Communication is a core factor behind the success of a team. Poor communication leads to many team problems. Lack of communication leads to missed deadlines and missed opportunities. It also gives rise to conflict and errors. That is why it is necessary for managers to develop communication skills of their team members. The team members should interact with each other to create a good working relationship. In this article, we will discuss about the importance of communication and team building exercises. This is a study in team building and dynamics.
Team-building Exercises for Communication
# Pieces of cards
This game involves trading card pieces, so that complete cards can be formed. This game is useful to showcase the perspectives of other team members. It helps in building negotiation skills, generating empathy and communication.
- Playing cards (enough to cater to at least three people each having two participants)
- There have to be at least six people.
- There has to be a private room where the game will be played.
- Each playing card should be cut diagonally four times, so that there are four triangular pieces for each card.
- All the pieces of cards need to be mixed together and put inside envelopes in equal numbers. The number of envelopes should be equal to the total number of groups.
- There have to be minimum three teams with at least two members in each team. There can be four people in each team.
- Each team should be given an envelope.
- Each team is given three minutes to separate the pieces and decide what are the pieces required to make complete cards.
- They will then develop a strategy to bargain with other teams.
- After sometime the teams are asked to exchange the card pieces. The teams are given a specific time period to complete them.
- When the given time is over, the completed cards are counted. The team with the maximum number of completed cards wins.
- After the game is over, the team members should discuss the strategies that worked and those that did not work while the card piece exchange was going on. Then they need to think about other strategies that can work.
# Human knot
- The participants are divided into groups. Each group has around seven people.
- The groups stand in knots.
- The participants should be asked to close their eyes and place their hands in the middle.
- The hands must be linked with each other. Once all the hands are held the participants can open their eyes.
- After this, the participants are asked to untie the knot and form a circle without leaving each other.
# Form a team
In this activity, team members form small teams as per the instructions shouted by the manager of the team. This activity helps in building strong communication skills. It assists team members in thinking by themselves.
- A room
- The number of team members can vary
- The manager should explain to participants that they need to make a team depending upon the instructions that are given by the manager. For instance, some instructions can be like this: “Join a group which has people with the same first letter in name as yours” or “Join a team that has candidates with the same preference of books as you.”
- The manager has to give her instructions loudly. After the teams are formed the participants can make some sort of signal to the manager or shout out to her. This process should be done very quickly and the exercise should be practiced as many times as the manager wants.
- When the game is over, the manager should talk to the team members and discuss how the activity boosted them to communicate with each other.
Pens and chart paper
- The manager has to ask the participants about what they understand by a good listener. When they answer, she should take a note on the chart paper. The answers can be something like this.
- Attributes of a good listener
- A good listener makes eye contact.
- A person who listens properly shows her interest in what is being told.
- She asks questions or says certain things related to the subject being discussed.
- She reacts to what is being said.
- She does not change the topic being discussed.
- Attributes of a bad listener
- A bad listener makes no eye contact.
- She looks bored and displays that to the speaker.
- A bad listener keeps looking at her watch waiting for the period when she can leave the discussion. She also watches other things that interest her.
- She either stays quiet or replies only in monosyllabic terms like, yes or no.
- She tries to change the subject being talked about.
- A bad listener does not ask any question.
- Attributes of a good listener
- The participants are divided into teams of two.
- While one participant tries to talk on things that interest her, such as ‘her favorite book’ or ‘poverty in the world,’ her partner should try to look bored and uninterested.
- The exercise should be repeated, so that this time the partner should act interested in the things told by the speaker.
- Now the exercise has to be repeated with the roles of the participants swapped.
- After this part of the exercise is finished, the following questions should be asked to them.
- Did it feel good or bad while listening actively to the partner?
- Did she like it when her partner was listening properly to what she was saying?
- Did she like it when her partner was not listening seriously to her?
Through this exercise the participants understand the importance of being a good listener.
To Wrap Up
From this article, it can be concluded that communication plays a significant role in building a team. A manager has to plan accordingly, so that communication drills are practiced by her team members. This will bring them in contact and they will interact with each other.