Listening
• Nonverbal communication

Participants
Number: 16 to 30
Type: Any

Time
60 to 90 minutes

Resources
• One copy each of Exercises 28.1 through 28.4 for each participant
• Flipchart stand, paper, and markers

∼ 141 ∼
Activity 28
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Introduce the activity.

Notes:
Tell participants that the purpose of this exercise is to see communication in
action.
Separate the class into two groups, one of 6 to 12 participants, and the other
of all the remaining participants. The first group will be the “committee,”
and the second group will be observers.
Distribute copies of Exercises 28.1 and 28.2 to alternating committee
members (designate them as As and Bs) and Exercises 28.3 and 28.4 to
alternating observers (also designated as As and Bs).

Step 2: Conduct the activity.

Notes:
Give the committee 30 to 40 minutes to discuss the issue of whom to hire for
the position of executive director.

Step 3: Discuss the communication process.

Notes:
Ask observers to share their notes (one observation at a time, per observer, so
that all are able to contribute). Write their remarks on a flipchart marked
“Positive Behaviors” and “Negative Behaviors.”
Questions you might ask:
• Did any of these behaviors go unnoticed by the committee members?
• Did any of these behaviors create feelings among the committee members
(either positive or negative)?
• Did committee members try to overcome the effects of the negative
behaviors? If so, how?
• Which of these behaviors do we find ourselves performing?

∼ 142 ∼
Exercise 28.1

Exercise 28.1: Discussion


Instructions—Committee Member A
You are a member of the search committee to hire a new executive director for the
local chapter of the United Way. Your chapter, the United Way of Mid-America, is a
fairly large one, serving seven counties with a total population of 450,000. Your
chapter supports over 30 agencies, including very active Red Cross and Salvation Army
chapters. Mid-America has a staff of 30 full-time employees and 5 part-time
employees. The position pays $50,000 per year.

You have narrowed your list to four candidates and must select one during today’s
meeting. All are from outside your area:

Fred Baxter Age 59, married with four grown children. Degree: MBA. Was
most recently vice president of Sales for a manufacturer of
light aircraft. Has chaired several successful United Way
campaigns. Would encourage support of more agencies while
expecting established agencies to gradually develop more of
their own funding sources.

Wilma Johnson Age 45, married, no children. Degree: BS, Psychology. Was
most recently director of Development for a state university
with 20,000 students. Has been a volunteer on a number of
fundraising efforts. Would set a goal of increasing local
support to 125 percent of present level and use the additional
funds to finance new agencies, especially those helping
unemployed and hopeless.

Larry Reynolds Age 37, married with two children. Degree: MS, Education.
Was most recently director of a Red Cross chapter with 21
employees. Has chaired another chapter Fund Allocation
Committee for three years. Would place emphasis on
children’s issues.

David Espinoza Age 42, divorced with custody of one child. Was most recently
owner of his own computer software company (which he sold
at a fair profit). Has led successful special event fundraisers.
Advocates more careful scrutiny and auditing of agencies.
Would heighten fundraising efforts and emphasize counseling
for families.

(Continued)

∼ 143 ∼
Exercise 28.1 (concluded)

Throughout your discussion, do your best to practice positive communication


behaviors, such as:

• Exhibiting an “inviting,” involved posture


• Encouraging others to contribute
• Maintaining eye contact
• Making your comments clearly and concisely
• Listening without interrupting
• Clarifying others’ comments
• Helping to resolve conflicts

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 144 ∼
Exercise 28.2

Exercise 28.2: Discussion


Instructions—Committee Member B
You are a member of the search committee to hire a new executive director for the
local chapter of the United Way. Your chapter, the United Way of Mid-America, is a
fairly large one, serving seven counties with a total population of 450,000. Your
chapter supports over 30 agencies, including very active Red Cross and Salvation Army
chapters. Mid-America has a staff of 30 full-time employees and 5 part-time
employees. The position pays $50,000 per year.

You have narrowed your list to four candidates and must select one during today’s
meeting. All are from outside your area:

Fred Baxter Age 59, married with four grown children. Degree: MBA. Was
most recently vice president of Sales for a manufacturer of
light aircraft. Has chaired several successful United Way
campaigns. Would encourage support of more agencies while
expecting established agencies to gradually develop more of
their own funding sources.

Wilma Johnson Age 45, married, no children. Degree: BS, Psychology. Was
most recently director of Development for a state university
with 20,000 students. Has been a volunteer on a number of
fundraising efforts. Would set a goal of increasing local
support to 125 percent of present level and use the additional
funds to finance new agencies, especially those helping
unemployed and hopeless.

Larry Reynolds Age 37, married with two children. Degree: MS, Education.
Was most recently director of a Red Cross chapter with 21
employees. Has chaired another chapter Fund Allocation
Committee for three years. Would place emphasis on
children’s issues.

David Espinoza Age 42, divorced with custody of one child. Was most recently
owner of his own computer software company (which he sold
at a fair profit). Has led successful special event fundraisers.
Advocates more careful scrutiny and auditing of agencies.
Would heighten fundraising efforts and emphasize counseling
for families.

(Continued)

∼ 145 ∼
Exercise 28.2 (concluded)

Throughout your discussion, display negative communication behaviors, such as:

• Exhibiting a closed or uninterested posture


• Interrupting others
• Looking away, cleaning nails, etc.
• Using sarcasm
• Asking “quiz questions”
• Judging others’ ideas
• Wandering off-track
• Creating conflict or arguments

It is important that you be realistic in your behaviors. Several of your committee


members will receive these same instructions, so you don’t have to display all of
these negative behaviors yourself.

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 146 ∼
Exercise 28.3

Exercise 28.3: Discussion


Instructions—Observer A
As you observe the committee, watch for positive communication behaviors. Record
your observations by using specific behavioral terms such as “. . .clarified Susan’s
comment by saying. . .” or “. . .asked John if he had any ideas on how to. . . .”

Name Behavior

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 147 ∼
Exercise 28.4

Exercise 28.4: Discussion


Instructions—Observer B
As you observe the committee, watch for negative communication behaviors. Record
your observations by using specific behavioral terms such as “. . .interrupted Susan by
saying he never heard of. . .” or “. . .leaned back, folded his arms, and looked at his
feet. . . .”

Name Behavior

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 149 ∼
29
Fishbowl

Description
This activity can either be used as a discussion starter at the beginning of a
session or to close the session. Its purpose is to identify and discuss key coaching
concepts.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• identify key coaching concepts; and
• describe expectations for the training session; or
• describe how the course met expectations.

Skill Areas
• Icebreaker
• Course closure

Participants
Number: Any
Type: Any

Time
30 minutes

Resources
• Fishbowl or similar container
• One 3 x 5 index card per participant (two if using as icebreaker)
• Flipchart stand, paper, and markers

∼ 151 ∼
Activity 29
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Introduce the activity.

Notes:
Review the objectives.

Step 2: Give each participant one index card.

Notes:
Have participants write on the 3 x 5 index card the way they would finish
the following sentence:
“One of the most important roles of a coach is to. . .”
If using as an icebreaker, give participants a second card. Have them write
their names on the second card.

Step 3: Collect the cards and place them in the fishbowl.

Step 4: Draw the cards from the fishbowl one at a time.

Notes:
Read what is on the card and ask for the participant who wrote the card to
identify himself/herself.
Write the comment from the card on the flipchart.
Have the participants explain their responses to the group.
If using the activity as an icebreaker: After you draw the “name” cards, have
the participants introduce themselves to the group. List the information you
want them to tell the group on a second flipchart so that the introductions
will be consistent.
Continue until all cards have been drawn from the fishbowl.

Step 5: Review the activity.

Notes:
If using the activity as an icebreaker, comment on the coaching roles and
explain which ones will be covered during the course.
If using this as a course closure, compare comments to course expectations
that were discussed at the beginning of the session.

∼ 152 ∼
30
Recognition Brainstorm

Description
This activity encourages participants to think beyond monetary rewards and
brainstorm other ways of recognizing positive performance.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• identify (by 4 times the number of participants) methods to recognize
performance;
• benefit from the experience of other participants; and
• develop a plan for implementing recognition methods.

Skill Areas
• Evaluation
• Goal setting
• Nurturing
• Recognition and reward
• Setting expectations

Participants
Number: 10 to 15
Type: Any

Time
60 to 90 minutes

Resources
• Four prepared flipcharts
• Ten (10) self-stick notes approximately 2 square for each participant
• Pen or pencil for each participant
• Flipchart stand, paper, and markers

∼ 153 ∼
Activity 30
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Prepare the activity.

Notes:
Prepare four flipchart pages with the following headings:
• Free
• $10 or less
• $11—$25
• Over $25

Step 2: Introduce the activity.

Notes:
Review the objectives.
Discuss the importance of providing recognition to employees when they meet
established goals or expectations.
Discuss how many organizations use monetary incentive systems that reward
employees in actual cash.
Explain that other types of recognition, such as pins or badges and prizes,
often have just as much (sometimes more) value to employees than monetary
rewards.
Show participants the headings on the four flipcharts and tell them they will
be identifying nonmonetary methods of employee recognition.

Step 3: Distribute 10 self-stick notes to each participant.

Step 4: Have participants identify types of recognition.

Notes:
Instruct participants to write on their self-stick notes at least one type of
recognition that could be provided for each of the four categories shown on
the flipcharts.

Step 5: Brainstorming Round 1.

Notes:
Start with any one of the four categories. Have each participant go to the
flipchart one at a time and put his/her note on the flipchart.
As participants are putting their notes on the chart, they should say what it is
and briefly explain it if necessary.

∼ 154 ∼
Activity 30
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Follow brainstorming rules and do not permit other participants to discuss the
idea at this time.
Continue until every participant has placed at least one note on the chart.
Participants can use their extra notes if they want to place more than one
note on the chart. When there are no more ideas, conclude Round 1. Do not
discuss the list at this time.

Step 6: Brainstorming Rounds 2, 3, and 4.

Notes:
Follow the same procedure as for Round 1 and complete the process for each
of the other three categories.

Step 7: Discuss and evaluate the four lists.

Notes:
Divide participants into four groups. Assign each group one of the four
categories.
Each group should:
• Evaluate each of the items on their list and develop their own “final” list.
They may add or subtract from the initial list.
• Come up with a strategy for implementing each item. For example, if a
person is to be recognized, then that person’s name could be published in
the company newsletter or announced over the public address system, if
there is one.
• Prepare a brief report on their list and strategies to present to the entire
group.

Step 8: Have groups present reports.

Notes:
Have each small group present the results of their discussion to the entire
group.

Step 9: Review the activity.

Notes:
Summarize objectives and how they were met.
Reinforce the importance of recognition and using the various strategies
identified by the group.

∼ 155 ∼
31
Word Search

Description
This is an end-of-course activity designed to allow participants to review key
points of a coaching seminar in a fun and relaxing way.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• identify key terms related to coaching skills; and
• describe the coaching skills they learned during the seminar.

Skill Area
Course closure

Participants
Number: Any
Type: Any

Time
30 minutes

Resources
• One copy of Exercise 31.1 for each participant
• Trainer’s Notes
• Pen or pencil for each participant

∼ 157 ∼
Activity 31
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Introduce the activity.

Notes:
Review the objectives.

Step 2: Distribute Exercise 31.1.

Notes:
Read the instructions and have participants complete the activity. Allow 5 to
10 minutes.

Step 3: Conduct session review.

Notes:
Name one of the words on the list and ask who found it.
Have one participant who found the word tell where he/she found it.
Then have the participant briefly explain what he/she learned about that
topic during the seminar.
Use this time to reinforce key points. You may want to have other
participants tell what they learned as well as the person who found the word.
Cover as many words as you wish or as time permits.

