Learning by Doing in Leadership Education: Experiencing Followership and Effective Leadership Communication Through Role-Play




This paper describes the implementation of a role-play exercise to illustrate the influence of followership styles and effective communication on leader-follower relationship formation and development. We provide the pedagogical theory and evidence behind using role-plays in classroom settings, followed by a literature review pertaining to leader-member relations and followership on which this role-play is based. The activity aims to fulfill multiple objectives: (a) to explain the importance of effectively managing-up the hierarchy, (b) to use effective communication skills in challenging and conflict laden situations, and (c) to expand self- awareness and explore own implicit assumptions. We further provide the session plan for using the role-play including the instructions, timing, and role handouts, and discuss potential outcomes.