Activity 12 99
Activity 12
If I had to choose…
Description
This is a group discussion and flipchart activity to help participants clarify objectives
and decide on priorities, especially when they are providing support services to a
variety of people with differing needs.
Target Group
Support staff at all levels
Objectives
To identify how, when, and where a conflict of priorities can occur in a busy
work schedule
To prepare a “blueprint” for prioritizing work
To produce a set of guidelines for publication within a department or team
To enhance decision-making skills
Number of Participants
This activity works best with small groups from the same functional areas. The total
number of participants should, ideally, not exceed 12.
Time
60 minutes
Materials
Overhead projector and screen
Several 3" x 5" index cards or paper cut to 3" x 5" size; Post-it® notes
A flipchart and markers for each group
Transparency 12-1
Worksheet 12-1
Preparation
Prepare an overhead slide of Transparency 12-1.
Make a photocopy of Worksheet 12-1 for each participant.
100 50 Training Activities for Administrative, Secretarial, and Support Staff
Activity 12 (concluded)
Method
1. Introduce the objectives of the activity.
2. Divide larger groups into smaller groups from the same functional areas. A
maximum of three participants per group is recommended.
3. Give each group several 3" x 5" index cards, paper, or Post-it
®
notes.
4. On each card or Post-it
®
, ask participants to write a single job task or duty that
they must carry out during the course of a day, week, or month (according to
their work cycle).
5. Tell participants to spread the cards out on a table so that each can be seen in
relation to the others and then rank them in order of importance and urgency (or
hierarchical demand).
6. Show Transparency 12-1, the If I Had to Choose grid. Explain that it works in
similar fashion to a mileage chart, in which each item can be compared to each
other item.
7. Tell the participants to use this overhead slide as a guide for the following activ-
ity that involves drawing on a flipchart a large rough draft of this grid and plot
along both the horizontal and vertical axes the list of jobs, tasks, and duties
written on the cards or Post-it
®
notes. They should then compare each time on
the horizontal axis with each item on the vertical axis and decide which should
have priority over the other by allocating a 1 or a 2 to each job.
8. Give each participant a copy of Worksheet 12-1 and ask them to transfer onto it
the contents of the rough draft on their flipchart. Suggest that they use this
completed worksheet to guide their thinking when back at work.
9. Conduct a discussion with the whole group that includes:
The value of undertaking an exercise of this nature to aid decision making
The possibility of publishing this grid to those who allocate the jobs or tasks
undertaken
The likelihood of building a greater level of cooperation from those who are
supported by each participant
Reproduced from 50 Training Activities for Administrative, Secretarial
and Support Staff by Elizabeth Sansom and Christine Newton, HRD Press
Transparency
12-1
Research
2
1
2
1
2
1
2
1
Sam’s
presentation
materials
2
1
2
1
2
1
1
2
Jo’s
reports
2
1
2
1
1
2
1
2
Minutes
of…
2
1
1
2
1
2
1
2
Month end
figures
1
2
1
2
1
2
1
2
If I Had to Choose…
Month end
figures
Minutes
of…
Jo’s
reports
Sam’s
presentation
materials
Research
Reproduced from 50 Training Activities for Administrative, Secretarial
and Support Staff by Elizabeth Sansom and Christine Newton, HRD Press
Worksheet 12-1
(1 of 1)
2
1
2
1
2
1
2
1
2
1
2
1
2
1
1
2
2
1
2
1
1
2
1
2
2
1
1
2
1
2
1
2
1
2
1
2
1
2
1
2
If I Had to Choose…

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