Leadership Inspirations Activities

Call to Action

Write a memo for a fellow team mate

Duration

10-20 minutes

Team Stage

Storming, Norming, Performing

Type Of Activity

 Experiential Activity

Materials

Pens and paper

 

SUMMARY

 
In this activity, participants will write memos for a fellow teammate with instructions for a task to be performed in front of the group. When it comes time to perform, roles are reversed and the participant who wrote the memo will perform their own task. This activity is a great way to talk about expectations of ourselves and others as well as accountability.

 

SET UP

  • If you have a larger group, you may want to split them in two to manage time and engagement. This may require the help of a second facilitator. 
  • It may be helpful to put an example of a memo on a poster or whiteboard as a visual aide. 
  • Pass out a pen and paper to each participant.

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Instruct participants to write a memo to a fellow teammate in the room.
  • The memo should include three things:
    • To: Indicate who the memo is intended for
    • From: Indicate who the memo was written by
    • Message: This should be a task that they would like the other participant to perform in front of the group (ex. Sing a song, do 10 push-ups, etc.)
      • Facilitator Note: Remind participants that these tasks should be safe and appropriate
  • After everyone has finished writing their memo, have them fold them it in half and collect them all.
  • Then, have everyone gather in a circle. 
  • Tell participants that you are going to call a name and tell them their task. When their name is called they will go to the center of the circle and complete the task.
  • As the facilitator, you will read out the name written in the “From” line of the memo and ask them to complete the task that they wrote down themselves. 
    • Facilitator Note: You will probably experience some resistance from group members who don’t want to perform the tasks that they had intended for other participants. This discomfort is an important realization in this activity and should be addressed in the debrief. It is important that you are careful in your language and never say in the memo instructions that the other participant will be performing this task. Participants may assume this but it should not be explicit in your instructions.

VARIATIONS

  • As the facilitator you can collect all the cards and mix them up. Have participants come up one by one to choose a task to perform at random. 
  • If you are facilitating it as random tasks, you can also choose not to show them who the memo is from. Then, have the participant try to guess who wrote it.
  •  

SAMPLE DEBRIEFING QUESTIONS

What?
  • 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?

Accountability

  • What are you currently accountable for as an individual and a group? Who holds you accountable?
  • What is effective accountability? Are our methods as a group effective?
  • What role do you play in your own accountability and the group accountability?

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?