∼ 158 ∼
Exercise 31.1

Exercise 31.1: Word Search


Hidden below are the following coaching terms:

feedback performance coaching appraisal


mentor expectations training delegate
orientation collaboration teamwork listening
goal recognition counseling evaluation
sponsorship body language networking trust
communication assertiveness

Circle each word when you find it. Words can be found by reading frontward, back-
ward, up, down, across, and diagonally. Some letters are used in more than one word.

K S A T P E R F O R M A N C E R T
R E P L A S T I E F O R C A T I O
A C O M M U N I C A T I O N A L R
B O D Y L A N G U A G E O I G E O
O L E T A S S E R T I V E N E S S
A L E E F O F E E D B A C K L I T
F A X A P P R A I S A L I E E S S
E B P M E N E T O L A U P O D I P
L O E W R A C C I W R A C K I D O
L R C O T A O R I E N T A T I O N
T A T R E A G R E A T I R E R L S
T T A K C O N O R L A O G U A D O
A I T H X O I O B O A N S W S E R
B O I L I S T E N I N G A O E T S
A N O O N N I T R A I N I N G O H
G O N E E C O U N S E L I N G E I
O T S M O R N E T W O R K I N G P

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 159 ∼
Trainer’s Notes

Trainer’s Notes: Answer Key to Exercise 31.1


Hidden below are the following coaching terms:

feedback performance coaching appraisal


mentor expectations training delegate
orientation collaboration teamwork listening
goal recognition counseling evaluation
sponsorship body language networking trust
communication assertiveness

Circle each word when you find it. Words can be found by reading frontward, back-
ward, up, down, across, and diagonally. Some letters are used in more than one word.

K S A T P E R F O R M A N C E R T
R E P L A S T I E F O R A C T I O
A C O M M U N I C A T I O N A L R
B O D Y L A N G U A G E O I G E O
O L E T A S S E R T I V E N E S S
A L E E F O F E E D B A C K L I T
F A X A P P R A I S A L I E E S S
E B P M E N E T O L A U P O D I P
L O E W R A C C I W R A C K I D O
L R C O T A O R I E N T A T I O N
T A T R E A G R E A T I R E R L S
T T A K C O N O R L A O G U A D O
A I T H X O I O B O A N S W S E R
B O I L I S T E N I N G A O E T S
A N O O N N I T R A I N I N G O H
G O N E E C O U N S E L I N G E I
O T S M O R N E T W O R K I N G P

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 161 ∼
32
Finish the Sentence

Description
This is a very short, very flexible activity to begin an exploration of coaching by
having participants discuss their own feelings or experiences with coaching. It is
especially appropriate as an introductory exercise.

Objective
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to express their own
assumptions or beliefs on coaching.

Skill Areas
• Icebreaker
• Role of coach/mentor

Participants
Number: 9 to 24
Type: Any

Time
15 to 30 minutes

Resources
• Flipchart stand, paper, and markers
• 3 x 5 index cards
• Masking tape

∼ 163 ∼
Activity 32
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Prepare the activity.

Notes:
Before class begins, prepare index cards by printing an incomplete sentence
on each card.
Suggested sentences:
• A good coach always. . .
• The role of a coach in an organization is to. . .
• A football coach and a business coach are alike because. . .
• A football coach and a business coach are not alike because. . .
• A mentor is one who. . .
• Some coaches are ineffective because they. . .
Prepare four to six index cards with each sentence.

Step 2: Conduct the activity.

Notes:
Cards may be distributed at any time, but this activity is most effective as a
discussion starter at the beginning of the class. Distribute one card to each
participant as they enter the room. Explain that they are to find other
participants with the same sentence. If used as an icebreaker, they are to
introduce themselves to each other and form groups (of four to six members).
Begin the class by instructing participants to finish their sentence in three to
five ways. They should write their answers on a sheet of flipchart paper.
Participants tape their answers where the rest of the class can see them.

Step 3: Discuss the group’s responses.

Notes:
One or two spokespersons from each team reads the whole sentence to the
rest of the class. Instruct the rest of the team to explain why they responded
as they did.
Relate group responses to learning points that will be covered later in the
training.

∼ 164 ∼
33
Theory X/Theory Y Assumptions

Description
This is a paper-and-pencil activity with follow-up discussion. It illustrates the
effect that having assumptions about human behavior will have on coaching
styles.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• identify their own X and Y assumptions; and
• practice behaviors appropriate for an X or Y situation.

Skill Areas
• Building trust
• Role of coach/mentor

Participants
Number: Any
Type: Any, but experience as supervisor is helpful

Time
30 to 60 minutes

Resources
• One copy each of Exercises 33.1 through 33.3 for each participant
• Flipchart stand, paper, and markers

∼ 165 ∼
Activity 33
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Prepare the activity.

Notes:
Prepare for this exercise by becoming familiar with Douglas MacGregor’s
Theory X and Theory Y. This study of management assumptions about people
is a standard part of motivation theory and will be easy for you to find.

Step 2: Distribute Exercise 33.1.

Notes:
Explain that this exercise will examine some of the assumptions we hold
about people, and how these assumptions affect the way we coach.
Allow about 4 minutes for completion.

Step 3: Discuss X and Y assumptions.

Notes:
Begin a discussion of Theory X and Theory Y by drawing a vertical line to
create two columns on the flipchart. Label one column “X” and the other
column “Y.” Explain MacGregor’s approach in simple terms: that he believed
leaders hold two basic sets of assumptions about people, which he labeled
“X” and “Y.”
Write “Most people don’t want to work” in the X column. Have the class
volunteer assumptions that they think would be included in X.
Write “Most people seek responsibility” in the Y column. Have the class
volunteer other assumptions.
On another sheet of flipchart paper, have the class volunteer a few behaviors
that might result from each set of assumptions.
Write X behaviors with a blue marker and Y behaviors with a green marker.
Explain that the terms blue and green will be used because biases exist
regarding behaviors corresponding to X and Y.
Blue behaviors tend to focus on directing and controlling; green behaviors
tend to focus on coaching and communicating.

∼ 166 ∼
Activity 33
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Step 4: Distribute Exercise 33.2.

Notes:
Have participants score their responses and mark their score on the X—Y
scale.
Questions you might ask:
• Do you think your score really reflects assumptions you hold about others?
Why or why not?
• What has caused your behavior to be more blue/green?
• What do you think it might mean if you’re toward the middle of the scale?

Step 5: Distribute Exercise 33.3.

Notes:
Explain why, depending on how mature subordinates are (that is, how well
they work together and how well they do their work), more or less blue or
green behavior might be appropriate.
Divide the class into groups of five to seven participants each.
Instruct half of the groups to complete the questions in the “Blue” column
and the other half of the groups to complete the questions in the “Green”
column.

Step 6: Conclude the activity.

Notes:
Have groups select a spokesperson to report their responses to the rest of the
class.
Summarize this activity by asking the class “What coaching conclusions can we
draw from our responses?” Record their answers on the flipchart.

∼ 167 ∼
Exercise 33.1

Exercise 33.1 Coach’s Assumptions


Divide three points between each pair of statements. Use only whole numbers. For
example:

2 I like Chevies. 0 I like to fish.


or
1 I like Fords. 3 My hobby is skydiving.

Generally, I think that…

1. A. Employees want to achieve the objectives of the organization.


B. Employees are not interested in the objectives of the organization.

2. C. Employees focus their attention on getting an appropriate amount


of work accomplished.
D. Employees tend to get involved in inappropriate activity at work.

3. E. Employees should be told how to do a job.


F. Employees are able to plan their own work.

4. G. Employees need to be pushed to respond to unusual requests.


H. Employees take the initiative in anticipating unusual needs.

5. I. Employees are creative in devising better ways of accomplishing a


task.
J. Employees need to be shown each step of a task.

6. K. Employees want to understand the “why” of a request.


L. Employees would rather be told what to do.

7. M. Employees would rather stay home.


N. Employees want to come to work.

8. O. Employees tend to let conflict get in the way of working together.


P. Employees work well together.

9. Q. Employees exercise good judgment.


R. Employees’ decisions need to be “checked” for quality.

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 169 ∼
Exercise 33.2

Exercise 33.2: Scoring


Add the points you gave to these items: Add the points you gave to these items:

B ________ A ________
D ________ C ________
E ________ F ________
G ________ H ________
J ________ I ________
L ________ K ________
M ________ N ________
O ________ P ________
R ________ Q ________
Total: ________ Total: ________

Mark this total on the X score. Mark this total on the Y scale.

X Y
27 25 23 21 19 17 15 13 11 9 7 5 3 1 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 171 ∼
Exercise 33.3

Exercise 33.3: Company Behaviors


Blue Green
1. What are some examples of 1. What are some examples of
effective “blue” behavior? effective “green” behavior?
Example: Example:
• Giving work instructions and • Asking employees for their
following up to be sure they ideas on solving a problem
are followed

2. What are some examples of 2. What are some examples of


ineffective “blue” behaviors? ineffective “green” behaviors?
Example: Example:
• Shouting at employees • Not responding to a rule
infraction

3. How might “green” and “blue” 3. How might “green” and “blue”
behaviors be combined? behaviors be combined?

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 173 ∼
34
Letter to a Friend

Description
This activity uses both written and verbal communication to enhance participants’
abilities to discuss performance and expectations in concrete, tangible terms.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• express their opinion of performance in concrete, behavioral terms; and
• use both written and verbal communication to describe performance.

Skill Areas
• Analyzing performance problems
• Counseling
• Evaluation
• Role of coach/mentor
• Setting expectations

Participants
Number: 9 to 27
Type: Any

Time
30 to 45 minutes

Resources
• Flipchart stand, paper, and markers
• Writing paper for participants

∼ 175 ∼
Activity 34
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Explain the activity.

Notes:
Explain that one of the most difficult aspects of coaching is identifying or
defining behavior. This skill is needed in setting performance expectations, in
evaluating performance, and in analyzing performance problems.
Instruct participants to think of two people. If participants are supervisors,
they should think of their best performer and their worst performer. If they
are not supervisors, they should think of current or former coworkers who
would be best and worst as performers.

Step 2: Conduct the activity.

Notes:
Tell participants that they are going to write a letter to a friend who is a
supervisor and to whom each of these two people has applied for a job. The
letter is to give as accurate a description as possible.
After the letters are written, have the participants pair up, exchange their
letters, and read them.

Step 3: Lead the discussion.

Notes:
Readers are to circle all statements that do not appear clear, that may be
interpreted in more than one way, or that do not describe behavior.
Partners are to discuss the letters until every reader understands fully what
the writer meant to say.
Questions you might ask:
• What was circled in your own letter?
• How could you have expressed things more clearly?
• Are any patterns present in our letters (e.g., frequent use of words such
as “attitude”)?
• Was it difficult to explain the employee’s performance in behavioral
terms? Why or why not?
• Why is this skill important in the coaching process?

∼ 176 ∼
35
The Lovers

Description
This activity illustrates the part values and ethical decisions can play in the
coaching or mentoring process.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• appreciate the significance of different value systems; and
• understand the effect of differing values on a mentoring relationship.

Skill Areas
• Building trust
• Collaboration

Participants
Number: Any
Type: Any, but a mixture of men and women provides the richest discussion

Time
30 to 40 minutes

Resources
• Flipchart stand, paper, and markers
• Copies of Exercise 35.1 for one-half of the participants; copies of
Exercise 35.2 for the other half of the participants

∼ 177 ∼
Activity 35
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Prepare the class for the activity.

