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Leader-Follower Dynamic - Activity

Part 1 - In pairs

1a. (A) facilitates (B) with Clean Language to create two metaphors for:
 - When you’re leading at your best, that’s like what?

 - When you’re being led as you’d like, that’s like what?
Swap roles, (B) facilitates (A).

1b. (A) and (B) each draw their own two metaphors.

Part 2 - In the same pair

2a. One person places their metaphors where they need to be and then places themself.

From within the metaphors:
 - What do you know from here?

 - What are the advantages/disadvantages of leading this way?

 - What are the advantages/disadvantages of being led this way?

 - Is there a relationship between how you lead and how you like to be led?
Repeat for the other person’s metaphors.

Part 3 - In TWO pairs

3a. Get with another pair and arrange the 8 drawings into two groups: 4 leader metaphors and 4 led metaphors
For each pair, (B) describes (A)’s metaphors and then vice versa.
3b. As a group: 
 - What do you notice about the leader metaphors?

 - What do you notice about the led metaphors?

Part 4 - In same TWO pairs

4a. Place ONE of the leader metaphors next to the 4 led metaphors and ask the owner:
- What can you learn as a leader from how these people like to be led?
Repeat for the other leader metaphors.

4b. Put the 4 leader metaphors together.

Consider: If these four were all part of a leadership team:
 - How would they work together?

 - What challenges would they need to be aware of?
Everyone redraws or updates their own metaphor drawings.

James Lawley

James LawleyJames Lawley is a UKCP registered psychotherapist, coach in business, and certified NLP trainer, and professional modeller. He is a co-developer of Symbolic Modelling and co-author (with Penny Tompkins) of Metaphors in Mind: Transformation through Symbolic Modelling. For a more detailed  biography see about us and his blog.

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Clean Language
Symbolic Modelling

James Lawley
Penny Tompkins

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