Free Team Building Exercise

Tact & Diplomacy

Free team building exercise tool for tact and diplomacy introduction:

"Some people seem to be able to successfully navigate their way through the most difficult kinds of discussions imaginable.”

These folks understand that it's truly not what you say, but how you go about saying it.

"Leaders who are tactful and use diplomacy effectively are almost always very strong listeners."

They are especially skilled at finding ways to negotiate win-win solutions that quickly diffuse a potentially difficult conversation.

Leaders who can listen closely will key in on the root cause of frustration and quickly take ownership of how they can eliminate the "spur" that is stuck in the person's proverbial saddle.

" Tact is one of the first mental virtues, the absence of which is often fatal to the best of talents; it supplies the place of many talents. "
- William Gilmore Simms

Use these free team building exercise tools to teach and support your team members on how they can become more adept at mastering the skills of tact and diplomacy.

Free Team Building Exercise for Tact & Diplomacy

Power of Suggestion

Purpose of this team building activity: Using this free team building exercise, teach your team about the power of suggestion and the importance of the choosing the words they use. Their words carry great influence their co-workers and their customers so it is important that they understand their responsibility of using words that are tactful and diplomatic.

Explanation: Leaders can often underestimate the impact (both positive and negative) that their words can have on a group or an individual.

Share with your team the following excerpt that was originally published in 1911 by Dr. Orison Swett Marden. This excerpt illustrates the fact that our words can have significant influence on those we lead, or those whom we come in contact with.

The Power of Suggestion

We little realize how much suggestion has to do with health. In innumerable instances people have been made seriously ill, sometimes fatally so, by others telling them how badly they looked, or suggesting that they exhibit symptoms associated with a dreaded disease.

A prominent New York businessman recently told me of an experiment that the friends of a robust young man made upon him.

It was arranged that beginning in the morning, each one should tell him when he came to work, that he was not looking well. They did this subtly, in a way that would not make the man suspicious.

At one o'clock this vigorous young man had been so influenced by the suggestion, he quit work and went home ill - thoroughly convinced he must be sick.

To be sure, we are under the influence of suggestion every moment of our waking lives. Everything we see, hear, feel, is a suggestion, which produces a result corresponding to its own nature. Its subtle power seems to reach and affect the very springs of life.

It is almost impossible for a patient to get well while people are constantly reminding him how ill he looks.

What people need is encouragement, uplift and hope!

Instead of telling a friend in trouble that you feel sorry for him, try to pull him and help to restore his energy and reserves. Help the friend picture his ideal image, his better self.

The suggestion that comes from an enthusiastic and optimistic person can move mountains. Many a life has been stirred and inspired by only a few moments of positive conversation.

Many men and women have made their place in history, largely because their ambition was aroused by suggestion: some book or some individual who gave them the first glimpse of their possibility and potential, and enabled them to feel for the first time a thrill of the power within them.

As leaders, we can identify others throughout our careers that have helped us along our journey.

As this free team building exercise suggests, we need to take the extra step each day to provide an employee with words of encouragement and support. If you have an employee who is still not quite producing to the level you expect, recognize that employee for the effort they are putting forth and for any incremental improvement.

Your words are powerful.

Because your employees look to you for leadership. Understand that your words have the potential to either inspire the heart or dash the dreams of those who seek your approval.

Use the preceding excerpt to lead a discussion with your team about how each team member is responsible for lifting the team up via their choice of words in the workplace. This free team building exercise can be of tremendous benefit for improving workplace moral.

Lead your team in creating a list of words that are not acceptable in your workplace. Words such as "can't" and "won't".

Encourage your team, using this free team building exercise, to hold one another accountable for spending each day approaching new tasks with optimism versus doubt or fear.

Are You Determined?

Purpose of this free team building exercise: To teach your team about how simply re-phrasing a question can gain an entirely different response or reaction. Tact and diplomacy depends upon your ability to choose quality questions.

Explanation: In business, the word 'commitment' is often overused and has become somewhat of a cliche'.

In your next team meeting, instead of asking for every team member's commitment, ask "What are you determined to accomplish?"

Simply by re-phrasing an over-used question will shake things up and arouse your team's curiosity.

Now that you have their attention, take your team through the following steps:

  • Identify one key activity or end-result that each person is determined to accomplish. Be specific.
  • Ask why this is important. What is the ultimate purpose?
  • Ask if they are certain the task is achievable. Make sure their goal is realistic. If their stated goal is too broad, help to break it down into smaller tasks that can be managed effectively.
  • Get clear on how their success will be measured. How will each team mber know if their determination has paid off?
  • Ensure that a time for completion is stated clearly. By end of week, end of Month, etc.

"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."
— Mark Twain

Does the above process sound familiar? Hopefully it does - you have just walked your team through setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time Sensitive) goals.

The key point here is that you did this in a new and creative way that got your team thinking differently.

Instead of mindlessly stating their 'tried and true' weekly commitment - they went a little deeper and considered more thoroughly their plan for accomplishment.

Pat yourself on the back You are using this free team building exercise effectively and pro-actively leading your team!

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Next Team Building At Work Chapters

» Trust and Rapport

» Accountability

» Commitment

"You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can't get them across, your ideas won't get you anywhere."

- Lee Iacocca

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