Notes:
Explain that the activity will give us a quick look at how some of our own
values may be different from others’, especially when faced with difficult
choices.

Step 2: Distribute the exercises to the class.

Notes:
Half of the participants receive Exercise 35.1 and half receive Exercise 35.2.
Instruct participants to silently read the hypothetical story, “The Lovers,” and
complete the exercise after the story.

Step 3: Discuss responses.

Notes:
After participants have finished their individual work, draw the following
charts on the flipchart:

Jennifer
David
Preston
John
Thomas

Jennifer
David
Mary
John
Donna

Allow room for at least seven responses on each chart.


Ask participants to volunteer their responses to the exercise on ranking the
behavior of the characters. After each, ask for one more by saying, “Does
anyone have something different from this one?”
Your goal is to get as wide a range of responses as possible. Do this with both
stories, after having two participants read the stories aloud.

∼ 178 ∼
Activity 35
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Prompt debate of the rankings by asking those who rate one character
differently from others to explain their decisions. Get participants to ask each
other for reasons.
Now focus attention on the two stories. If rankings for Jennifer and Preston
are different from those for David and Mary, focus discussion on why these
characters were judged differently. If they are similar, ask for reasons why.

Step 4: Conclude group discussion.

Notes:
This step may also be done in small groups, with groups reporting their
responses to the rest of the participants.
Lead a discussion on how this story reveals issues of values in the coaching or
mentoring process.
Questions you might ask:
• How do values affect the mentoring relationship?
• What positive results may be obtained by pairing mentors and protégés
who have different backgrounds?
• What dangers are there in pairing mentors and protégés who have
different backgrounds?
• What are some ways a mentor can deal with values that don’t fit the
organization’s culture?

∼ 179 ∼
Exercise 35.1

Exercise 35.1: The Lovers


During the days of the settlement of the Old West, a young woman named Jennifer
and a young man named David joined a wagon train heading for California. Along the
way, they fell in love and decided to marry and settle down together when they
reached their destination. Through mile after mile of hard travel, they worked
together by day and shared their dreams by night. Each day, however, their wagon
train fell farther and farther behind its schedule. Unexpected rains, swollen rivers,
and other delays slowed their progress until they were in danger of not being able to
cross Breakneck Pass. One or two hard snows, and the pass would be closed to wagon
trains until spring.
In mid-September, the wagon train finally began its ascent of Breakneck Pass. David
went to the front of the train to help with the lead wagon while Jennifer took charge
of the children at the rear. After days of back-breaking work, the lead wagons finally
reached the pass. Suddenly, the heavy clouds unleashed a blinding snowstorm that
quickly halted the train. Only a few of the lead wagons reached the crest. As the
snow deepened, the remainder turned to work their way back down the trail, below
the worst of the blizzard. Jennifer and David were separated by dozens of feet of snow.

Jennifer knew that the wagons on the western slope must soon descend or risk being
trapped hundreds of feet above help. She went to the train’s scout, Preston, for help.
Preston said he knew of a second pass that could be traveled by a single file of pack
animals, but not wagons. Jennifer explained her situation and pleaded for his help to
take her across to join David.

Preston agreed, but on the condition that they spend the evening together having
dinner before they left. Distraught, Jennifer went to John, the wagon master. He was
Preston’s boss, she reasoned, and could force Preston to help. To her dismay, John
told her that Preston was hired to scout westward, and since they were descending to
the east because of the snow, he didn’t care what Preston did. In fact, one less
person was exactly what their ruined crossing needed, he said.

Jennifer could think of no other solution, and agreed to Preston’s terms. They had dinner
together, and on the next morning, true to his word, Preston brought her across. At dusk,
when they could see the campfires of the lead wagons below them, he left her.

When Jennifer told David what she had done, he pushed her away in disgust, telling
her he wanted nothing to do with an improper woman.

Jennifer was heartbroken. She stood at the edge of the encampment and sobbed. One
of the travelers, named Thomas, heard her crying and sought to comfort her. Jennifer
told her sad tale. Thomas, not only shocked by David’s behavior but also attracted to
Jennifer, sought David out.

Our story ends with Jennifer laughing as she watches the enraged Thomas horsewhip David.

(Continued)

∼ 181 ∼
Exercise 35.1 (concluded)

Directions: Rank the characters of this story from 1 to 5, with 1 being the character
whose behavior is most offensive, and 5 the character whose behavior is least
offensive.

Jennifer ________

David ________

Preston ________

John ________

Thomas ________

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 182 ∼
Exercise 35.2

Exercise 35.2: The Lovers


During the days of the settlement of the Old West, a young woman named Jennifer
and a young man named David joined a wagon train heading for California. Along the
way, they fell in love and decided to marry and settle down together when they
reached their destination. Through mile after mile of hard travel, they worked
together by day and shared their dreams by night. Each day, however, their wagon
train fell farther and farther behind its schedule. Unexpected rains, swollen rivers,
and other delays slowed their progress until they were in danger of not being able to
cross Breakneck Pass. One or two hard snows, and the pass would be closed to wagon
trains until spring.
In mid-September, the wagon train finally began its ascent of Breakneck Pass. David
went to the front of the train to help with the lead wagon while Jennifer took charge
of the children at the rear. After days of back-breaking work, the lead wagons finally
reached the pass. Suddenly, the heavy clouds unleashed a blinding snowstorm that
quickly halted the train. Only a few of the lead wagons reached the crest. As the
snow deepened, the remainder turned to work their way back down the trail, below
the worst of the blizzard. Jennifer and David were separated by dozens of feet of snow.

David knew that the wagons on the western slope must soon descend or risk being
trapped hundreds of feet above help. He went to Mary, the wife of the wagon train’s
scout (who was across the pass with the lead wagons). Mary said she knew of a second
pass that could be traveled by a single file of pack animals, but not wagons. David
explained his situation and pleaded for her help to take him across to join Jennifer.

Mary agreed, but on the condition that they spend the evening together having dinner
before they left. Distraught, David went to John, the wagon master. He was the
scout’s boss, he reasoned, and could influence the scout’s wife. To his dismay, John
told him that Mary and her husband were hired to scout westward, and since they
were descending to the east because of the snow, he didn’t care what Mary did. In
fact, one less person was exactly what their ruined crossing needed, he said.

David could think of no other solution, and agreed to Mary’s terms. They had dinner
together, and on the next morning, true to her word, Mary brought him across. At
dusk, when they could see the campfires of the lead wagons below them, she left.

When David told Jennifer what he had done, she pushed him away in disgust, telling him
she wanted nothing to do with a spineless creature who could do something so improper.

David was heartbroken. He stood at the edge of the encampment and sobbed. One of
the other women, named Donna, heard him crying and sought to comfort him. David
told his sad tale. Donna, not only shocked by Jennifer’s behavior but also attracted to
David, sought Jennifer out.

Our story ends with David laughing as he watches the furious Donna attack Jennifer.

(Continued)

∼ 183 ∼
Exercise 35.2 (concluded)

Directions: Rank the characters of this story from 1 to 5, with 1 being the character
whose behavior is most offensive, and 5 the character whose behavior is least
offensive.

Jennifer ________

David ________

Mary ________

John ________

Donna ________

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 184 ∼
36
Say what you mean!

Description
This activity gives the participants an opportunity to hear simple coaching phrases
spoken with a change in inflection. In groups of two or three, the participants
take turns reading the phrases with a change in emphasis and tone of voice in an
attempt to understand the power of nonverbal communication.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• recognize the change in meaning when the tone and inflection of voice is
different;
• practice speaking so that tone and inflection complement and support the
words; and
• describe the different feelings attached to the same words spoken in different
ways.

Skill Areas
• Building trust
• Nonverbal communication
• Role of coach/mentor

Participants
Number: Any
Type: Any

Time
15 to 30 minutes

Resources
One copy of Exercise 36.1 for each participant

∼ 185 ∼
Activity 36
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Introduce the activity and distribute Exercise 36.1.

Notes:
Explain that well-intentioned phrases can be misinterpreted when inflection is
improper.
The participants will use Exercise 36.1 to practice changing inflection.
Instruct them to follow the instructions given in the exercise. You might want
to demonstrate the example. Practice in advance to feel comfortable.

Step 2: Observe the activity.

Notes:
Walk among the groups to hear the changes in inflection. Help those who are
having difficulty.

Step 3: Continue the activity.

Notes:
Direct participants to use the phrases again, this time using a tone of voice
that depicts a mood. Draw their attention to instructions 3 and 4.

Step 4: Observe the activity.

Notes:
Listen as they practice.

Step 5: Review the activity.

Notes:
Questions you might ask:
• How did meaning, inflection, and tone change?
• How would tone and inflection affect the employee’s response to the
coach?
• What have we learned with this activity?

∼ 186 ∼
Exercise 36.1

Exercise 36.1: Simple Coaching Phrases


Instructions:

1. In groups of two or three, take turns speaking the following simple coaching
phrases with inflection or emphasis on a different word in the phrase each time.
For example:

“Please, try that again.”

a) “Please, try that again.”


b) “Please, try that again.”
c) “Please, try that again.”
d) “Please, try that again.”

2. Note and discuss how the meaning is changed each time inflection is changed.

3. Use these phrases or create new ones:

a) “You did that well this time.”


b) “Have you read the procedures for this process?”
c) “Is this the result you intended?”
d) “What do you think?”

4. Try the phrases again. Use a tone of voice that reflects:

• Anger
• Interest
• Pleasure
• Apathy
• Distraction

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 187 ∼
37
Three-Element Messages

Description
This activity provides participants with an opportunity to practice and observe
congruency (consistency) and incongruency (inconsistency) in coaching messages.
This should be the opportunity to point out that incongruent messages result in
distrust; congruent messages enable the coach to counsel effectively.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• recognize incongruency in messages;
• communicate so that there is congruency with words, tone of voice, and body
language; and
• ask for clarification when receiving a message that is delivered with
contradicting parts.

Skill Areas
• Building trust
• Communication
• Counseling
• Nonverbal communication
• Role of coach/mentor

Participants
Number: Any. If the group is very large, however, this exercise would work
better in teams of 6 to 10.
Type: Any

Time
15 to 30 minutes

∼ 189 ∼
Activity 37
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Resources
• Three containers (or if the large group is divided into smaller teams, three
containers for each team) labeled as follows:
− “Messages”
− “Tone”
− “Body Language”

• Slips of paper that describe:


− Coaching messages for Container #1
− Tone of voice instructions for Container #2
− Body language instructions for Container #3

• Trainer’s Notes

Method
Step 1: Prepare the activity.

Notes:
For each of three separate containers labeled “Messages,” “Tone of Voice,”
and “Body Language,” write statements on separate pieces of paper and place
them in the appropriate containers. (See Trainer’s Notes on page 191 for
suggestions.)

Step 2: Introduce the activity.

Notes:
Explain that coaching phrases can lose intended meaning when tone of voice
and body language contradict the words spoken. To illustrate the principle,
each person will take a “message” from the container and say it using the
paper drawn from the “tone” container and combine the verbal with the
nonverbal instruction from the “body language” container.

Step 3: Conduct the activity.

Notes:
Observe and assist as participants attempt to combine three elements.
Variation: Ask several different people to speak the same message but each
drawing different tone and body language instructions. Ask the participants to
make note of change in meaning.

∼ 190 ∼
Activity 37
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Step 4: Lead the discussion.

Notes:
Questions you might ask:
• What changes in behavior could be facilitated or hindered by incongruent
messages?
• How have you experienced incongruent messages in the workplace?

Step 5: Review the activity.

