Teaching Team Leadership: Using building blocks in specialized learning activities
As a result of participating in this activity, learners will:
- Demonstrate leadership behaviors and qualities in the execution of a simple task and analyze their successes.
- Test various models of leadership and formulate strategies that empower other team members.
- Manage a rotating model of leadership and evaluate its purpose.
- Assemble students into teams of 5-6 using some method to ensure diversity/interprofessionalism on each team.
- Provide students with blocks. Bins of them around the room work well.
SizeSmall Group, Medium Group, Large Group: 120-250 people
EquipmentMinimal Equipment - children's blocks
LessonLeadership and Communication
Provide a designated leader for each team with a picture of a constructed tower (similar to what you see on the opposite side of this sheet.) The leader may not show this to anyone else and must sit back to the table from his/her team. When the activity starts, the leader describes the tower to be built to his/her team, but may not look to see their progress, and they may not ask the leader questions. Play is time-limited. It is recommended that only one person may go get blocks for the team, and do so only one block at a time.
- Leaders, what was it like to be giving directions to a team without being fully aware of their progress?
- Team members, how did you feel about being on a team with only one way communication?
- In what ways do teams of which we are a part fail to communicate effectively due to structural barriers, such as leaders who aren’t in clear communication with their teams?
- Facilitate the conversation to discuss best communication practices on teams.
Imagine that the tower is a patient on whom you have been asked to collaborate on.
- What information would you like to get from the person who called you?
- When would you like that information?
- How is the limited time a factor?
- How could these lessons be applied to other clinical scenarios?
IPEC CompetencyCC 1, 4 & 5
TT 1 & 8
The assignment is given to the entire group at the same time. They are to construct the tallest tower possible in the allowed time. It must be free-standing, and must be able to be moved across the table without additional supports.
- How did your team decide how to build your tower?
- If one person stepped forward as the leader, how did the rest of the team determine that this was a good leader to follow?
- How did your team reach a common, shared vision of your task?
- Describe the roles of leaders and followers in any given task.
- How do teams decide what is most important?
Provide a clinical scenario when the entire team is given the same info at the same time.
- How is that helpful/important?
- What do you do if someone new comes in after the info has been given?
- After receiving the clinical patient info as a team, what should happen next?
IPEC CompetencyVE 3
CC 1, 4, 5 & 7
LessonWinning Outcomes through Collaboration
(This event requires additional preparation by making certain that blocks are dispersed in bins such that teams must go to other teams to get resources. In other words, all the blocks needed to complete the tower pictured cannot be found in any single bin.) Provide each team a picture of a tower to be built. All team members may see the picture. Teams have access to any container of blocks in the room. Give a limited amount of work time.
- As a team, what did you do when you realized that you did not have the resources needed to complete the task?
- How many learners initially thought that getting resources from the bins of others was “cheating”?
- How was it possible to succeed at this activity?
- What does it mean to “win” when thinking about healthcare?
Picture a clinical scenario which requires a team. For example, a passenger train derailment. There are multiple providers on hand but limited other resources such as supplies.
- How will you work as a team to maximize the resources you have?
- Will you be "stealing" from others?
- Is it possible to succeed or "win"?
IPEC CompetencyVE 7
CC 1, 4-7
TT 5, 7, 8 & 11
SummaryUtilizing inexpensive children’s blocks (Mega Bloks® are pictured) you can teach important lessons about leadership on teams in an interactive, engaged-learner activity!
For more information about how to utilize games, low-fidelity simulation, and interactive learning to teach concepts of teamwork and collaboration, contact Better.Teams@rosalindfranklin.edu