''THE WEB'' Today's Z-Factor Leadership Program session at Deshler Middle School was a success......

Sometime groups run into tough times when participants forget how they fit into the group, how they rely on each other, or what their role is. Most groups have a tendency to rely on the same people for every task, or have members who are routinely the first to volunteer. This activity can help solidify the group’s understanding that everyone can contribute.


The learning concepts are:

• Teamwork and group dynamics

• Communication skills

• Problem solving and working through crisis

ACTIVITY

Participants are to form a circle in the room. We will pass out a slip of paper with a word and definition, to each participant. Make sure to give the words “Leadership” and “Cooperation” to participants on opposite sides of the circle – these two people cannot be next to each other. We will not indicate the significance of these two words, and participants are not to reveal their word and definition until asked to do so.


We will then give them a roll of string that they will use to create a web that connects them with each other. We will give the loose end to one person, who will toss the roll across the circle to another person. The next person will do the same, tossing the roll of string until all participants are holding a part of the string. Participants may toss the string to whomever they like, except the person standing beside them. The final person cannot wind the string up at any time, and no one may let go of their portion of the string.

Visually, this will create a symbolic spider’s web parallel to the floor. Explain: Imagine that you are all connected to one another like part of a spider web. Your goal is to keep your web tight and off the floor. Then one-by-one, ask each participant to read their word and definition (make sure that “Leadership” and “Cooperation” are not read until last).

As words are read, that person is asked to step out of the circle and release their portion of the web. The remaining people will have to pick up the slack in order to keep the web off the floor and as tight as possible.

We will take our time between words so that participants can move themselves and still keep the string up. As one steps out, they are reminded to stand in a designated place, and remain quiet until the end.

TALK ABOUT IT

Building on the web analogy, ask participants about the ways the members are connected like a web. What are their observations about the people in the Z-Factor and how each are important to the success of the group? What did they learn or observe by participating is this activity that relates to the Z-Factor in general?

QUESTIONS

 How did it feel to have to leave the circle?

 What was it like to be left in the circle?

 In what ways, did this activity communicate each person’s role in the group?

 Who does the group rely on most to get things done?

 How do you feel when or if people aren’t doing their part?

 Was there a point where you felt it would be impossible to keep the web together?

 If not, why were you confident that the web would remain intact?

 Does this group need to change how things are done in order to be more

successful and effective; and what are your suggestions?

Derrick Robinson (Director) Shantrice Byrd (Today's asst. Facilitator)


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