Notes:
Questions you might ask:
• Why did we do this activity?
• What have we learned?
• Which is more powerful—what we say or how we say it?

Step 6: Summarize and conclude the activity.

Notes:
Make the point clear that when message parts contradict (or when the
message is incongruent), the receiver is always more likely to believe the
tone of voice and the body language.

∼ 191 ∼
Trainer’s Notes

Trainer’s Notes: Message Component Suggestions


Messages Tone of Voice Body Language

“How’s it going today?” Abrupt No eye contact, look down

“You seem to be doing a Indifferent Turn and walk away as you


great job.” speak

“Tell me what you think Empathetic Sit, lean toward the person,
about this situation.” and look into his/her eyes

“We are glad to have you on Distracted Sit, lean back, and put your
our team.” hands behind your head

“Does this work meet the Angry Look around as you say the
standard you have set for message
yourself?”

“What can I do to help you?” Puzzled Hold the person’s arm and
look them straight in the eye
as you repeat the message

“Feel free to come to me Genuinely pleased Cross your arms on your chest
whenever you have a as you deliver the message
question or problem.”

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 193 ∼
38
Proxemics*

Description
This activity uses physical space to illustrate how nonverbal behaviors can affect
communication.

Objective
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to use space effectively in
one-on-one communication settings.

Skill Areas
• Counseling
• Nonverbal communication

Participants
Number: 9 to 94
Type: Any

Time
10 to 15 minutes

Resources
• Exercise 38.1 and Exercise 38.2 for alternating participants
• Flipchart stand, paper, and markers

*Proxemics, from the Greek word meaning “to approach,” is the study of how people use
space.

∼ 195 ∼
Activity 38
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Prepare the activity.

Notes:
Divide participants into two groups, A and B.
Distribute Exercise 38.1 to group A and Exercise 38.2 to group B. Tell
participants they are not to share exercises with members of the other group.
Form pairs with one member from each group (group A member chooses a
group B partner).

Step 2: Begin the activity.

Notes:
Begin the activity by saying “Begin your conversations.” Allow approximately
five minutes for pairs to converse. At the end of that time, have participants
return to their regular places.

Step 3: Review the activity.

Notes:
Lead a discussion of how the use of space can affect the quality of
communication.
Questions you might ask:
• What did you notice about your conversation partner?
• Was anyone uncomfortable?
• How did your discomfort affect your conversation?
• What can you do when someone uses space differently than you do?

Variation: Group B participants can display nonattentive or disinterested


behaviors such as little or no eye contact, leaning away, etc.

∼ 196 ∼
Exercise 38.1

Exercise 38.1: Group A Participants


You are to initiate a conversation with your partner (a member of group B). Select
one of the following topics, or choose one of your own.

• A local political issue


• Your (or your partner’s) favorite hobby
• A work-related topic
• The best performance evaluation format

Your partner and you will converse for about five minutes. Begin when the trainer
says, “Begin your conversations.”

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 197 ∼
Exercise 38.2

Exercise 38.2: Group B Participants


You are to participate in a conversation with your partner (a member of group A).
Your partner will select the conversation topic and will initiate the discussion. Take
an active part in the conversation, but as you converse, gradually do two or more of
the following:

• Touch your partner with your hand


• Move to within 12 to 16 inches of his or her face
• Shift in your chair until your knee touches your partner’s knee

Be sure to make your actions natural and gradual. If your partner pulls away or
moves, simply continue your gradual “encroachment.”

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 199 ∼
39
What are you gonna do?

Description
This activity presents a coaching method to use with an employee to resolve a
performance problem and get commitment for improvement. Participants will be
given the opportunity to practice the coaching method and get feedback on their
success.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• describe the four-step coaching method;
• apply the four-step coaching method during a role play; and
• develop a plan for using the coaching method on the job.

Skill Areas
• Analyzing performance problems
• Collaboration
• Counseling
• Listening
• Questioning
• Setting expectations

Participants
Number: Any
Type: Any

Time
60 to 90 minutes

Resources
• One copy of Handout 39.1 for each participant, one copy each of Exercises
39.1, 39.2, and 39.4 for each group, and three copies of Exercise 39.3 for
each group
• Pen or pencil for each participant

∼ 201 ∼
Activity 39
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Introduce the topic and the activity.

Notes:
Review the objectives.
Use the following (or a similar) introduction:
When the performance of their people does not meet expectations or
developmental goals are missed because of performance deficiencies,
effective coaches know it is their responsibility to help their people handle
their problems.
Examples of performance problems that might occur are
• a person’s performance, which has been good, begins to slip;
• a person is having trouble meeting commitments;
• a person obviously needs help in resolving a problem; or
• a person comes to you and asks for assistance.

Step 2: Distribute Handout 39.1.

Notes:
Review the coaching model with participants.
Discuss each of the four steps in detail. To focus the discussion, have one of
the participants describe a performance problem he or she is currently having
with an employee. Use that problem as an example and work through it using
the coaching model.

Step 3: Set up the role play and distribute Exercises 39.1, 39.2, and 39.3.

Notes:
Divide participants into groups of three. Assign one person in each group to
one of the following roles:
• Coach
• Employee
• Observer
Review instructions on each of the exercises.
Conduct Role Play Situation 1. As participants do the role play, circulate
among the groups to ensure they are staying on track. Also use this time to
answer questions and provide assistance.
After 10 minutes, stop the role play and have the observers provide feedback
to the coaches.

∼ 202 ∼
Activity 39
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Step 4: Discuss the first role play.

Notes:
Questions you might ask:
• How successful was the coach in getting agreement that there was a
problem?
• How did he or she go about getting this agreement?
• Was the employee involved in deciding on a solution?
• Did the employee and the coach generate several alternatives?
• Were clear expectations established between the coach and the
employee?
• Does the coach have a follow-up plan?
• What type of recognition will be given if the problem is solved?
• What should the coach do if the problem is not solved?

Step 5: Conduct the second role play.

Notes:
Have participants switch roles and do Role Play Situation 2.
After they are finished, discuss the role play using the questions in Step 4.

Step 6: Conduct the third role play.

Notes:
Have participants switch roles again and do Role Play Situation 3. At this
point, every participant should have been assigned all three roles.
After they are finished, discuss the role play using the questions in Step 4.

Step 7: Distribute Exercise 39.4 and discuss.

Notes:
Have participants complete the worksheet for a current performance problem
they want to resolve.

Step 8: Review the activity.

Notes:
Reassemble the entire group and conduct a wrap-up discussion.
Questions you might ask:
• How effective do you think this process will be on the job? Why?
• What would you do differently?
• What did you learn during the role play that will help you?
• What obstacles, if any, do you face in using this process?

∼ 203 ∼
Handout 39.1

Handout 39.1: Coaching Model


When the performance of their people does not meet expectations or developmental
goals are missed because of performance deficiencies, effective coaches use a four-
step process to solve performance problems.

1. Get Agreement that a Problem Exists


• Ask questions to see if the person is aware of the problem
• Ensure that the person understands the consequences of the problem
• Get agreement from the person that a problem exists

2. Decide on a Solution
• Ask questions to involve the person with the problem
• Generate as many alternatives to the problem as possible
• Help the person think through the problem
• Let the person think through the problem
• Agree on the solution(s) that will be implemented
• Agree on a timetable for implementing the solution(s)

3. Follow Up
• Check to see whether the solution is implemented
• Determine whether the solution is implemented on schedule
• Determine whether the solution is working

4. Give Recognition When the Problem Is Solved


• Give specific feedback
• Be sincere when you give feedback
• Remember that recognition strengthens performance

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 205 ∼
Exercise 39.1

Exercise 39.1: Role Play—Coach


Situation 1
Three weeks ago Joan (John) transferred to your work group. His/her previous super-
visor warned you to expect that he/she would be late frequently. Everything was fine
the first two weeks, but this week, he/she was a half-hour late Monday, Wednesday,
and again today, Friday. You want to take action now before the problem gets out of
hand so you’ve asked Joan (John) to meet with you.

Situation 2
Your boss called you “on the carpet” today for not getting the productivity report in
on time. The reason you were late was because your employee Richard (Ruth) was
late getting the information to you. This is the second time in the past two weeks this
has happened. The first week you were able to cover for Richard (Ruth) because your
boss was out of town the day the report was due. You know that if priorities aren’t
set today, you’ll have the same problem again next week. You’ve scheduled a
meeting with Richard (Ruth) to discuss the problem.

Situation 3
This year was going to be different. All your employees submitted travel and expense
budgets for the year and agreed to live within them. You’re now three months into
the year, and Barbara (Bob) is 25 percent over budget. The result is that your
department’s travel and expense costs are over budget for the first quarter. You have
to submit a budget exception report to your boss in two days. You’ve scheduled a
meeting with Barbara (Bob) to discuss his/her budget so that you can get things under
control by the end of the second quarter.

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 207 ∼
Exercise 39.2

Exercise 39.2: Role Play—Employee


Situation 1
Your boss asked to meet with you to discuss a “problem.” You’re not sure what the
topic is, but you assume it’s the fact that you were late three days this week. Your
spouse just took a new job, and you agreed to make sure the kids get to school
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Your spouse will be responsible on Tuesday and
Thursday. You didn’t think about telling your boss because you were only 20 minutes
late and you see other people routinely coming in 15 minutes late. Besides, you
stayed 45 minutes after everyone else on Monday and Wednesday.

Situation 2
The “weekly productivity report”—what an ironic name! It’s been late the last two
weeks because the people in Group 18, who are supposed to provide you with their
information, have been late. You’ve asked them to get the information to you, but
they were even later this week than last week. You heard your boss really caught it
from his/her boss today for being late with the report. Now he/she has asked to meet
with you about the report. You sure wish there was something you could do, but you
don’t have any authority over Group 18.

Situation 3
What a first quarter! You’ve been busier than ever, and the travel schedule has been
hectic. You’ve had several projects that required your follow up. You would have
liked to have stayed within your new budget, but it just wasn’t possible. You don’t
see much changing over the second quarter. If you cut down on your travel, there’s a
chance the projects won’t be successful. Your boss has asked to meet with you to
discuss your budget. If he/she has any good ideas, you’re open, but if not, well, you’ll
be traveling just as much next quarter.

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 209 ∼
Exercise 39.3

Exercise 39.3: Role Play—Observer


During the role play, your responsibility is to observe the coach and determine how
well he/she handles the situation. Use the checklist below to make notes so that you
can provide feedback to the group after the role play.

1. Did the coach get agreement that a problem exists?


† Yes † No
If so, how?

If not, why not?

2. Did the coach and the employee decide on a solution?


† Yes † No
If so, how?

How involved was the employee?

How involved was the coach?

Did they agree on a specific timetable to solve the problem?

(Continued)

∼ 211 ∼
Exercise 39.3 (concluded)

3. Was a follow-up plan discussed?


† Yes † No
Do you think the coach will follow up? Why or why not?

4. What type of recognition would be appropriate for this situation?

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 212 ∼
Exercise 39.4

Exercise 39.4: Coaching Worksheet


Use this worksheet to think about a current performance problem you have with one
of your people and to develop a plan for resolving the problem. Refer to it during the
discussion to help keep yourself on track.

Employee:

Date of planned discussion:

Describe the problem that you think exists.

Step 1: Get agreement that a problem exists


What questions will you ask?

What did you agree to as the problem?

Step 2: Decide on a solution


What are the alternatives?

What solution(s) did you agree to implement? By when?

Step 3: Follow up
When will you follow up? How will you know the solution is working?

