Activities: Leading with Childlike Wisdom

September 22, 2023

Activities for Leading with Childlike Wisdom

Exercises to Help Embrace Strategies for Better Leadership

Here’s a list of different actions leaders can take to help them strengthen their access to their Childlike Wisdom (discussed in our more detailed article on Leading with Childlike Wisdom)

1. Growth Mindset

Activity 1: Challenge Swap – Leaders write down a personal challenge they face in their leadership role. All challenges are put in a hat and then drawn randomly. Leaders then brainstorm solutions to the challenge they picked, offering fresh perspectives.

Activity 2: Skill Swap Sessions – Leaders teach a skill they’re good at while learning one they’re unfamiliar with from another colleague.

Activity 3: Failure Journaling – Leaders maintain a journal of their failures or setbacks, but more importantly, they jot down what they learned from each instance and how they can improve next time.

2. Active Listening

Activity 1: Reflective Feedback – In pairs, one leader shares a concern or idea while the other listens. The listener then reflects back what they heard without offering solutions. This reinforces the act of pure listening.

Activity 2: Listening Stations – Leaders rotate through stations where they listen to various scenarios or problems. Their only task is to listen without responding. After rotating, they discuss their feelings and what they’ve learned.

Activity 3: Silent Meetings – Host a meeting where team members can only communicate via written notes. This forces everyone to “listen” more actively to the written concerns of others.

3. The Power of Play

Activity 1: Team Story Building – Starting with a sentence, each leader adds another, building a collective story. This fosters creativity and collaboration.

Activity 2: Role Reversal Play – Leaders take on the roles of team members, and vice versa, in a mock-meeting to understand different perspectives in a playful setting.

Activity 3: Improvisation Games – Simple improv games, like “Yes, And…”, can foster creativity, quick thinking, and playful team dynamics.

4. Reframing Failures

Activity 1: Mistake Celebration – In groups, leaders share past mistakes and then discuss the positive outcomes or lessons that emerged from them.

Activity 2: Rebuild the Scene – Using props, leaders recreate a scene where something went wrong. The group then tweaks the scene to find a better outcome.

Activity 3: Scenario Reframing – Leaders are given fictional failure scenarios. They must reframe and discuss these situations to focus on the potential lessons rather than the failures.

5. Boundaries and Consistency

Activity 1: Calendar Mapping – Leaders map out a typical week, setting clear boundaries for meetings, personal time, and team interactions, emphasizing the importance of balance.

Activity 2: Role Play Boundary Setting – In pairs, one person makes an unreasonable but realistic request while the other practices setting boundaries in a respectful manner.

Activity 3: Consistency Challenge – For a month, leaders commit to a consistent behavior (e.g., starting meetings on time). After the month, they discuss the benefits and challenges of this consistency.

6. Encourage Curiosity

Activity 1: Reverse Brainstorming – Leaders identify a problem and brainstorm ways to exacerbate it. This unusual approach spurs creative thinking and often leads to identifying potential solutions.

Activity 2: Field Trips – Leaders visit a location or industry unrelated to their own, observing and asking questions. They then discuss how insights gained could be applied to their context. (This is also called “transfer of knowledge” and is a highly valued skill)

Activity 3: Industry Exploration – Once a month, host a discussion on a completely unrelated industry or topic. This broadens horizons and ignites curiosity.


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