This communication exercise has been a very popular activity that gets praise every time that I’ve seen it presented. This communication exercise only takes 15-20 minutes and is a good break from your regular meetings.
Communication Exercise for the Workplace
This is best when everyone is sitting at one large table. Set markers all over the table and a blank piece of paper at every chair. It is also fun to watch as people come in the room and start smiling, wondering what is going on. Plus, markers bring out the child in everyone.
Let everyone know that they are to be silent, listen, and follow your instructions. Tell them that the purpose is to replicate a drawing that you’ve already created through verbal communication. Here are your instructions:
1. Draw a circle
2. Draw a triangle inside the circle
3. Draw a square in the corner
4. Sign your name on the paper
That’s it. Have everyone hold up their picture (keep yours a secret) and you will find that most of the pictures are different in some way. Tell them that none of your pictures match, so we are going to try this again. Ask the group why weren’t any of their drawings similar? Hopefully, the group will comment:
You asked us to be silent and listen. We couldn’t ask any questions.
The instructions were basic with no detail. The speaker needs to be specific.
The instructions were quick and straight-forward. We weren’t given the time to think through each instruction.
Take your group’s suggestions and use them. Therefore, have the group flip over their paper and start again. Use the following directions:
The key communication statement to tell the group is: Everyone heard the same message, yet everyone perceived the message differently.
1. Draw a circle 4 inches in diameter in the center of your paper.
2. Draw a triangle is inside the circle so that all three corners are touching the circle.
3. Draw a 1 inch square on the bottom-left corner of your paper.
4. Sign “your name” as spelled out Y-O-U-R-N-A-M-E on the bottom-right side of your paper.
Have everyone hold up their papers and hold up yours, bingo! This communication exercise is not only for the listeners but the speakers. We need to communicate and listen effectively to get the results intended. Hope this was fun!
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