Communication is the Key!

  • Communication is the Key

Ideal team exercise to highlight common communication stumbling blocks - and agree how to avoid them.

Learning Objectives

  • Exposes the danger of making assumptions
  • Highlights the importance of checking and clarifying all aspects of a task
  • Forcefully shows the importance of unambiguous written communications
  • Illustrates how important it is to plan for meetings and agree agendas
  • Shows how easy it is for communications to go wrong!
  • Participants

    6-12 (two teams of 3-6 per team)

  • Timing

    1.5 hours

  • Uses a computer?

    Yes - 1 PC required

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    £15

  • Europe delivery

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    £29

  • World delivery

    (1-5 working days)

    £39

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The Activity

Each team works separately and has a map of an area showing a number of public houses as well as their own colour flag. One team’s task is to visit the pubs to collect bottles of water; the other’s task is to collect empty bottles. The teams also have to draw the other’s flag. They do not know each other’s tasks but know that their joint score is what will be measured.

Their means of communication is two-fold:

  • They can send unlimited emails via a central computer.
  • They can have one 5 minute meeting every half hour at which only one person from each team can speak (the rest of the team can silently attend the meeting).

Sounds simple? At the end the two teams often have no idea about what the other team was trying to do!

Trainer's Role

  • Divide the group into two and place a computer and printer between them.
  • Explain the task in general terms and the mechanics of using the computer.
  • Issue teams with their Briefs and maps.
  • Observe teams at work and stand by to arrange and oversee the meetings where only one member from each team can speak although all team members may attend.
  • Hold a Debrief (where many teams are amazed to learn what the other team’s task was). All misunderstandings are revealed and the lessons can be related to real examples from the workplace.

Pack Contents

  • Trainer’s Notes
  • Computer Program and PowerPoint Presentation
  • Team One Briefing Folder
  • Team Two Briefing Folder
  • Maps
  • Planning Forms
  • Felt Pen Sets

'Communication is the Key!' is a very good team exercise that highlights all the problems we have communicating with each other. Used as part of the Communication Session on a Managers’ Skills Course with junior managers. The best learning points were: do not assume anything, life is not a competition, need to share more.

P. Stubbs, AECOM

Used as part of a 'Communications Skills' course for BAE Systems, 'Communication is the Key!' is useful, fun and good for use in areas of communication and team-working. The best learning points are: sharing as much information 'up front' as possible, avoid making assumptions, ask more questions.

Malcolm Archer, BAE Systems

The learning from 'Communication is the Key!' is virtually limitless and I always find it great fun to run.

H. Langhammer, Aspire Consulting

A great success! What can I say - you came up trumps again! Thanks Northgate.

K. Duthie, Clare Fletcher Training Ltd

It was the highlight of the training. Despite all their discussions and justifications, the delegates learned a lot about their communication.

Edgar Mueller-Gensert, Muller-Gensert und Gensert

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