In the corporate world today, leadership skills are a must-have to succeed. A person is considered a good leader if he possesses a number of skills and qualities, such as good communication, problem-solving and decision-making abilities, good interpersonal skills, ability to handle pressure, and ability to work productively in teams. These skills, if inculcated right in childhood, can contribute to a person's professional as well as personal growth immensely! That's why, these days, teachers not only stress that students should learn various subjects in the curriculum, but they try to teach these life skills as well, by way of some interesting games and activities.
Divide the students into teams of six each and appoint one leader. Mark a starting and a finishing line. Ask the leader to stand at the finishing line and the rest of the team members at the starting line. Blindfold all the team members, except for the leader. Place books, chairs, stationery, plants and whatever you have handy in between the starting and the finishing line. The rule of this game is that the team leader has to guide his entire team from the starting line to the finishing line, ensuring that none of them touches or steps on the 'obstacles'. The leader which takes minimum time to see his team through to the finishing line is the winner. By participating in this game, the leader learns how to give instructions and be in charge and responsible for his entire team, while the team members learn how to trust, depend, and follow the instructions of the leader of their group.
To play this game you would need a rope approximately twenty inches in length for each group. Start with dividing the students into groups of eight to ten each. Next, give each team a rope, which the team members have to hold with their left hand. The rule here is that the team members together have to tie a knot with the rope, without even once releasing it from their hands. The students are not allowed to use their right hand during the entire activity. During this game, the students will share opinions and derive strategies to make a knot. This will definitely contribute to their problem solving, decision-making, and leadership skills.
Down the Woods
You would need a wooden log for this activity. Blindfold all the students and have them stand in two lines, facing one another. Next, ask them to bring both their hands forward, with their palms facing the roof. See to it that there is enough distance between the students that they do not end up touching each other's hands. Now, place the wooden log on the stretched palms of the students and give them instructions that they have to lower it to the ground, as a group. While carrying on this activity, the students will learn how to co-ordinate with one another. For instance, if a student lowers the log in a haste, it can become unbalanced! So, the student will have to adjust according to the group's speed! There will obviously be some students who would guide and give opinions on how to go about the activity. This activity is sure to teach students how to work effectively in teams.
To conduct this game, divide the students into teams of eight to ten each. Next, tell them that you would be giving them a topic or a scene, which they have to recreate with their body parts, within one minute, as a group. For instance, if you say 'cinema hall', some of them have to probably become a ticket counter, some of them have to behave like people watching a film, some may even have to become a chair! The group which looks the most authentic is declared the winner. While carrying on this activity, students will learn teamwork, improve upon their communication, and at the same time some of them will emerge as leaders, who would be guiding others in this task.
By making the students participate in quizzes and debates on current topics, teachers can further add to the student's leadership skills in the class. Sports activities, such as soccer or basketball, is another effective way to inculcate team spirit and leadership in students. Teachers can choose any of these activities and games, conduct them from time to time and help the students become socially confident adults.