(Continued)

∼ 213 ∼
Exercise 39.4 (concluded)

Step 4: Give recognition when the problem is solved


What type of recognition will you give? What will you do to help keep the problem
from happening again?

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 214 ∼
40
Translation, Please

Description
This activity reminds participants of the need to express themselves in ways that
their listeners can understand.

Objective
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to understand the importance
of using clear language and words appropriate for the listener.

Skill Areas
• Icebreaker
• Counseling
• Delegating

Participants
Number: Any
Type: Any

Time
10 to 15 minutes

Resources
• One copy of Exercise 40.1 for each participant
• Trainer’s Notes

∼ 215 ∼
Activity 40
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Distribute Exercise 40.1 to each participant.

Notes:
Allow 3 to 4 minutes for completion of the exercise.
When time is up, read correct “translations” from the Trainer’s Notes.
Recognize participant(s) with the most correct responses.

Step 2: Discuss the activity.

Notes:
Emphasis should be on the importance of clear communication in delegating,
counseling, or any other effort involving communication; the “language” to be
spoken is one that the other person will understand.
Questions you might ask:
• What dangers are there in using our own professional “languages”?
• Who has had the experience of now understanding another’s language?
How did it feel?

∼ 216 ∼
Exercise 40.1

Exercise 40.1: “Translation, Please”


“Translate” as many of the following expressions as you can in the time allowed. All
are common sayings.

1. Precipitation entails negation of economy.

2. It is deviation from the routine that gives zest to the cycle of existence.

3. Persons abiding in domiciles of silica combined with metallic oxides are


advised not to hurl small geological missiles.

4. Each mass of water vapor suspended in the atmosphere has an exterior


decoration of polished metallic hue.

5. Avian creates of kindred mind associate gregariously.

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 217 ∼
Trainer’s Notes

Trainer’s Notes: Answers to “Translation, Please”


1. Haste makes waste.

2. Variety is the spice of life.

3. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

4. Every cloud has a silver lining.

5. Birds of a feather flock together.

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 219 ∼
41
“Yeah, but. . .”

Description
This role-play activity demonstrates three frequent errors in listening and
provides practice for developing empathic listening skills.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• demonstrate their empathic listening to a conversation partner; and
• avoid common, ineffective listening behaviors.

Skill Areas
• Counseling
• Listening
• Nonverbal communication
• Questioning

Participants
Number: 12 to 14
Type: Any

Time
20 to 40 minutes

Resources
• Flipchart stand, paper, and markers
• 3 x 5 index cards (one per participant)

∼ 221 ∼
Activity 41
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Introduce the activity.

Notes:
Instruct participants to each write on a 3 x 5 index card the issues you
recite:
1. Chocolate ice cream vs. vanilla ice cream
2. Fords vs. Chevies
3. Japanese vs. American cars
4. The Democratic party vs. the Republican party
5. Football vs. baseball
Add other issues as you wish.
Next to each item, participants are to indicate which item in each pair they
prefer. Once this is done, ask participants to reveal their responses by raising
their hands as you read each item.

Step 2: Ask for volunteers for demonstration.

Notes:
Ask for two participants whose answers disagree to volunteer to discuss one of
the issues. Instruct one to begin with a statement of feeling or opinion and
the other to respond naturally. The two should have a discussion of the issue.
Allow several minutes for their discussion, until one or more of the listening
errors (some examples are listed in Step 3) have appeared. Repeat with
another pair of volunteers.

Step 3: Discuss common listening errors.

Notes:
After thanking volunteers, explain that our discussions with others frequently
include poor listening habits, because we learn early in our lives to try to
“win” discussions. Because of this, our listening responses tend to fall into
three categories. (As you list each item, first ask the volunteers and then
other participants for examples of these behaviors shown in class.)
• “Yeah, but. . .” (often disguised as, “I understand your position,
however. . .”)
• Quiz questions (leading and loaded questions, or “logic trap” questions)
• Aggression (sarcasm, interrupting, talking loudly, nonverbal dismissing
of the other, etc.)
All of these responses tend to set up a “win-lose” climate. Empathic listening,
on the other hand, establishes a supportive, trusting climate in which a freer
discussion may take place.

∼ 222 ∼
Activity 41
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Step 4: Discuss empathic listening behaviors.

Notes:
Ask the participants for examples of empathic (or “active”) listening
behaviors. List responses on the flipchart. The list should include:
• Nodding
• Paraphrasing
• Maintaining eye contact
• Offering “mirror” responses
• Making encouraging comments
• Leaning forward

Step 5: Practice active listening.

Notes:
Ask for two more volunteers to discuss an issue. Have the volunteers and the
class list the empathic listening behaviors each volunteer practices.
Have participants pair up (it is helpful for partners to disagree on their
discussion issues, but it is not vital). Have each pair practice empathic
listening.

Step 6: Review the activity.

Notes:
Ask partners to share their reactions to the exercise.
Questions you might ask:
• Who had difficulty resisting the urge to “Yea, but. . .” or otherwise “win”?
• What listening responses were most comfortable? Uncomfortable?
• What happened to your conversation when you showed you were listening?
• How can these behaviors contribute to understanding each other?

∼ 223 ∼
42
Making Assignments

Description
This role-play activity allows participants to identify common errors in delegating.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• identify ineffective delegating behaviors; and
• identify and practice effective delegating behaviors.

Skill Areas
• Building trust
• Delegating
• Nonverbal communication
• Setting expectations

Participants
Number: 12 to 14
Type: Any

Time
60 to 90 minutes

Resources
• One copy each of Exercises 42.1 through 42.3 for each participant
• Flipchart stand, paper, and markers

∼ 225 ∼
Activity 42
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Prepare the activity.

Notes:
Explain that the class is about to demonstrate effective and ineffective
delegating behaviors.

Step 2: Lead a discussion of effective delegating behaviors.

Notes:
Discuss and list them on the flipchart. The list should include:
• Explanation of the assignment
• Checking for the subordinate’s understanding
• Encouragement or emphasis on the value of the assignment
• Opportunity for the subordinate to ask questions
• Opportunity for the subordinate to suggest approaches
• Explanation of follow-up method, quality requirements, and standards
• Effective nonverbal behaviors, such as:
− Eye contact
− Open posture
− Supportive tone
− Understandable pace

Step 3: Lead a discussion of ineffective delegating behaviors.

Notes:
These will, for the most part, be the opposite of items on the effective list.

Step 4: Conduct the role play.

Notes:
Distribute one copy of each exercise to each participant. Allow 5 minutes for
participants to complete item #1 of Exercise 42.1.
Have participants form into groups of three. Members are to each select one
role from the list in item #2 of Exercise 42.1. They are to make the assign-
ment, playing one of the roles. A second member plays the role of subordi-
nate, and the third member observes. Each should record their reactions.
Repeat until all have been the supervisor at least once. Allow time as follows:
• Role play: 5 minutes
• Subordinate reactions: 3 to 5 minutes
• Observer reactions: 3 to 5 minutes

∼ 226 ∼
Activity 42
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Step 5: Review the activity.

Notes:
Ask participants for their observations and reactions. Record points on the
flipchart. Summarize by referring to the list of effective behaviors developed
earlier.

∼ 227 ∼
Exercise 42.1

Exercise 42.1: Assignments


1. Think of a task you assign to one or more of your subordinates that requires an
explanation because it is not routine. Complete the following outline:

A. Description of the assignment:

B. Standards for completion:

1) Quality

2) Time

3) Cost

4) Other

Other information, as appropriate (priority, other resources, follow-up, etc.):

(Continued)

∼ 229 ∼
Exercise 42.1 (concluded)

2. Roles:

A. You are in a hurry, already late and impatient to get to a meeting, and you
don’t want to discuss any more than necessary.

B. You have a lot of faith in this subordinate; in fact, you don’t even need to
discuss the assignment.

C. This subordinate is capable, and you want to be sure he/she succeeds in this
assignment. Be sure it is understood and the subordinate feels confident.

D. This assignment is critical. Unfortunately, this subordinate is not very capable


and will probably mess it up.

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 230 ∼
Exercise 42.2

Exercise 42.2: Subordinate Reactions


1. What tone did your supervisor use?

2. How was this tone communicated?

• Verbally:

• Nonverbally:

3. Did you understand the assignment?

4. How do you feel about this assignment?

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 231 ∼
Exercise 42.3

Exercise 42.3: Observer Notes


1. What tone did the supervisor use?

2. Did the supervisor check for understanding? How?

3. What message did the supervisor send?

• Verbally:

• Nonverbally:

4. What effective delegating behaviors were shown?

5. What ineffective delegating behaviors were shown?

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 233 ∼
43
Coaching Miscues

Description
This activity allows participants to evaluate their coaching skills and learn ways to
overcome common coaching errors.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• describe the difference between ineffective and effective listening behaviors;
• identify miscues in specific coaching situations; and
• develop a plan for preventing coaching errors.

Skill Areas
• Analyzing performance problems
• Counseling
• Listening
• Nurturing
• Setting expectations

Participants
Number: Any
Type: Any

Time
1 to 2 hours

Resources
• One copy of Handout 43.1 and one copy each of Exercises 43.1 and 43.2 for
each participant
• Pen or pencil for each participant

∼ 235 ∼
Activity 43
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Introduce the topic and the activity.

Notes:
Review the objectives.
Use the following (or a similar) introduction:
People make mistakes. As coaches, our job is to help them make fewer
mistakes so that their performance improves.
Unfortunately, we sometimes make things worse instead of better because we
make errors when we coach. Often these errors seem minor and are uninten-
tional. Still, they can cause problems in our relationship with our employees.
This activity looks at some of those errors and how to prevent them.

Step 2: Distribute Handout 43.1.

Notes:
Review the characteristics described on the handout and compare and
contrast the paired descriptions.
Ask participants for specific examples of coaches who have listening skills like
those described. Ask if these coaches were effective or ineffective.
Emphasize the importance of listening when involved in a coaching situation.
You might want to spend some time discussing the concept of “active
listening.”

Step 3: Distribute Exercise 43.1 and conduct the activity.

Notes:
Have participants write their answers on the exercise. Then discuss each
situation after they finish.
Situation 1:
• Employee seems to be blaming someone else. The manager accepts it
without question and offers an “ideal” solution.
• A better approach would be for the coach to gather more information and
involve the employee in offering a solution.
Situation 2:
• The coach is trying to guess the problems and is implying that the
employee is careless.
• A more effective coach would try to find out more about the situation by
asking the employee to analyze the conditions causing the errors.

∼ 236 ∼
Activity 43
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Step 4: Distribute Exercise 43.2 and have participants work through the situations
in small groups.

Notes:
Divide participants into groups of three:
• Coach
• Employee
• Observer
Review the instructions on the exercise and ensure that participants
understand what to do.
Circulate among the groups and answer any questions during the activity.
After each situation, discuss the scenario with the entire group. Use the notes
given in Step 5 as a guide.

Step 5: Discuss situations 3, 4, and 5.

Notes:
Situation 3:
• The error is in implying lack of judgment rather than describing the
behavior. The employee is likely to be defensive.
• A better response would be to use active listening and be sure you
understand the employee’s point of view.
Situation 4:
• The coach has been allowing the behavior to go on too long without taking
action.
• The coach should try to find out why the employee is late and determine
if the problem can be solved.
Situation 5:
• The coach has not been practicing good follow up. Also he/she seems to
be impatient and making value judgments.
• The coach would be better advised to find out why the employee feels
this case is different. Asking a few questions would get the dialogue
started.

∼ 237 ∼
Activity 43
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Step 6: Review the activity.

