SkillsAct4Vet – Training

Module 1 - Before the mobility

Exercise 2

Proactivity in the Workplace

Materials needed

Pen, Paper, 4 Role Cards, and 20 Result Cards (10 Red and 10 Black)

Estimated time needed

30 minutes (for two or three games per team)

Description and guidelines

Card Deck – 10 Red and 10 Black Cards;

Role Cards – 4 Cards – Queen, King, and Two Jacks;

Incoming Cards – The three cards which are picked up by the Analyst at every turn;

Received Cards – The card which each Employee receives at every turn;

Result Cards – The cards which are the output of each turn;

Discarded Cards – The cards which are discarded from the game (by the Analyst – see below);

Form teams of four and give them Role Cards, which indicate the role of each team member.

The Roles are as follows:

Analyst – knows the next set of incoming cards and discards one of them (the Queen);

Manager – chooses an Employee which will play their Received Card, which will also be the next Result Card (King);

Employee – gets a random card from the Incoming Cards (Jack);

Second employee – gets a random card from the Incoming Cards (Jack);

The game is based on a specific mechanism of distribution of the Result Cards. This is the established status quo of the Company. The mechanism goes as follows (this Mechanism can be known as a “Game Turn”):

  1. First the Analyst takes the top three cards from the card deck. He has a look at them and discards one of them. After that, he gives one card to each of the Employees based on a random principle. This leaves the Analyst with zero cards for this turn and leaves each of the Employees with one card.
  2. Then, each of the Employees looks at their card without saying anything to the other team members.
  3. Once the Employees get familiar with their cards, the Manager has to choose one Employee which will deliver a Result Card, which is the card held by that Employee.
  4. The Result Card of the selected employee is then left on the table (face up).
  5. Then we go back to the first step of the game.

Analyst – can discard the incoming cards. This leads to next turn (the Analyst draws new incoming cards);

Manager – can ask an Employee about its received card (this allows the Manager to know if he/she should select this Employee);

Employee – if selected by the Manager, can refuse to play his/her card (which does not lead to the next turn, but the other Employee is forced to use his/her card);

Employee – if selected by the Manager this role can refuse to Play its Card (which does not lead to the Next Turn, but rather the Other Employee is forced to Play its Card);

The goal of the game is for the Result Card set to be:

Black / Red / Black / Red / Black


Red / Black/ Red / Black / Red. 

The game continues until there are five Result Cards on the table, or until the desired pattern is broken (which indicates that the Company is out of bussiness).

The desired pattern is not followed if there are two Result Cards of the same color next to each other. 

If the game is played online, it could be carried out via a video call, where the Analyst will be the Game Master, who will hold the cards and will give cards to each of the Employees (where the Manager and the Other Employee should have their eyes closed).

The Result Cards are the metaphorical Result of the Company and each of the Team Members can see the Result Cards at all times. This means that each Team Member should consider the goal of the Company and in this way each Team Member should decide when to cct proactively (using the Proactivity Point). If a Team Member uses his Proactivity Point without a specific reason, his/her team most probably looses. That is why each Team Member should be careful about his/her proactivity, as it may either help or harm the interests of the Company.

A successful playthrough requires each team member to be proactive while considering the general situation in the company, the situation of the other participants, and one’s own situation.

It would be best if the teacher could encourage the students to engage in role play (rather than just play cards), so that the students can feel as if they are a part of the Company.

Assessment and discussion

First, each team should have a short inside discussion (3-4 minutes). The teacher should instruct them to talk about:

  • Positive consequences of being proactive through expressing one’s opinion (which refers to the appropriate proactive expressions);
  • Negative consequences of being proactive through expressing one’s opinion (which refers to the inappropriate proactive expressions);
  • Different types of proactivity in the context of the role that you have within a team.
  • After the team discussions, the whole group should have a short debate (3-4 minutes) in which the teacher should go through the following issues:
  • Why proactivity is positive and why the lack of proactivity can be harmful for the company interests (example -> when an employee cannot do his job, but doesn´t admit that; or when a manager doesn´t recognise the skills of his employees);
  • How proactivity can be negative and why people should consider their role and the general interest of the company before being proactive (example -> not considering the goal of the company while being proactive);
  • In what way different roles require different expressions of proactivity (example -> the proactivity of an employee is not the same as that of a manager);

The learning objective of the game is for the students to see the role of proactivity in working environment, recognise the positive and negative consequences of being proactive, and to note that proactivity is different among different roles (work positions).