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Seb Anthony

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Exercises depicting Power in organisations


Hi Folks
I'm lloking for exercises, suggestions etc that will make training participants aware of the diffferent types of power that exists in an organisation; while also possibly making them aware of their own power and how the use it or not.

Many thanks.

Jarlath Duffy
jarlath duffy

3 Responses

  1. One Possibility
    Hi Jarlath,

    One possible resource that may be of use would be the Fenman Influencing Skills pack.

    It has a number of activities relating to power in the context you briefly describe below.

    No links except as a satisfied prior user of the material.


  2. Raven and French
    You could easily design a checklist based on the Raven and French* model for describing the forms by which power is exercised in an organisation, and have your participants use this in order to classify power.


    In your course, divide the participants into two groups. One group has a problem solving task. The other group observes the first, using your Raven and French checklist.

    At the end of the session, have the second group report on the behaviour they have observed. This will sensitise the participants to their own use of power, and reinforce learning of the Raven and French model at the same time.

    Then reverse the roles, with the observer group doing a task while being observed. Have a feedback session as before.

    Finally, have a grand ‘washup’ session to review what has been learned about using power from the two group task exercises. Ask participants to help you construct a list of the learning points, and let them take copies of this away with them.

    Good Luck!


    I experienced this exercise some years back and it sticks in my mind for the impact it made on all the participants. The exercise was set up with a room full of stacked chairs, tables, flip chart easels, wine bottle and a CD player.

    Then each participant was asked to go into the room alone and arrange the furniture to gain the maximum influence on the next person to enter.

    The first person entered and made a classroom type layout with their position at the focal point. Nice choice – that was until the second person came in and moved the flip chart directly in front of them blocking them out. And so it went on with people moving furniture around to gain a position of power. The last person came in, switched on the CD player and started role playing drinking from the wine bottle whilst sing away at the top of his head. Game set and match.

    What followed next was a great discussion about ‘power’ in the workplace.


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