Notes:
Reassemble the entire group and conduct a wrap-up discussion.
Questions you might ask:
• How effective do you think these coaches would be on the job?
• What did you learn from the exercises?
• How will this help you on the job?
• What benefits do you see in using these coaching techniques?
• What obstacles, if any, will keep you from using what you’ve learned?
Summary points to make about effective coaching:
• Avoid judgment
• Maintain objectivity
• Be sincere
• Strive to help
• Get employee commitment
• Listening is critical

∼ 238 ∼
Handout 43.1

Handout 43.1: Characteristics of


Ineffective/Effective Listeners

Ineffective Effective
Nonverbal Behavior

Looks bored; seems uninterested or Maintains positive posture and avoids


judgmental; avoids eye contact distracting behavior

Focus of Attention

Shifts focus to self and talks about Keeps focus of comments on the other
own accomplishments person

Acceptance

Doesn’t accept other person’s ideas or Accepts ideas and feelings and probes
feelings; makes suggestions first for more information before making
recommendations

Empathy

Fails to see or hear the other person’s Tries to put himself/herself in the
point of view other person’s shoes

Probing

Fails to probe or follow up for addi- Probes in a helpful way, but does not
tional information play “20 questions”

Paraphrasing

Fails to check whether message was Paraphrases and restates what he/she
received accurately thought the other person said

Advice

Narrows the choices by suggesting the Asks for suggestions from the other
best solution early in the discussion person as well as providing own
alternatives

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 239 ∼
Exercise 43.1

Exercise 43.1: Coaching Miscues—Part 1


Read the situations below. The coach makes one or more miscues. Identify the
miscues and then make your own suggestions for improvement.

Situation 1
Employee: “She gets on my nerves.”
Coach: “Why don’t you sit down and discuss it with her. I’m sure you two can
solve this like adults so that we can get some work done around here.”

Coaching miscue:

Suggested improvement:

Situation 2
Employee: “Yeah, I know mistakes are costly.”
Coach: “Do you proofread the articles before you send the newsletter to the
printer?”
Employee: “Every time.”
Coach: “Are you sure you understand your new computer?”

Coaching miscue:

Suggested improvement:

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 241 ∼
Exercise 43.2

Exercise 43.2: Coaching Miscues—Part 2


Each person in the group should take one of three roles: coach, employee, or
observer. Have the coach and employee read the situation below. Have them con-
tinue the discussion to a conclusion after the script ends. The observer should identify
the miscues and then make suggestions for improvement. The observer should also ask
the coach and employee for their own suggestions after they complete the exercise.

Situation 3
Employee: “Things are really hectic this time of year. We can’t get caught up
because someone always wants something different this week than last week or
last year.”
Coach: “This is a holiday that comes every year at this time. You need to improve
your planning and use the system I showed you.”

Coaching miscue:

Suggested improvement:

Situation 4
Employee: “Good morning.”
Coach: “This is the third time you’ve been late this month!”
Employee: “I didn’t know we had to punch a management time clock.”
Coach: “Don’t you realize how much it disrupts my meetings to have you always
coming in late?”

Coaching miscue:

Suggested improvement:

(Continued)

∼ 243 ∼
Exercise 43.2 (concluded)

Situation 5
Coach: “Didn’t we have this discussion once before?”
Employee: “Yeah, but that was different.”
Coach: “Well, I’m surprised you didn’t remember. I don’t like having to stop what
I’m doing to take care of something you should have handled.”

Coaching miscue:

Suggested improvement:

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 244 ∼
44
Tic-Tac-Toe

Description
This activity uses a familiar childhood game to review course material. The
activity can be conducted at any time during the course or as a course closure.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to evaluate
• their knowledge of key learning points; and
• the knowledge of other participants.

Skill Areas
• Role of coach/mentor
• Course closure

Participants
Number: Any, divided into teams of five to seven members if there
is a large group
Type: Any

Time
1 hour

Resources
• 10 3 x 5 index cards per team
• Pen or pencil for each participant
• Flipchart stand, paper, and markers for tic-tac-toe diagram
• Prizes (optional)

∼ 245 ∼
Activity 44
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Introduce the activity.

Notes:
Explain that you are going to conduct a game of tic-tac-toe and you’ll explain
the special rules in just a few minutes.

Step 2: Prepare materials.

Notes:
Divide the group into two teams designated X and O. If you have a large
group, it is recommended that you divide into several teams of five to seven
members per team. You will need an even number of teams.
Give each team 10 3 x 5 index cards.
Assign specific course content areas to each team so that they will not have
duplicate questions.
Allow 15 minutes for each team to write 10 questions based on their assigned
material. Each question should be written on one side of the card and the
answer on the other. Have teams number the question side of each card.
While teams are writing their questions, prepare as many tic-tac-toe diagrams
as you will need. You will need one diagram for every two teams.

Step 3: Set up the area.

Notes:
Select one to four participants from each team as players to represent their
respective teams.
Seat the players facing the tic-tac-toe diagram. You should act as moderator
for the game. If you will have more than one game, assign one participant per
game to assist as moderators.

Step 4: Conduct the activity.

Notes:
Use a coin toss to determine which team will go first.
The first team selects a number from 1 to 10 and indicates on which space on
the diagram they want to place their mark. The opposing team asks the
question on the card with the selected number.
Team members may confer to come up with their answer. Allow no more than
30 seconds for teams to provide an answer.

∼ 246 ∼
Activity 44
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

If they answer correctly, place the team’s mark (X or O) in the designated


space.
If they answer incorrectly, the space is left blank.
Alternate between teams in this manner until one team gets a tic-tac-toe. If
no team has a tic-tac-toe after all 20 questions are used, the team with the
most marks is the winner.
Option: Award prizes.

Step 5: Review the activity.

Notes:
Summarize the objectives and how they were met.
Reinforce the importance of applying on-the-job skills they learned during the
class.

∼ 247 ∼
45
Information Overload

Description
This activity is designed to help participants be more aware of their listening
habits. It also provides an opportunity to explore what can happen when work
assignments are delegated to employees.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• describe their listening strengths and weaknesses;
• describe what can happen when making work assignments; and
• develop a plan for helping their employees listen.

Skill Areas
• Icebreaker
• Delegating
• Listening
• Orientation

Participants
Number: Any
Type: Any

Time
30 to 45 minutes

Resources
• Trainer’s Notes
• Pen or pencil and paper for each participant

∼ 249 ∼
Activity 45
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Introduce the activity.

Notes:
Tell participants that they will experience what it is like to be a new
employee being given a very specific work assignment.

Step 2: Read the assignment from the Trainer’s Notes to the participants.

Notes:
Read the information at a normal rate of speed. Try to be conversational, as
if you were giving a real work assignment.

Step 3: Administer the test.

Notes:
Explain that you want to make sure the new person understands the job
assignment.

Step 4: Discuss the results.

Notes:
Questions you might ask:
• How accurately does your score reflect your listening ability?
• Why did you score high/low?
• How do you think a new employee would react to such an assignment?
• What questions do you think a new employee would ask?
• Do different people listen in different ways? How?
• What is your motivation for listening to someone?

Step 5: Repeat the exercise (optional).

Notes:
Compare scores the second time with those on the first try.
Discuss why scores were better or worse.
Discuss the importance of asking questions when you don’t understand.

∼ 250 ∼
Activity 45
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Step 6: Review the activity.

Notes:
Discuss the role of listening as it applies to being a successful coach/mentor.
Ask participants to think of situations where their inability to listen has
caused problems. Ask them how they can improve these situations in the
future.
If using as an icebreaker, discuss the importance of listening during the
course.

∼ 251 ∼
Trainer’s Notes

Trainer’s Notes: Assignment


Read the following information to participants at a normal rate of speed. Be as con-
versational as possible, but don’t permit any questions. (New employees generally are
reluctant to ask questions, even if they don’t understand.)

The Situation
This is your first day on the job. I’m a coworker the supervisor assigned to you to help
with orientation.

The Orientation
It’s good to have you with us. The boss had to go to a very important meeting, so she
asked me to help get you started. She probably already told you that filing and dis-
tributing the mail will be your most important duties. They may be, but I can tell you
from my own experience that answering the phone will take most of your time.

As far as the filing goes, you’ll get the most from Goodwin. Unfortunately, a lot of it
will be personal stuff. If you spend too much time on his stuff, you’ll never get your
work done. Then there’s Mason. She won’t give you much, but you’d better get it
right. She’s a real stickler. Comes in early and checks the files to see if they’re right.
I’m not sure she trusts anyone to do a job right. By the way, it’s a good idea to ask for
project status reports the day before they are due so that you can start typing.
Poulson is especially bad about expecting to get his handwritten notes typed up 30
minutes before the report is due. It takes that long to figure out his hieroglyphics.

The mail situation sounds tricky, but it’s not so bad. It comes in twice a day, once at
10:00 a.m. and again around 2:00 p.m. You’ve got to take the mail that has been left
on the desk to Charles Hall for pickup. If you really have some rush stuff, take it to
the mail room on the third floor, northeast corner. It’s next to Hunter’s office. On
Fridays you have to get to the mail room yourself to pick up the mail. They have so
much they just can’t get it delivered. They’ll give it to you in bundles. You’ll probably
get a lot of mail that belongs to Preston in the marketing department. He just
transferred up there a month ago, and we still get his mail. Sometimes you can sort
the mail while you’re walking back here. If you get it done, go ahead and stop by
Preston’s office and drop his off. He’s on the northeast corner of the lower level next
to the computer lab.

I hope the boss filled you in on your breaks. You’ll need them—10 minutes in the
morning, 45 minutes at noon, and another 10 in the afternoon. If you’re smart, you’ll
go around 9:55 to beat the rush. In the afternoon, you can go anytime. Lunch time
depends on whose day it is to answer the phones. We usually try to go between 11:30
and 1:00 in 15-minute intervals. Since you’re new, we’ll try to get you out of here by
12:15 so that you can be back by 1:00 when the afternoon action gets started.

(Continued)

∼ 253 ∼
Trainer’s Notes (concluded)

One more thing: you are supposed to call Gina at 8:15 every morning and make sure
she’s up and getting ready for work. If you forget, she gets very testy. If you have any
questions, just ask. Right now I’ve got to get over to the Legal department and pick
up some stuff for Mason. See you later.

Listening Test
Answer true or false.

1. You have to pick up the mail yourself on Thursday. False

2. The mail room is located on the lower level. False

3. Charles Hall recently transferred to marketing. False

4. Breaks are 10 minutes, morning and afternoon. True

5. Lunch is 45 minutes. True

6. You should be back from lunch by 12:30. False

7. Goodwin gives personal stuff to file. True

8. Your main jobs according to the boss are filing and answering the phone.
False

9. You are to call Jeno every morning at 8:45. False

10. Preston likes to give you handwritten copies to type. False

11. Most of your time will be spent answering the phone. True

12. Mason is likely to check the accuracy of your filing. True

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 254 ∼
46
Listen up!

Description
This activity asks the participants to examine bad listening habits by asking them
to list things that people do when they are supposed to be listening.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• identify bad listening habits in others;
• identify bad listening habits of self; and
• describe the effects of poor listening behavior.

Skill Areas
• Listening
• Nonverbal communication
• Role of coach/mentor

Participants
Number: Any
Type: Any

Time
10 to 30 minutes

Resources
Flipchart stand, paper, and markers

∼ 255 ∼
Activity 46
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Introduce the activity.

Notes:
Explain that the participants will make a list of bad listening habits—things
that people do while assuring the talker that they are listening. Give an
example, writing it on the flipchart page, and ask for more ideas.
Some of the behaviors that will be listed include reading, watching TV,
walking away, avoiding eye contact, doodling, talking to someone else,
grooming, eating, drinking, etc.

