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Personality Development Module

It was clear from the pre- intervention assessment that the majority of the employee show Low

scores on Psychoticism and high scores in Neuroticism and Lie. This module aims to work on

these points and help the employees work better in the work place. The module aims to reduce

Neuroticism by building resilience and empathy in the employees, provide assertiveness training

for low psychoticism scores and training for high scores in the dimension lie. By the end of this

module, employees will be more resilient, empathetic, assertive and honest.

Module 1 (Resilience and Empathy)

Dealing with Disappointment

Learning objective. This activity helps team members develop skills to move beyond a

disappointment by dealing with it well.

Time required. Approximately 15-30 minutes.

Activity. Give the following situation to the employees.

Imagine working hard for a number years, in the same job and then getting a huge project. You

feel this is finally your chance to move forward. Your co-workers believe this is your chance to

get promoted. And then your project doesn’t get selected. It can be devastating.

Now ask them to recall a work-related disappointment from at least three years ago. It could be

the current company or the previous one. It could be an opportunity denied or a project that was

not successful or even a plan that was shelved (Irimia, R., & Gottschling, M., 2016)

Next take a moment to write your answers to the following two questions, which you later ask

them to share.
1. What opportunities were eventually made possible after the disappointment?

2. How did the disappointment help you grow, develop or change?

Ask the employees to share their personal response and then the facilitator can share his/ her

response to.

Outcome. Understanding what good can come from a disappointment may not make it

easier in the moment, but it can help us to gain perspective and put it behind us faster. It is

important for one to be positive and accept disappointments because there is always something

better panned. Also, it gives a scope for one to learn more and shape themselves better.

Identifying and Overcoming Obstacles

Learning objective. Activity helps team members focus on solutions and strategies they

can use to overcome obstacles they may perceive to be a hindrance.

Time required. Approximately 30 minutes.

Materials. Chart and markers

Instructions. Choose an existing goal or objective that the entire time can relate to –

project or time management, improving communication, planning social events, less stress or

conflict, etc. Once decided on goal or objective, note it down.

Present the following series of questions, one at a time till it reaches the desired outcome.

Restate the purpose of the meeting and invite discussion for each question.

Let the group know that it is not a formal project meeting, so they can relax and benefit from the

Ask the group to state positively and specifically what they want the desired outcome(s) to be.

1. How will we know when we have reached the desired outcome(s)? What will we see, hear

and feel?

2. How would a third-party observer be able to tell that we have reached the outcome(s) we

wanted? (What would they see or hear?)

3. What will reaching this outcome(s) do for our team?

4. What stops us from reaching it now? (Follow up with “What else?” until the team can go no


5. What are we willing to do in order to reach our desired outcome(s)?

6. What are we willing to stop doing in order to reach our desired outcome?

7. Is there something we have been doing that is preventing us from reaching the desired


Wrap up by asking the team whether the discussions have helped them explore or improve the

ability to reach the goal or objective, and whether they could apply this process to achieving

other goals or objectives in the workplace (Irimia, R., & Gottschling, M.)

Outcome. It develops a sense of trust among the employees that they can seek help. Also,

it gives them more strength to deal with hard times. Also, makes them more positive and

employees will be more keen on accepting challenges.

Frame Them and Play

Learning Objective. The activity will help the employees behave more empathetically

toward their colleagues.

Time required. 20 minutes

Activity. Ask all the employees to pair up. Now ask one of them to write in a sheet of

paper what they would want their partner to do discreetly. It could be anything. Now ask these

employees to line up and read their chit one by one. Finally, ask them to perform the task they

assigned to their partner.

The employees will not able to perform such a task. They will realize that they assigned a task

for their partner which even they wouldn’t be able to perform

Outcome. The employees will learn to be more empathetic toward their colleagues and

understand that there is a certain way of putting things across.

Module 2 (Assertiveness)

Sample Situations

Here are a handful of examples of situations, together with one or more possible responses. Ask

the group to identify whether the response is assertive, passive or aggressive. Alternatively, ask

if they can think of a better way to respond (Eun, 2011).For example:

1. Situation: A waiter serves you the wrong drink at the restaurant.

Response: “What do you call this? I asked for a mojito, not lemonade – get your act together,


2. Situation: A new colleague, with whom you share an office, smokes continuously. You

dislike the smell of smoke.

Response: “Gosh, I’ve really got a headache, but then smoky atmospheres always bring on my

3. Situation: You are feeling put upon at work and decide to ask for a higher grade.

Response: “I’d like to talk about my grade with you. Please could we meet next week to discuss

it further?”

Give assertive, aggressive and passive responses to the following:

1. Situation: You are waiting to pay for some shopping but the two sales assistants at the till

are deep in conversation and appear to be ignoring you.

2. Situation: Your employer expects you to take on extra work but your existing work load

is already very heavy.

3. Situation: You make a mistake at work and your supervisor tells you off in a very abrupt

and angry manner.

Outcome. The employees will learn to differentiate between assertiveness and

aggressiveness. They will then learn to be assertive and not aggressive in dealing with


Ask Line . . . “NO” Line

Often assertiveness is hard when you face a challenge or need to ask for something. Keeping this

in mind, the following activity was developed.

The participants form two lines. One lines is the “Asking Line.” They ask for anything from the

other group, a pay raise, extra resources, time off, etc. The other line is the “No Line.” Their job

is to say no. Encourage them to be realistic in their delivery and to find a reason to say no.
The Ask Line is then forced to ASK a what, how, or why ONLY question that forces the No

Line to justify their answer (Eun).

The Ask Line then reformat their ‘ask’ with the new information from the No Line. The No Line

then offers the honest reconsideration of the request

Facilitator coaches participants one at a time, but each pair goes fairly quickly.

Outcome. This helps to over the anxiety of the No and cultivate the ability to bounce

back and be assertive by asking probing questions and re-stating the Ask.

Module 3 (Lie)

Mistake Meetings

Learning objective. This team-building activity can help develop a sense of openness and

trust amongst the team.

Time required. Approximately 30 minutes.

Instructions. In a workplace where mistakes are concealed for fear of reprisal, hidden

problems can become dangerous or costly. The goal of this activity is to imagine and work

toward a workplace where mistakes are seen as part of learning, and solutions are shared among

team members to prevent the same mistake from being repeated.

Start by sharing one or more of your own mistakes that you have made since your last meeting.

Follow up by sharing how you corrected the mistake, or use this opportunity to ask for ideas to
solve the situation. (If you think your team or workplace will react strongly to the word

“mistake”, you can ask them to share a “challenge” instead; the intent would be the same.)

Ask the participants to be sure to have at least one mistake to share for this meeting. They can

either share what they did to correct it or ask for help to solve a problem. Set the ground rules up

front by stating that it’s not the intention to belittle or ridicule anyone for the mistake they

choose to share.

Team members may be reluctant at first, but if you can be forthcoming in sharing your mistakes,

over time this process can encourage people to be open about mistakes rather than trying to hide

them. It also provides an opportunity for the team to help each other improve the quality of their

work (Irimia, R., & Gottschling, M)

Outcome. This activity would make the team trust each other and thus the scope of lying

will reduce automatically.


Eun, J. (2017, July 11). Assertiveness Games and Activities - WorkSMART. Retrieved from


Irimia, R., & Gottschling, M. (2016). Building Stronger Teams. Taxonomic Revision of

Rochefortia. doi:10.3897/bdj.4.e7720.figure2f