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The latest free training activity we have for you here is the SWOT analysis activity. Please feel free to use this in your lesson and training plans.
You might already be familiar with the idea of SMART Goals, which are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals. One of the points of the SMART goals is ‘A’ for achievable.
In theory, you should be able to achieve any dream you want. But alas, in practice it does not work like that.
Some dreams may not be achievable at all. For example, to become the first dancer of the Bolshoi ballet (one of the most important ballet companies in the world) is not achievable if you, for example, are in your forties and have never danced in your life. You are still free to dream, of course, but your dream is unlikely to become a reality.
Unlike dreams, goals need to be achievable and there is a tool that can help you analyze your chances of achieving a goal and how to maximize these chances.
This is the SWOT analysis, another tool from the world of business that can also be very useful in your personal life.
10 to 15 minutes is a perfect amount of time for this activity.
At first, start this activity by only showing the title and the diagram but without words, to your participants.
Has anyone of you heard of the SWOT analysis? What does SWOT stand for?
Wait for their answers. Then show the titles of each list.
SWOT stands for:
1. Strengths Q&A
Ask the participants as a group, What are strengths in SWOT analysis?
Wait for their answers and allow some time for class discussion around this question.
Then click to reveal the first list.
These can be:
- the abilities and skills you have
- previous experiences that can be useful for achieving your goal
- your knowledge of the topic and any other resources such as money, technologies, instruments, the time you already have.
2. Weakness Q&A
What are weaknesses?
Wait for their answers and then click to reveal the second list.
Weaknesses are the opposite of strengths, such as things or skills you lack, contacts you need to make or other limitations. Listing your weaknesses is not meant to discourage you.
On the contrary, you list what you are lacking so that you can plan how to acquire those skills or things that you need for achieving your goal.
Click to reveal the writing at the top.
Strengths and weaknesses are down to you. They relate to what you as an individual either have or need to get.
3. Strengths and Weaknesses Q&A
What are opportunities?
Wait for their answers and then click to reveal the third list.
Opportunities are situations in the environment around you that can be positive for achieving your goal. You can identify, grab or create opportunities.
For example, an opportunity can be a positive trend; support that is available for you to access; networking channels to tap into; available training or new technologies that are being developed that could help you.
4. Threats Q&A
Ask the participants ‘What are threats?’.
Wait for their answers and then click to reveal the fourth list.
Threats are things that can be an obstacle for you in achieving your goal.
The idea is that you identify threats so you can find ways to overcome them. If threats cannot be overcome, can you at least prepare to minimize their impact?
Threats can be any type of obstacle, including risks to do, for example, with a change in the state of the economy (this can also be an opportunity, depending on the situation) or sudden changes in your circumstances.
Opportunities and threats are down to other people and to the environment around you. They are not under your control but you can plan to make the most out of them or deal with them.
If They Have a Workbook
Explain to your participants that now they need to put into practice the SWOT analysis for their SMARTER goal, which they might have set in a previous activity if you are teaching the concept of SMARTER goals in the same session.
They will find a SWOT analysis template to use in their workbook.
For this activity, participants can start working alone and then chat in pairs. Alternatively, they can start working in pairs straight away, as bouncing ideas off each other might help them with the exercise.
Allow 5 to 10 minutes for the activity and then another 5 minutes to share their thoughts with the class as a whole.
If You Are Teaching Online
Allocate participants in virtual breakout rooms for working in pairs.
They can use the chat facility or a virtual whiteboard if they want to write down and share notes in real-time.
At the end of the pair discussion, bring all participants back together to the main room for a final summary of the activity.
Paul Symonds PhD
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