Virtual Team Building Events

Activity Description

Activity Overview

A highly competitive game is used to identify various kinds of power.


  • To develop the ability to identify and use different kinds of power.
  • To strengthen what has been learned so far about power.
  • To get an understanding of how others view power.

Training Methods

  • Role Play
  • Game
  • Discussion

Materials Needed

  • Handouts attached
  • One set of seven cards per group (a different kind of power from the sheet provided is printed on each card in letters large enough to be seen 15 feet away).
  • Flipchart
  • Markers
  • One bell per small team
  • One judge’s robe and wig (the “judge” can wear black clothes as an alternative)
  • Small prizes

Leaders attain their power from positions they hold and their personalities. In this activity, we will focus on seven different kinds of power using a game with a courtroom setting. You will need one facilitator, and one person to act as the judge. Dress the judge in black clothes or a judge’s robe. Try to have a wig on hand for effect.

Consider awarding small prizes to the winners. This can be very energizing for competitive groups, as well as a rewarding way to build cohesive teams. There is no one answer that fits each scenario. The dilemma can be “solved” in any number of ways. Sometimes more than one type of power is being used. (DO NOT share this information with the group until after the game has been played!)

After the teams identify the types of power used in the scenarios you provided, each team should write its own scenario and have the other teams guess which type of power is being used in the scenario. Correct answers to each scenario in the attached document are as follows :

#1 Connection power 
#2 Information power 
#3 Referent power 
#4 Legitimate power
#5 Coercive power
#6 Expert power
#7 Reward power

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Introduce the activity by asking, “What is your definition of power as it is used in your business context?” Gather responses, and write them on the flipchart. Explain, “Communication is sometimes quite difficult, especially during the problem-solving process, when you are trying to understand another person’s power base. It is always helpful to have a clear understanding of the underlying basis for the power you see demonstrated.” 
  2. Discuss the seven general kinds of power (start by passing out handout attached: Types of Leadership Power). The seven main types are:

    i. “Coercive” power.
    ii. “Connection” power.
    iii. “Expert” power.
    iv. “Information” power.
    v. “Legitimate” power.
    vi. “Referent” power.
    vii. “Reward” power.

  3. Tell the group that it’s time to see how each type of power is used. Then begin playing the “You Be the Judge!” game.
    i. Divide into groups of three-four and distribute one set of power cards to each group. Let each group pick a name for itself—the name of a famous leader. When the names have been chosen, write them in a list on the flipchart. The Judge will call the group by that name.
    ii. Explain the rules, as follows:
    – “You will be given a script of a short scene in which the people involved exercise one type of power.
    – “After you read the scenario, talk amongst yourselves so the other groups can’t hear, and decide what type of power is being demonstrated. Be sure you can defend the reasons why you make the choice you do and have that “power card” ready to show the Judge at the appropriate time.
    “As soon as you have made a decision, ring the bell. In every round, we will record which group rang the bell first, but we will wait until every group has made a decision before the Judge hears them out. You may use each power-type card only once. Once you have used it, put it aside or give it to the facilitator. Points will be scored for each win, and prizes will be awarded to the winning team.”
    iii. The facilitator should write on the chart which team rang first, which rang second, and which rang third.
    iv. Each group must choose a spokesperson to defend its position.
    v. The Judge will call on you in the order of the bells to present your power-card decision. Take turns if possible. One question may be asked for clarification purposes.
    vi. The Judge makes a decision after hearing all of the reasons. The Judge’s decisions are final.
    vii. The score should be kept on the flipchart.
    viii. The Judge will declare the winner and explain the correct answer for each scenario. Acknowledge the groups coming in second and third.
    ix. Award the prizes.
  4. Bring the activity to a close with a brief discussion asking volunteers this question: “What did you learn from this game, and how can it be applied to your job?” Either end your Power module or move on to the next activity.

Activity Review

Take time shortly after conducting this activity to reflect on how it went, how engaged the participants were, and what questions they raised. Then, make notes that include how much time you actually spent on the activity.

Be The Judge

Basic Details
Property Type : Team Building
Listing Type : Placeholder
Activity Type : Team Building
Focus On : Communication, Having Fun, Leadership
Outcome Based : Yes
Facilities : Indoor
Props Required : Minor
Duration : 26+ minutes
Exertion Level : Low
Group Size : 1 - 8, 9 - 16, 17 - 30
Age : Adults