Personal Characteristics/Leadership Qualities
This is a full-group discussion activity in which participants are invited to describe themselves in terms of their personal characteristics and then to discuss those characteristics that are useful leadership qualities.
After completing this activity participants will be able to:
• better understand their own personalities
• identify the personality traits that should be developed in leadership
• recognize the traits that should be discouraged when dealing with people
• better understand other members of the group.
• Paper and pencils for the participants
• Flipchart and pens
1. Ask each participant to spend a few minutes writing down how they would describe themselves in terms of their personal characteristics.
2. Explain that what is required is a list of words describing how they see themselves and not necessarily how they feel that others might see them.
3. Allow a few minutes for participants to complete their lists and then ask each person, in turn, to call out his/her list. Write the lists on the flipchart.
4. When all the lists have been called out and written on the flipchart, start at the top of the list and ask the group to decide whether or not the personal characteristic listed is a good or bad leadership quality.
5. Work on down through the list, one word at a time, marking good leadership qualities with a checkmark and the others with an “X.”
6. Encourage discussion along the way. If the group cannot decide or agree on a particular word, mark it with both a checkmark and an “X.”
This is a good activity to use with courses relating to interpersonal skills, dealing with people and teambuilding. It provides an excellent opportunity for participants to be open and honest about how they see themselves and to tell others in the group.
You can use this activity to encourage quieter members of a group in a sensitive way by asking, as they call out their list of descriptions, questions which will invite more explanation.
It can also be used to achieve bonding among members of a group by inviting others in the group to agree or disagree with a person’s view of him-/herself. This approach can produce humorous results.
Finish the exercise by pointing out that participants should not try to change their personalities. By being more aware of their own personality traits and those which are useful in leadership, they might have a better chance of modifying their behavior in different circumstances in the workplace.