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Management Exercise – Behaviours Under Pressure


The next part of our Talent Programme development plan will require participants to experience a complex exercise which will enable them to consider how they behave under pressure.

We have two days for the event, so the exercise could be run intermittentantly over the two days, not just in one session.

Could anyone suggest a good exercise that could highlight behaviours under pressure? Thanks.
Karen Collins

5 Responses

  1. Also interested
    I am attempting to run a (self)assessment centre where any employee can attend if they wish to see which areas they need to develop in to step into the Team Leader post. It was my plan to make this very much a riggorous scenario based assessment to give the full picture, so any ideas of ways to put thwe delegates under pressure would be appreciated.

  2. Management Exercise – Go Bespoke
    Although there are a number of off-the-shelf exercises around (eg SHL’s range of Assessment Centre exercises) I would strongly recommend a bespoke approach. This helps overcome the first potential stumbling-block of credibility, in that the scenario and wider context will feel real (crucial in gaining participant immersion). A well-designed exercise will allow a broad range of possible behaviours but will help directing staff to observe those which are effective, and thus develop meaningful feedback sessions.
    Although ‘bespoke’ sounds expensive and complicated, it can turn out less so than some so-called ready-to-run exercises that nearly always need extensive tweaking and even then can fall flat.

  3. Inspiration from the archive
    Reading your post instantly brought to mind an article I read some time ago in People Management, and inspired me to dig it out of the archive to see its relevance (July 13, 2006).

    The article talks about how AXA-PPP used an innovative approach to diversity training through a 2 week extended process of multi media communication, actual drama, message boards, culminating in an employment tribunal. It was part of a company wide project, but the use of actors to create “incidents” gave the credibility and shock value as mentioned in previous comments.

    The article had an impact on me at the time, hence the fact I remembered it, so you may find it useful inspiration or background reading to developing your exercise.


    PS If you are a CIPD member you can access through the online archive.

  4. Behaviours Under Pressure

    A custom designed simulation based on and mapping your own organisation would give the desired flexibility, complexity, and relevant pressures. It can be designed to recreate key aspects of the whole organisation or a particular part or slice of it. It can be as complex or simple as needed, and it can be designed to meet specific learning and development needs. The pressures which participants experience in the simulation are generated from the interactions amongst the various organistional functions and responsibilities which the simulation recreates in a training setting, and the participants learn from their own experience of dealing with these. They have the opportunity to stand back to see the bigger picture, and how organistional and personal pressures arise and can be managed. Customers and suppliers can be represented as well as internal departments, and people enjoy learning in an active way by developing ideas and testing them out practically in a supported way. The simulation can be stopped and restarted for the participants to take stock, review, and replan, or to receive relevant inputs as part of a larger programme, which they can they can then make use of in the next phase of the simulation. Let me know if you would like more details.

    good wishes,

    John Teire

    [email protected]

  5. Shape jigsaw challenge
    Hi Karen

    There is an exercise I have used under many different circumstances. It can provide enormous insight into behaviours, both for the trainer and for the delegates. It’s very hands-on and interactive, but totally silent. I started trying to describe it here, and then realised it would be far too long (although the exercise is deceptively simple). If you would like to send me your email address, I can send you the details, complete with daigrams.


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