Managers' Library Home

Motivation Training Activities


Attitudes Attract


Time required:

15 minutes.

What it does:

An opportunity to explore what it feels like when we take a pessimistic approach and how it impacts the likelihood of success.


flag This training exercise can be run on it’s own, but it works best when it is followed up with Describing Your Glass - Optimism vs Pessimism, as it focuses on the positive steps your team can take.



You will need:

Flipchart paper and a pen.

In a nutshell:

Can your team summon enthusiasm for a fund raising challenge when their manager seems so convinced that it will not work?

Channels of Influence - Who and How?


Time required:

30 minutes.

What it does:

Explores the people your team need to influence and makes them aware of the need to consider the needs of the person they are seeking to influence.

You will need:

Flipchart, pens, post-it notes and the Channels of Influence PowerPoint. Each member of your team will also need a Channels of Influence handout.

In a nutshell:

Can you re-tune the internal radio station of the people you need to influence?

Describing Your Glass - Optimism vs Pessimism


Time required:

30 minutes.

What it does:

Explores the difference between optimistic and pessimistic behaviour. It also identifies the kind of actions we can take if we want to be more optimistic. 

The exercise can be run on it’s own, but it works best when it is run after the Attitudes Attract activity.

You will need:

A copy of the handout and Optimism Top Tips for each team member, plus flipchart paper and pen for you.

In a nutshell:

A chance for your team to think about optimistic and pessimistic behaviours and the impact optimism and pessimism have.

Sorting Out – Why Objectives Matter


Time required:

15 minutes.

What it does:

Demonstrates why it is important to have clear and complete goals and objectives.

You will need:

One set of Sorting Out Cards for every two participants. You will also need a stopwatch. A bell, buzzer or whistle to signal when time is up is also recommended.

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In a nutshell:

Fun exercise designed to simply demonstrate the difference clear objectives make.

The Motivation Game


Time required:

25 minutes.

What it does:

Explores what motivates different people and more specifically what the biggest drivers for your team members are.

You will need:

One set of the Motivation Game Cards per seven participants, plus a table to display the spare cards. You may find the What Motivates My Team? handout in the Resources tab useful.

In a nutshell:

A card swapping game designed to uncover what motivates your team members.

The Price of Negative Thinking


Time required:

10 minutes.

What it does:

Gives your team members an opportunity to realise the frequency of their negative thoughts and the impact this has on them, and indeed, those around them.


flagThis exercise can be explained in a group situation or on a 1:1 basis. It is best debriefed on a 1:1 basis though.


You will need:

A set of Negative Thought Tokens per participant and two envelopes, one marked 'Start of the Day' and the other 'Counting the Thoughts'.


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Negative Thought Tokens are provided in the Resources tab (print and cut out one sheet of tokens per participant). Alternatively, you could use Pirate Treasure Coins, which can be purchased from Trainers' Market.


In a nutshell:

Each participant has 20 tokens and every time they have a negative though they must place one token in an envelope to highlight the frequency of the thoughts.
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