In a classroom situation

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In classroom situation

A group activity

  1. Divide students into 4 groups; assign each group one of the 4 leadership styles
  2. Laissez-faire – democratic - autocratic - charismatic
  3. Get group to investigate the meaning and characteristics of each style and come up with a role-play situation that clearly demonstrates that style.
  4. Each group performs the skit to the rest of the class.
  5. Follow up with a discussion ensuring everyone has an understanding of the Leadership style and get the students to come up with real life examples when such styles are used.
  6. Get feedback from students on what they think appropriate in a tour guiding context.
  7. Get students to discuss what they think are appropriate styles to use in the following situations.
    1. Working as a driver guide leading a 2 day charter nature tour through The Catlins. Clients are a middle aged party of 4 friends.
    2. Working as a tour guide on a Bus Tour taking 35 tourists to Milford Sound day trip from Queenstown. Clients have booked independently and are of mixed nationality. The schedule is tight as everyone is booked on a 1.00 pm cruise in Milford Sound. The bus has many stops enroute for photos, short walks, toilets as well as a ½ hour break in Te Anau.
    3. Guiding a hiking day trip up the Routeburn Track. The objective of the day is to reach the Routeburn Falls hut and return. The party is of 10 people. 2 are very slow and although they are keen to continue going at their pace none of the group will make it to the hut and back. Some of the other members are getting a little annoyed at being held back.
    4. Working as a horse trekking guide taking ½ day treks. Clients are a group of young exchange students. Some are quite unruly and have a tendancy not to listen to instructions and play up to the rest of the group.
    5. Working as guide taking 2 hour City Walking Tours around Historic points of interest in the city centre. Guiding a mixed age, mixed nationality group of 6

Demonstrate Interpersonal Skills when leading in a group situation

Discussion with group about the types of interpersonal skills required for tour guiding. What type of skills they think necessary and why.

  1. Discuss a few typical examples when various skills are required.

Example 1 Flexibilty. Important as on tour things do not always go to plan. Different people may have different requirements and expectations

A guide is leading a 2 week tour around the South Island. They arrive at Franz Joseph Glacier where all clients have a Helicoptor Flight with a Glacier landing booked. As client are being dropped off at the Helibase the helicopters cancel due to high winds. The clients are bitterly disappointed and look to tour guide for options.

The next morning some have booked a kayaking tour on the Okarito Lagoon followed by lunch at a local restaurant before leaving Franz Joseph and travelling south.

Get feed back from group how the guide might show some flexibility in dealing with such a situation

Possible solution

The guide checks the weather reports and talks to the Helicoptor operators. It appears the heli landings have a higher likliehood of landing the next day. The guide then checks with Okarito Kayaking Tours to see if the people booked on the next days kayaking tour can go that afternoon. He then rebooks the clients on the heliflight for the next morning. The guide also checks on the availability of Glacier Walking Tours for the next morning and finds out if the group would be interested in that if the helicopters where again cancelled.

Guide is also showing inititiative and forward planning, both essential tour-guiding skills.

Example 2 Dealing with Emotional Stress may also be part of a tour guides role. By good observation and listening to clients concerns a guide should be able to identify this.

A driver guide is taking a 4WD tour into a canyon. A client is noticeably nervous of the steep drop off beside the road and expresses a fear of heights. Get feedback on how to deal with the situation

Possible solution

The guide seats her on the side of the vehicle away from the drop an selects wide areas for stopping, backing and turning so not to make her more nervous. The guide also demonstrates complete confidence and competence to reassure her of his/her ability. The guide also avoids any reference to the drop off.

Dealing with Physical Stress It’s a guides responsibility to insure the comfort of their client. Be observant to any sign of physical stress.

Get feedback from students on what they think examples of Physical Stress a tourist could experience on tour and what a guide can do to support them.

Typical Examples.


Clients coming from other climates may struggle with the temperature changes and this can cause them great discomfort

. A guide should always be aware of clients comfort inside a vehicle and adjust heat and air con to clients requirements.

A guide should also be advising clients of expected weather, temperatures before setting out on trips so clients can wear appropriate clothing.

Fatigue/ Jet Lag

Guide should be aware of how tired a group may be if they are on a busy schedule or have had very long day. Also the fact clients may experience jet lag or have difficulty adapting to the time change early in their tours.

If the guide identifies a low ebb in the group he/she should be aware to not over load them with information and create opportunities for them to relax and revive.

Guide should also be observant of how clients cope with any physical components of a tour and offer support if necessary.


If a tour involves any kind of physical activity the guide needs to be observing the group and their capabilities. For some clients a five minute walk uphill to a viewpoint may be very strenuous and they may require guides assistance.