Effective communication and communication skills are essential in various work scenarios, including customer interaction, collaboration on projects, and the exchange of instructions.
In many cases, problems within teams, ranging from work quality issues to interpersonal conflicts, can be attributed to communication breakdowns. One possible solution is to provide training for your employees in effective communication exercises, communication games, and other various communication activities that are proven to yield effective results all with a common goal of a better workplace.
1. Blank Canvas
Groups should be divided into pairs, with one person assigned the role of speaker and the other assigned the role of listener. The speaker should be given a piece of paper with a picture of geometric shapes, without letting the listener see it. To fully engage in this experience, make sure you have a trusty pencil and a blank canvas of paper ready at hand.
The speaker will describe the picture to the listener, who will then draw it. After the listener has finished, the two can compare the attempt to the original picture.
This listening skills activity illustrates the outcomes of communication breakdown. One key aspect of communication is the emphasis on both sending and receiving messages, highlighting the need for understanding and effective strategies.
Consider the importance of effective communication skills in the workplace, specifically focusing on the potential for misinterpretation of unclear instructions and the impact it can have on the outcome of tasks.
2. Card Pieces
This communication exercise opens up the lines of communication and is popular for teams due to its high effectiveness. A minimum of three teams, consisting of at least six people, is required. Ideally, each team should have three or four members.
Get ready to deal out some serious fun! Grab a deck of cards and hand out five to each employee. Let the games begin! Get ready for a mind-blowing challenge! Take those playing cards and slice ’em up diagonally from each corner, resulting in four funky triangular pieces. Now, get ready to shake things up! Mix and match those puzzle pieces and hand each team an envelope filled with an equal amount of tantalizing triangles.
The teams should begin by sorting their puzzle piece and determining what is needed for complete cards. They should then be given approximately eight minutes for negotiations with the other teams to obtain the necessary puzzle piece. The team with the most complete cards is declared the winner.
This activity educates employees on the significance of empathy in communication via the different types of communication styles. Employees are required to utilize negotiation tactics to enhance their likelihood of obtaining desired card pieces. Discuss the strategies employed, detailing both successful and unsuccessful approaches.
3. Forming Groups
This activity is recommended for teams with a large number of members who want to improve their verbal communication skills and those who want to have more effective workplace communication, especially for those who are unfamiliar with each other.
The team-building activity involves employees forming groups based on shared characteristics such as birth month, hobbies, or number of siblings. The possibilities for group formation are limitless, allowing for creative expression. The objective is for employees to exchange poor communication and better utilize a better way to communicate in newly established groups.
After completing the task, discuss the various methods of communication utilized by employees. Consider how these strategies could be implemented in a professional setting.
4. Experience the Thrill of the Blindfolded Obstacle Course
Trust is an essential element in communication, and a fun communication game includes blindfolded activities that can help employees build trust with their coworkers.
Set up an obstacle course in a spacious room using common items found in the office. Have one employee blindfolded while another employee guides them through the course. Please repeat the task so that all team members have an opportunity to try.
The most successful leaders are those who communicate clearly and concisely. Use this as a teaching point at the end of the activity to emphasize the importance of using fewer words when explaining to avoid confusion.
5. Just Listen
Create a list of discussion topics that are not overly controversial but may have caused conflicts in the past. Divide the group into pairs, with one person designated as the speaker and the other as the listener.
The speakers should have approximately three minutes to discuss their topic with their partners, while the listeners are asked not to interrupt. After the speakers have finished speaking, listeners should provide a summary of their partner’s statements without any personal bias. Allow them approximately one minute to create the summary, and then switch roles.
After the activity has ended, gather the participants together be it in-house or your virtual teams. Speaking without interruptions can enhance the quality of communication. Did the speakers express their opinions confidently? Were the summaries engaging enough to hold the attention of the listeners? Evaluate how effective it was to listen without speaking, and then inquire about how employees plan to utilize this activity to enhance their workplace communication skills.
6. Stop When No Longer Engaged
Participants can engage in an activity that is contrasting to the previous one by dividing into pairs of listeners and speakers. Please listen carefully for the next 30 seconds.
Participants are free to select their topic of interest for this exercise. The activity should be stopped when it becomes apparent that the listeners are no longer engaged and/or there are other communication issues.
The group should discuss the signs that indicate the listeners were not paying attention and the impact of not being listened to on individuals. This can be used to highlight the significance of active listening.
7. Large Group Option
Another method to analyze the significance of nonverbal communication is through this team activity to help in effective team communication. A minimum of nine individuals is required, although having a large group is preferable.
Please arrange the seats in a circular formation. Four individuals should stand up while the rest remain seated. After 10 seconds, the initial group of four should sit down and another group of four should stand up. No one must communicate verbally during this activity.
The game involves continuously playing with a rotation of four people standing up every 10 seconds. The game is considered over if there are more or less than four people standing at any given time.
Discuss the methods of communication used during the activity and consider how they can enhance relationships among coworkers.
8. Cards for Emotions
An alternative method to educate oneself about nonverbal communication is through the use of an activity involving the creation of cards, each displaying a distinct emotion. Please pass a card to a designated employee who will demonstrate an assigned emotion. The other employees are required to identify the emotion.
After everyone has expressed at least one emotion, engage in a discussion. Discuss the emotions that were most easily depicted and identified. Next, let’s discuss why facial expressions are important in various work situations, whether it be with coworkers, clients, or other individuals expressing emotions. It becomes more challenging to understand someone’s emotions when you cannot see their facial expressions or body language. Generate ideas for finding a solution to this challenge.
9. Body Language is Powerful
This activity involves following a series of instructions quickly, such as touching your nose, standing up, raising one knee, sitting back down, crossing your arms, and so on. Please perform approximately eight to 10 actions, displaying the actions as you provide the instructions.
Please observe and take note of the number of employees who follow the given instructions and the number of employees who choose to perform a different action. Most people likely imitated you rather than following the instructions.
Ask your employees how many noticed the last mistake and discuss how body language can be more influential than words. Use this lesson to demonstrate the importance of being aware of your body language and delivering the right message.
These above communication exercises can be used effectively for employees as well as a perfect fit for any type of business, no matter the size.
Plus, they’re guaranteed to work wonders in every sector and job title! While most communication exercises are ideal for the workplace, there are even a few gems that can be utilized for remote employees, keeping the team connected and engaged no matter the distance. Engaging with remote employees is crucial, as communication becomes a delightful dance when you can’t be in the same place.
Try incorporating these communication exercises into your work routine before important projects, team meetings, or whenever you encounter communication challenges. You will observe tangible outcomes, such as enhanced productivity, stronger trust, and improved morale. These are essential for reducing turnover and building a successful team.
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