A Reflective Teamwork Activity (RTA) involves participants creating a checklist and then evaluating their performance by using the same checklist they created.
Here's an outline of this activity: Participants are organized into groups of five. Members of each group are randomly assigned to the roles of a manager, an assistant manager, and three employees. Each participant prepares a list related to a different management topic. The manager has the lengthy task and additional supervisory responsibilities. Other group members have simpler tasks. After the list preparation activity is completed, a debriefing discussion relates the manager's behavior to the items in her list.
To explore factors related to delegation by managers
- A set of five instruction sheets for each group (one for the manager and one for each of the four employees)
Get ready for the activity. Make sufficient number of copies of the Instruction Sheets. Read through the instruction. Underline the topic of delegation in the manager's instruction sheet. Underline one of the other four topics in each of the employees' instruction sheets.
Remember this important point: Even though the focus of this activity is on delegation, you make it appear that this topic is a randomly selected along with a set of management topics. Give the impression that the topics are randomly assigned to different people. The manager has significantly more work to do than any of the other members of the group. Do not point this out; let the participants assume that everyone has an equal amount of work.
Organize groups. Divide participants into groups of five and give a set of instructions sheets to each member of each group. This ensures random distribution of the manager's role to a member of the group. Ask the manager in each group to identify himself or herself.
Brief participants. Introduce the activity as an exploration of management behaviors. Briefly explain the flow of activity, identifying the five different topics of feedback, motivation, time management, delegation, and coaching. If necessary, briefly define any of these terms.
Begin the activity. Ask managers to note the time and ask everyone to get started. Walk around the groups, observing participants in action, without interfering with their activities.
Conclude the activity. Call time at the end of 5 minutes. Check to see if the managers have completed their list and the filled out the Task Completion Form.
Debrief the group. Read different Instruction Sheets and point out that the manager had insufficient time to complete their tasks while the other members of the group had plenty of free time. Explain that the focus of the activity was to explore why managers don't delegate.
Explore opportunities for delegation. Read the manager's Instruction Sheet again and ask the participants to identify different task s that the managers could have delegated. This list could include delegation of logistic tasks (such as time keeping) to an individual and asking for everyone's contributions to the major task (of coming up with the list of 12 items related to delegation). Find out if any manager delegated any of these activities. Congratulate these managers.
Explore why managers did not delegate. Ask each manager to read the list of reasons why managers do not delegate. Discuss how many of the reasons applied to the manager's task in this activity. Offer any item from the following list if it did not appear in the manager's lists:
- Nobody told the managers that they could delegate.
- A lot of time is required to explain the task to the others.
- Managers feel that only they understand what is needed.
- Managers feel that only they can do the job.
- Managers feel that they can do a better job than any of the others
- Managers feel that nobody can reach their high standards.
- Managers don't trust the others.
- Managers don't have the time to coach and teach others.
- Managers don't like to boss people around.
- Managers feel that they are not doing their job if they delegate their tasks to others.
- Managers don't know how to delegate.
- Managers feel that the others are too busy on their own tasks.
- Managers want to be in control of everything.
- Discuss how managers can do a more effective job of delegating. Ask managers to read the items from the second part of their lists. Ask participants for additional suggestions.
Suggest follow-up. Briefly emphasize the need for applying the insights from the activity to delegating tasks in their workplace. Explain that you are going to delegate this action-planning task to each individual participant.
Source: Thiagi Group