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Review: 40 Activities for Training in Self-empowerment

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Title: 40 Activities for Training in Self-empowerment
Author: Seifert, Lucy
Publisher: Gower Publishing Limited
ISBN: 0566076497
Price: £125.00
Reviewer: Desiree Cox

“The aim of this manual is to encourage participants to acknowledge and harness their inner power”. The activities that Lucy Seiffert has included are aimed at encouraging individuals to take responsibility for their lives by increasing their awareness of their own abilities, confronting problems and difficulties and developing a positive attitude.

The key theme of all forty activities is to increase self-awareness and build confidence. The forty exercises are divided into eight areas of personal responsibility and self-esteem. They vary considerably in content and length and provide a good range of exercises.

The format of the manual in a loose-leaf binder makes it much easier to use for producing effective photocopies for training and education purposes.
The manual does not contain a trainer guide (this is covered in a previous volume), but does provide some useful cross-referencing tools for the trainer. There is a synopsis of each exercise with suggested timings provided to give an at-a-glance view of the different activities together with an index cross-referencing their application to various topics within interpersonal skills training.

Although the emphasis of most activities is on building confidence and increasing self-esteem, many of the exercises can be used effectively in training courses encompassing teamworking, dealing with conflict and difficult people, perception management, motivation, giving feedback, communication skills. The emphasis is on self-awareness, exploring own behaviour, values goals and beliefs and using this knowledge. This makes this reference manual a valuable tool in management training.

The activities themselves are well structured and clearly labelled with different symbols used to denote handouts, tasks and trainers’ material. Each activity provides a description, aim, trainer guidance, materials needed and suggested timings. The names of the exercises are creative which promotes delegate interest and encourages participation, for example “Perfect Man, Perfect Woman”, “’ello, ‘ello” and “Day of Judgement?”. Although included in some activities, it would be helpful to have a self-evaluation form for each exercise to help promote learning and increase awareness of delegate’s own skills and abilities.

The exercises I have experimented with in a training environment have been very successful. “Robocomp” was particularly enjoyable with a group of young adults as part of a team building workshop, although more time was required than indicated. “Busy Body” was effective in a session on communication skills with a group of mature adults looking at non-verbal communication and the impact on other people.

Overall this is a useful training tool providing exercises for a variety of programmes.

Reviewed by Desiree Cox, Professional and Management Development Consultant providing management training, facilitation, coaching and consultancy through Praeceptor Consulting. For further information, please contact [email protected]


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