Step 2: Discuss the behaviors.

Notes:
Participants will more than likely agree that the behaviors they contributed to
the list annoy them. To fully cover the negative reaction to these types of
behaviors, you might ask:
• Which of these are most annoying or could even be considered rude?
• Why? What does that action signal?
• Which of these are you guilty of displaying on occasion? (Ask the
participants to list three of the behaviors that they, personally, have been
known to display.)
• What might cause you to act in these ways.

Step 3: Review the activity.

Notes:
It is important for the participants to understand that the behaviors they have
listed are unacceptable for an effective coach to exhibit. Coaches are
expected to be skilled listeners and to work to eliminate any ineffective
behaviors.
To better apply the concept, ask some or all of the following questions:
• You have identified some of your own bad listening habits. How will
knowing that information help you with your coaching effectiveness?
• How will knowing what causes such behavior help you with your skill
development?

∼ 256 ∼
47
“Just Thought I’d Ask”

Description
This activity allows participants to practice assertive communication skills by
learning to recognize and eliminate aggressive, emotion-laden messages and
passive styles of relating.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• recognize aggressive, passive, and assertive styles of communication; and
• practice effective assertive communication for optimum coaching skill.

Skill Areas
• Assertiveness
• Building trust
• Listening

Participants
Number: Any, divided into groups of two or three
Type: Any

Time
30 to 60 minutes

Resources
• One copy of Exercises 47.1 and 47.2 for each participant
• Trainer’s Notes
• Flipchart stand, paper, and markers

∼ 257 ∼
Activity 47
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Introduce the activity.

Notes:
Explain that communication is generally divided into three categories:
passive, aggressive, and assertive. The first two result in win-lose
relationships, while the third, assertive communication, has the predictable
outcome of win-win.

Step 2: Distribute Exercise 47.1.

Notes:
Call the participants’ attention to the definitions for passive, aggressive, and
assertive communication.
Passive communication is an indirect form of communication that indicates
an inferior position. People presenting a passive demeanor allow the other’s
wants and desires to be more important and have more priority than their
own. The passive person becomes a victim.
In contrast, aggressive people put their own needs, wants, desires, and rights
before anyone else’s. The demanding tone indicates a feeling of superiority.
A person using this type of communication always attempts to get his or her
way, through either a direct or an indirect, honest or dishonest method.
Some aggressive behavior is passive-aggressive in nature. While simple
aggressive behaviors bully the other person, the passive-aggressive style is a
deceitful, underhanded method that a person uses to gain his or her own way
while appearing outwardly compliant.
Assertive communication is active, direct, and honest. It communicates
thoughts and feelings clearly and takes responsibility for personal emotions
and beliefs. Other peoples’ rights are never sacrificed, but the assertive
person communicates self-respect as well as respect for others. Assertive
behavior creates a win-win situation by listening, negotiating, integrating,
and not accepting guilt or responsibility for the actions or feelings of anyone
else.

Step 3: Explain the activity, referring to your Trainer’s Notes if necessary.

Notes:
The obvious difference in aggressive and assertive communication is the
language, both verbal and nonverbal. Aggressive communication is plagued
with accusing “you” messages, while assertive styles use nonjudgmental “I”
messages.

∼ 258 ∼
Activity 47
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

1. Ask the participants to divide into groups of two or three. If you are using
groups of three, ask that they rotate the communicator role so that
everyone has a chance to act and to react.
2. Ask each group to brainstorm body language behaviors for each of the
three types of communication. Allow them 5 to 10 minutes to write their
ideas in the box at the bottom of Exercise 47.1.
3. Ask for feedback. Record suggestions on a flipchart using the guide
offered in Exercise 47.1. Fill in where the groups come up short on ideas.
Ask that they take notes in order to have a complete picture of the
behavior.

Step 4: Distribute Exercise 47.2.

Notes:
1. Ask participants to role play the “you” and “I” statements printed in
Exercise 47.2 using the corresponding nonverbal behaviors identified in
Exercise 47.1.
2. Allow 10 to 15 minutes for the role play. When everyone has finished,
review the activity.

Step 5: Review and summarize the activity.

Notes:
Questions you might ask:
• Why did we do this activity?
• Which type of communication is more likely to result in cooperation? In
resentment? In frustration? In trust?
• Which style is more fitting for the coaching form of leadership?
• Which type or style would you prefer in those that you coach?
• What did the role play reveal to you?
• What did you learn about yourself?
• How will you be able to use this information with your coaching
responsibilities?

∼ 259 ∼
Exercise 47.1

Exercise 47.1: Styles of Communication


Passive communication is an indirect form of communication that indicates an
inferior position. People presenting a passive demeanor allow the other’s wants and
desires to be more important and have more priority than their own. The passive
person becomes a victim.

In contrast, aggressive people put their own needs, wants, desires, and rights before
anyone else’s. The demanding tone indicates a feeling of superiority. A person using
this type of communication always attempts to get his or her way, through either a
direct or an indirect, honest or dishonest method. Some aggressive behavior is
passive-aggressive in nature. While simple aggressive behaviors bully the other
person, the passive-aggressive style is a deceitful, underhanded method that a person
uses to gain his or her own way while appearing outwardly compliant.

Assertive communication is active, direct, and honest. It communicates thoughts and


feelings clearly and takes responsibility for personal emotions and beliefs. Other
peoples’ rights are never sacrificed, but the assertive person communicates self-
respect as well as respect for others. Assertive behavior creates a win-win situation
by listening, negotiating, integrating, and not accepting guilt or responsibility for the
actions or feelings of anyone else.

List nonverbal behaviors of each style:

Aggressive Passive Assertive

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 261 ∼
Exercise 47.2

Exercise 47.2: Role Play—“You” and “I”


An obvious difference in aggressive and assertive communication is the language—both
verbal and nonverbal. Aggressive communication is plagued with accusing “you”
messages, while assertive styles use nonjudgmental “I” messages. “You” messages
create a climate of defensiveness in the listener. An “I” statement places no blame
but is representative of a person who is willing to take responsibility for himself and
his feelings.

Practice the following “You” and “I” statements using the appropriate body language
cues from your work in Exercise 47.1.

“I’m concerned when I see behavior that is inappropriate.”

“You hurt my feelings.”

“You goofed again.”

“You make me so mad.”

“I am angry about what you just said.”

“You are the rudest person I have ever met.”

“I feel very frustrated with these errors.”

“I’m not sure I made myself clear about what was acceptable.”

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 263 ∼
Trainer’s Notes

Trainer’s Notes: Nonverbal Behaviors of Each Style

Aggressive Passive Assertive

Stares Hand at or over mouth Appears at ease and


comfortable

Looks at clock or watch Shoulders slumped Shoulders and back are


straight

Paces Leans on things Leans forward; body


straight with other person

Appears stiff Eyes look down

Lowers eyebrows Does not make eye Makes eye contact but
contact looks away every now and
then

Frowns Pouts, looks sad

Rolls eyes Nods head in agreement

Points finger Speaks softly Tone is clear; speaks with


proper volume and rate

Uses pen or pencil to Whines, mumbles Gives appropriate


direct people emphasis

Yells or screams Acts afraid Facial expression shows


interest

Speaks loudly and/or Fiddles with objects Hands express emphasis


rapidly

Critical tone Hands are open

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 265 ∼
48
“Say what?”

Description
This activity is designed to illustrate the importance of and need for attentive
listening skills in the coach. By asking the participant to hear and remember
information, the difficult job of determining what is important will become
apparent.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• describe the frustration of receiving detailed information and not knowing
what to remember and what to ignore; and
• list reasons why coaches must be able to listen effectively and remember
accurately.

Skill Area
Listening

Participants
Number: Any
Type: Any

Time
10 to 15 minutes

Resources
• A copy of Exercise 48.1 for each participant
• Trainer’s Notes

∼ 267 ∼
Activity 48
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Explain the activity and distribute Exercise 48.1.

Notes:
Tell participants that they will use this sheet to record their answers, without
talking to anyone, to the listen and remember test.

Step 2: Using the Trainer’s Notes, read the test “Say what?”

Notes:
Read test items 1 through 6 in a normal tone and at a normal rate of speed.
Do not repeat. This is a listening test.

Step 3: Repeat the items and then give answers.

Notes:
Allow participants to self-score tests as you read 1 through 6 again and give
the answers.

Step 4: As an optional step, score the results.

Notes:
Collect scores of each participant and total them. Divide total by number of
participants to find the class average.

Step 5: Review the activity.

Notes:
Questions you might ask:
• What did you feel during this exercise?
• What did this activity tell you about your listening skills?
• When might a similar situation occur in the workplace?
• How important is listening and remembering to the coach?
• What makes it difficult to listen and remember?
• How can we work to overcome those barriers?

∼ 268 ∼
Exercise 48.1

Exercise 48.1: “Say what?”—Answer Sheet


1. __________

2. __________

3. __________

4. __________

5. a. ________

b. ________

6. __________

How did I do? My score was __________

Compared to the class average of __________

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 269 ∼
Trainer’s Notes

Trainer’s Notes: “Say, what?”—


Listen and Remember Test
1. In the series of numbers 5, 39, 22, 492, 15, the third number was? 22

2. In the series of words to, at, me, from, for, the fourth word was? from

3. To take advantage of this money-back offer, send the UPC bar code, your receipt,
and $1.25 for handling to our home office, Acme Products, Inc., 3915 E. 29th
Street, Wichita, KS 67202, postmarked before December 31. How much money do
you send? $1.25

4. In the series of colors yellow, blue, red, green, white, which color followed red?
green

5. To get to 729 Market Avenue, you need to travel three blocks south, turn right for
three blocks, then turn left for one block.

a) What are the total number of blocks you must travel to 729 Market Avenue?
seven

b) What direction would you be going when you get to 729 Market Avenue?
South

6. In the series of shapes circle, rectangle, oval, square, triangle, which shape
preceded rectangle? circle

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 271 ∼
49
Tearing up Communication

Description
This activity illustrates the problems associated with incomplete communication
and how the communication process can be improved for more productive
coaching. It also provides practical experience for giving effective instruction to
coaches responsible for training their employees.*

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• describe the benefit of combining verbal and nonverbal communication in
sending a message;
• use feedback to improve the communication process;
• identify blocks that interfere with the communication process, including
assumptions and perceptions; and
• use complete communication to reduce frustration.

Skill Areas
• Building trust
• Listening
• Nonverbal communication
• Training

Participants
Number: Any
Type: Any

Time
30 to 45 minutes

Resources
Four pieces of paper (all the same size) for each participant and for you

*Contributed by Kate Martin, Kate Martin & Associates

∼ 273 ∼
Activity 49
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Introduce the activity and organize the group.

Notes:
Divide the group into groups of two. If you have an odd number, ask one
person to be an observer.
Ask each pair to identify a “sender” and a “receiver.”
Partners should stand back-to-back with senders facing you.
Senders should stand in a straight line or some other configuration so that no
receivers can see any of the senders.

Step 2: Explain the activity.

Notes:
Tell partners that the goal of the activity is to produce two identical papers
after folding and tearing the paper. Explain the procedures and the rules:
• Senders will learn how to fold and tear their papers by observing you.
They will fold and tear their papers as you provide direction.
• Senders will then describe to their receivers how to fold and tear the
paper to produce an identical paper.
• Receivers may not talk or provide any form of nonverbal communication
to the senders.
• Senders and receivers must be standing back-to-back at all times.

Step 3: Demonstrate a folding and tearing pattern to senders.

