Leadership Inspirations Activities

Hopes and Fears

Understand your group’s hopes and fears


20-30 minutes

Team Stage

Forming, Storming, Norming

Type Of Activity

Bonding Activity


Poster paper, sticky notes, pens




In this activity, group members will share their hopes and fears with each other. The purpose is to recognize and validate each others feelings about an experience, while also fostering understanding for the members of the group.



  • Prepare two poster papers – title one ‘Hopes’ and one ‘Fears’
  • Pass out pens and two different colored sticky notes to each group member


  • Have participants write a hope(s) that they have on one colored post it note and then write a fear(s) that they have on the other colored post it
  • Their hopes and fears should be related to the current situation, the group, their role, or a project.
    • Example: What are your hopes and fears going into this retreat?
    • Example: What are your hopes and fears about your new role on this team?
  • Have participants place all of their hope post its on the ‘Hopes’ poster and all their fear post its on the ‘Fears’ poster
  • Read all of the hopes and fears out loud to the group
  • Allow them to discuss similarities, differences, what these hopes and fears mean and depending on time, what are some ideas to help make the hopes happen and alleviate the fears.


  • Before and After – Write down hopes and fears before an experience (retreat, event, teambuilding experience etc) and revisit after to see if hopes came true or fears were realized.
  • Anonymous – Write down your hopes and fears anonymously on index cards. The facilitator should collect everyone’s cards, mix them up and pass them back out so everyone has hopes and fears from someone else. Ask everyone to share their “new” hopes and fears and discuss.
  • Step into the Circle – The facilitator should collect all hopes and fears. Gather the group in a circle. Read hopes and fears aloud individually and anonymously, and then ask participants to step into the circle if they relate to that hope or fear. Discuss after.


  • What was the goal of this activity?
  • Did your group do well? What could have improved?
  • How did your group make decisions? Was it effective or ineffective?
  • How did your group manage conflict that arose?
So What?


  • Are we the only ones that define our purpose? What or who influences our purpose?
  • How do we communicate our purpose to new members or people outside of our group?
  • Why is it important that we all understand the purpose of our group/activity/etc.?

Group Dynamics

  • What are the traits that make someone successful on this team? What are the traits that make someone unsuccessful on this team?
  • What motivates our group?
  • How does our group dynamic affect the way we get work done?

Inclusion & Involvement

  • What does it mean to be inclusive or exclusive?
  • What did we do as a group that was inclusive? That was exclusive/not inclusive?
  • Why is inclusion and involvement important for our group?


Now What?
  • What does this activity tell you about the strengths of your group? The areas for improvement?
  • What’s one commitment each person can make?
  • What are three lessons the group has learned that they can continue to work on?
  • How can we implement these lessons in our school/organization?
  • What can you do differently moving forward?