Leadership Inspirations Activities

Breaking Stereotypes

Identify and break unwanted stereotypes  

Duration

20-30 minutes

Team Stage

Storming, Norming

Type Of Activity

Experiential Activity

Materials

Paper, pens

 

SUMMARY

 

In this activity, individuals reflect on and share the stereotypes they have been labeled with before. They then engage in a meaningful conversation about the effect of stereotypes and how to best break or beat them.

 

SET UP

  • Pass out a paper and pen to each participant. 
  • This activity is best facilitated with high school age students and older.

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Instruct participants to write down 10 different stereotypes that they feel like they have been labeled with that aren’t true. 
    • Example: I am from Oregon so I must love the rain. My parents are divorced so my family must be dysfunctional. 
    • Facilitator Note: A stereotype is a fixed oversimplified label, assumption, or image of a person. 
  • Give everyone 5-10 minutes to write down their thoughts.
  • You may ask for some volunteers to share some of the things they wrote down either in their small groups or with the large group.
  • Facilitate a discussion about judgments and stereotypes with questions like these:
    • How was this process of reflecting and sharing for you?
    • How do the stereotypes you wrote down make you feel?
    • Why do we think we are so quick to judge?
    • What harm can judgments like these have on a team? 
    • How do we go about breaking stereotypes or judgments like these?
  •  

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?

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?