Problem Solving Leadership Games

By Gerri Blanc
techniques, problems, some interesting games
people image by cloud1971 from Fotolia.com

Whether you want to teach some problem-solving and leadership-building skills to adults or children, games that initiate group cooperation are helpful for any age group. Such games help people grow as a team and gain a mindset that enables them to face any challenge head-on.

Marooned

Offered by the website NWLink.com, this game has its players decide what to do if deserted in an abandoned location. Start the game by dividing the group into a few groups of people. Tell all of the groups that they have been marooned onto a deserted location, such as an island, a desert or the wilderness. Give them a long list of about 25 possible items that they can choose from, such as a lighter, a knife, a blanket, a towel and so on. Let each group talk it over and figure out five items out of the list they would find most useful in their survival. Once all of the groups have discussed this, you can have each group present their lists to all of the players. The groups debate the items and offer possible scenarios that cancel out certain items as being considered useful. The game should help the group exercise problem-solving skills and encourage leadership as well (See Resource 1).

Knots

For a more physical activity that gets people to work together and allow leadership to present itself, you can play this game presented by LearningforLife.org. Begin by placing your group of at least six people into a circle. Have everyone put their right hands into the circle. Each person grasps the hand of another person that isn't on either side of him. Then, all players put their left hands into the circle and the same process occurs. Once everyone in the group has become adequately tangled up, tell them that they now have to get themselves out of the knot of hands without letting go of the hands of their partners (See Resource 2).

Mine Field

If you're interested in promoting teamwork as well as leadership, you can try this game from Wilderdom.com. To prepare, place some obstacles such as balls, boxes and traffic cones in a play area. Divide the players into pairs, and pick one pair out of the group. Blindfold one member of the pair and situate them at a starting point. The blindfolded partner has to move through the "mine field" without stepping on or touching any obstacles in his path, otherwise, he has to return to the starting point. His partner has to help him by giving him directions from the starting point. Once the blindfolded partner makes it to the end of the path, he switches places with his partner. If you want to add a competition to the game, time each pair to see which one makes it to the end of the "mine field" quicker (See Resource 3).