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39
Roadblocks: A
Constraint Activity
PURPOSE:
To become aware of the various roadblocks that can constrain team
effectiveness.
GROUP SIZE:
Fifteen to 30 people in a team training workshop.
TIME:
60 minutes
PHYSICAL
SETTING:
A room large enough for the entire group as well as break-out rooms
for subgroups.
MATERIALS:
1. Easel, flipcharts, and markers for each team.
2. Leader Instruction Sheet for each group.
3. Role descriptions for each team leader. Each role description can
be printed on a 3 x 5 index card. See the Role Description Sheet.
4. Copies of the Situation Worksheet for each participant.
5. Copies of the Observers’ Worksheet for three observers.
PROCESS:
1. The facilitator gives a brief talk on how roadblocks can constrain a
team from reaching its goals and objectives.
2. The facilitator explains the purpose of the activity and the agenda.
3. The facilitator selects three people to serve as team leaders. The
team leaders are given a Leader Instruction Sheet, one Role
Description Sheet, and a Situation Worksheet. The team leaders
then go off for five minutes to review the handouts.
4. The facilitator selects three participants to be observers and
reviews the Observers’ Worksheet with them.
5. The facilitator assigns the remaining participants to a team and
gives each person a copy of the Situation Worksheet.
6. The team leaders return and begin the activity.
7. After 20 minutes the meetings are ended. The observers provide
feedback and discuss the impact of the leader’s behavior on the
team.
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39
Roadblocks: A Constraint Activity
(continued)
8. The teams reassemble to discuss the roadblocks and the process
used to deal with them.
VARIATIONS:
1. A work team issue can be used as the basis for the activity.
2. Other activities where hidden agendas have an impact on team
decisions include Activity 38, Project Rescue and Activity 23, The
Victory Tour.
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161
Role Description Sheet
Roadblocks: Leader’s Role #1
You expect well-developed solutions that are practical, logical and a credit to
you and your ability to manage the team.
You want to achieve consensus.
Roadblocks: Leader’s Role #2
You don’t really want a solution and will stall as long as possible.
You can use the “We have already tried that one before,” “It will cost too much”
and other similar “idea killers” to block the team.
Your intent is to reject suggestions.
Roadblocks: Leader’s Role #3
You have a preconceived solution.
You consider any suggestion a weakening of your idea. Therefore, minimize
other ideas unless they could enhance your idea.
You don’t want the group to know you have a pre-selected solution.
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163
Leader Instruction Sheet
1. Read your role description. Learn your role. Feel free to add ideas and opinions as
long as they are consistent with your basic role.
2. Don’t reveal your role data to anyone. Stay in your role for the duration of the
exercise.
3. Don’t overact.

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