Notes:
Hold one piece of paper in front of you and in clear view of all senders. Fold
the paper at least three times and tear it at least twice, pausing after each
fold or tear to allow senders to complete the process. Do not give any verbal
clues that receivers can hear.
Inform senders that it is not critical that their papers match yours exactly;
however, the goal is for the receiver’s paper to match the senders.

∼ 274 ∼
Activity 49
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Step 4: Conduct the activity (Stage 1).

Notes:
Tell senders to begin giving instructions.
Along with any observers, you should watch partners to note any particularly
effective communication practices as well as points at which receivers begin
to fold or tear the wrong way.
After all partners have completed the instruction process, have them compare
papers.

Step 5: Review Stage 1.

Notes:
Questions you might ask:
• How many matched?
• How many did not?
• What made this difficult?
• What would have made it easier?
• What blocks in the communication process can you identify?
(Common problems identified are noise, lack of verbal feedback, and
assumptions.)

Step 6: Repeat the activity (Stage 2).

Notes:
Give participants another sheet of paper. Senders and receivers stay in the
same role.
This time senders and receivers may talk to each other. All other instructions
remain the same.

Step 7: Review Stage 2.

Notes:
Conduct a similar discussion, this time noting the impact of verbal feedback
on the process.

∼ 275 ∼
Activity 49
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Step 8: Repeat the activity (Stage 3—option).

Notes:
Give participants another sheet of paper. Senders and receivers stay in the
same role.
This time senders and receivers may talk to each other, the sender can watch
over the receiver’s shoulder and give instructions, but in such a way that the
receiver cannot see the sender.

Step 9: Review Stage 3.

Notes:
Conduct a similar discussion this time noting the impact of verbal interaction
and visual confirmation by the sender.

Step 10: Repeat the activity (Stage 4—option).

Notes:
In this stage, instruct participants to work in the same teams and to talk and
face each other.

Step 11: Review Stage 4.

Notes:
Conduct a similar discussion noting the impact of both verbal and visual
confirmation by both partners.
Note: Sometimes you will find partners having trouble because of mirroring
when the right hand is opposite the left hand.

Step 12: Review the entire activity.

Notes:
Reassemble participants into one group.
Discuss the impact of incomplete communication in the work environment as
it pertains to coaching and training activities.
Point out that effective coaches use as many modes of communication as
possible, including verbal, nonverbal, and visual cues. They also actively seek
feedback to confirm understanding.
If discussing training skills, note the importance of having the employee
demonstrate the task to confirm understanding.

∼ 276 ∼
Activity 49
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Questions you might ask:


• What did you learn about the impact of nonverbal communication?
• What role do visual clues play in communication?
• What’s the relationship between what we say and what we do?
• How can you apply what you’ve learned on the job?

∼ 277 ∼
50
You want me to do what?

Description
This activity gives participants the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to
resolve conflicts that prevent coaches and organizations from achieving their
goals.

Objectives
By the end of this activity, participants will be able to
• describe their preferred conflict resolution style;
• use a four-step process for resolving conflicts; and
• develop a plan for resolving current conflicts.

Skill Areas
• Collaboration
• Consulting
• Listening
• Role of coach/mentor
• Setting expectations

Participants
Number: Any
Type: Any

Time
1 hour

Resources
• One copy each of Exercises 50.1 through 50.3 for each participant
• One copy of Handout 50.1 for each participant
• Pen or pencil for each participant

∼ 279 ∼
Activity 50
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Method
Step 1: Introduce the topic and the activity.

Notes:
Review the objectives. Use the following (or a similar) introduction.
Effective coaches do not ignore conflict. Instead, they accept the fact that
conflicts will occur from time to time. When a conflict occurs, they
acknowledge it and begin to take steps to resolve it. Effective coaches know
that resolving conflicts can lead to achieving better results and having a
more effective organization.

Step 2: Distribute Exercise 50.1 and review.

Notes:
Explain that there are five basic approaches to resolving conflict. This
questionnaire will help participants identify the style that they are most likely
to use.
Allow 5 minutes to complete.

Step 3: Distribute Exercise 50.2 and review.

Notes:
Review the five basic approaches to conflict resolution.
Have participants determine which style they are most likely to use based on
the questionnaire they completed.
Ask if they agree or disagree with the results of the questionnaire and why.
Ask participants for specific examples of coaches they have worked with who
used each of the styles.
Ask if these coaches were effective or ineffective.

Step 4: Distribute Handout 50.1 and review.

Notes:
Point out the value of using the problem-solving approach.
Review the problem-solving model with participants.
Discuss each of the four steps. Use a conflict example supplied by one of the
participants as a point of reference when discussing the steps and their
applications.

∼ 280 ∼
Activity 50
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Step 5: Conduct problem-solving role play.

Notes:
Divide participants into groups of three. Assign each person one of the
following roles:
• Coach
• Employee
• Observer
Have participants use their own “real world” examples as the basis for the
role plays. Have “coaches” explain a situation they need to resolve to the
“employee” so that he/she can assume a realistic role. The observer should
watch for the application of the four-step process.
Option: You can provide prepared role plays.

Step 6: Discuss the first role play.

Notes:
Questions you might ask:
• Was the problem solved to the satisfaction of both parties?
• What were the biggest obstacles in solving the problem?
• What made the process go smoother?
• What other conflict resolution styles did you see emerge?
• Do you think the problem has been solved long term? Why or why not?
• What suggestions do you have for improving the process?

Step 7: Conduct second and third role plays (option).

Notes:
Have participants switch roles and complete another role play.
Continue until all participants have experienced each of the three roles.

Step 8: Distribute Exercise 50.3 and discuss.

Notes:
Have participants complete the worksheet for a current conflict they want to
resolve.

∼ 281 ∼
Activity 50
50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Step 9: Review the activity.

Notes:
Questions you might ask:
• What are the five conflict resolution styles?
• Which one is preferable and why?
• Why is it important to acknowledge the conflict?
• Why is it important to discuss the conflict?
• What techniques can be used to agree on a solution?
• How can you monitor results?
• What did you learn that you can apply on the job?
• What obstacles, if any, do you face using this process?

∼ 282 ∼
Handout 50.1

Handout 50.1: Problem-Solving Approach


The ability to use a prescribed method of resolving conflict that focuses on solving
problems is important for effective coaches. The four-step process below can help
you reduce conflict and solve problems.

1. Acknowledge the Conflict


• Schedule a meeting
• Determine own conflict resolution style
• Determine other person’s style
• Decide to discuss the conflict

2. Discuss the Conflict


• Decide what questions to ask
• Be prepared to listen
• Do you know what your point of view is?
• Do you understand the other person’s point of view?

3. Agree on a Solution
• Discuss alternatives
• Decide on mutually acceptable solution
• Decide how to implement the solution

4. Monitor Results
• Decide how you will verify that solution is implemented
• Ensure that conflict is resolved to everyone’s satisfaction
• Determine if anything else needs to be done

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 283 ∼
Exercise 50.1

Exercise 50.1: Resolving Conflict


There are five generally accepted styles of resolving conflict. These styles are
reflected in the statements that follow. Think about conflicts you have had in the
past as you rate the statements using the following scale.

4 3 2 1
Always Usually Sometimes Never

When there are conflicts, I tend to. . .

1. Ignore conflict because it will solve itself with time.

2. Be agreeable and nonassertive.

3. Believe that I must win at any cost.

4. Try to maintain good relationships.

5. Be assertive and cooperative.

6. Not do anything that might damage relationships.

7. Be cooperative, even at the expense of personal goals.

8. Prove that my position is the best.

9. Believe there is more than one good way to do anything.

10. Openly discuss mutually beneficial solutions.

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 285 ∼
Exercise 50.2

Exercise 50.2: Conflict Resolution Styles


The five basic conflict resolution styles are described below. The numbers in the first
column refer to the numbered statements on the questionnaire in Exercise 50.1. Add
your points for the statements to determine which style(s) you tend to use.

Style Behavior Justification


Avoidance Nonconfronting; ignores or Difference too minor to worry
passes over issues; denies about; attempts to solve might
1. ___________
issues are a problem damage relationships
6. ___________
Total _________

Accommodating Agreeable and nonassertive; Not worth risking damage to


cooperative even at the relationships or creating
2. ___________
expense of personal goals disharmony
7. ___________
Total _________

Win/Lose Confrontational and assertive; Survival of the fittest; must


must win at any cost prove superiority and be
3. ___________
correct
6. ___________
Total _________

Compromising Important that all parties No one person or idea is


achieve basic goals and perfect; there is more than
4. ___________
maintain good relationships one good way to do anything;
9. ___________ you must give to get
Total _________

Problem Solving Needs of both parties are When all parties will openly
legitimate and important; high discuss issues, a mutually
3. ___________
respect for mutual support; beneficial solution can be
8. ___________ assertive and cooperative found with major concessions
Total _________

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 287 ∼
Exercise 50.3

Exercise 50.3: Problem-Solving Worksheet


Use the worksheet to plan how you will work through a current on-the-job conflict.

1. Acknowledge the Conflict


Schedule a meeting.

What conflict resolution style do you want to use?

What conflict resolution style is the other person using?

What changes, if any, need to be made in either style?

Are both parties willing to discuss the conflict?

2. Discuss the Conflict


What questions do you want to ask?

Are you prepared to practice active listening?

What is your point of view regarding the conflict?

(Continued)

∼ 289 ∼
Exercise 50.3 (concluded)

3. Agree on a Solution
What are the alternatives?

What is the mutually acceptable solution?

How will the solution be implemented?

4. Monitor Results
How will you make sure the solution is acceptable?

Has the conflict been resolved to both parties’ satisfaction?

What else needs to be done at this time?

Reproduced from 50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring by


Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, and Joe Fehrmann. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1993.

∼ 290 ∼
About the Authors

Donna M. Berry is a trainer, specializing in management development, communica-


tion, and customer service skills. She has operated her own consulting firm, Training
Choices, Inc., since 1986. Prior to that, Donna was employed in business and aca-
demics. She holds an MS in Adult Education from Kansas State University. Donna’s
work with business and industry includes such clients as Pizza Hut, Inc., the Coleman
Company, Koch Industries, Inc., the State of Kansas, and AT&T. As president of the
Sunflower Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD),
Donna was instrumental in chapter revitalization. She was recently awarded the
coveted ASTD Region VI Significant Contributor honor. She and her husband, Steve,
reside in Wichita.

Charles Cadwell is president of Training Systems+ in Mulvane, Kansas, which special-


izes in training system design and development. He has almost 20 years of training
experience. Prior to starting his own consulting firm, he held positions as Director of
Field Training for Pizza Hut, Inc., and Director of Training for Popingo Video. His
client list has included national and international companies such as Pizza Hut, Rent-
A-Center, PepsiCo Food Service International, and Burger King Corporation. Cadwell is
currently past president of both the Sunflower Chapter of the American Society for
Training and Development and the United Methodist Men in Mulvane. He currently
serves as first vice president of Mulvane’s Lions Club.

Joe Fehrmann is manager of Management Development and Training for Beech Air-
craft Corporation (Wichita, Kansas). He oversees the training for 7,000 employees in
craft, technical, management, and computer skills. Prior to his current position, he
was director of training for Kansas Gas and Electric Company. In addition to his train-
ing and development work, Fehrmann has been involved with policy development,
sales, security management, and salary administration. He is active in the United Way
and the American Red Cross and serves on the board of directors of the Sunflower
Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development. He is a frequent
speaker on management topics for professional groups, area chambers of commerce,
local colleges, and businesses. Fehrmann holds an ME in Educational Administration
from Wichita State University.

∼ 291 ∼