Student Engagement

Three Way Communication

Material Needed: A flip chart, markers, a few bandanas, clipboards, pen and paper
Time Required: 15-20 minutes
Group Size:  6-40
Purpose: Discussing pros and cons of different communication methods and styles

  1. Preface the game with a brief discussion about the various ways in which people communicate with their friends, professors, colleagues, etc. Tell them that in this activity, they will be determining key aspects and guidelines for three different communication methods: Face to face, telephone, and e-mail.

  2. Divide the group members into three groups. The first group represents the face to face environment. These people do not have any controls on their communication. They should sit in one area of the room and use pen and paper to write their findings during the activity.

  3. The second group represents the telephone environment. These group members should be blindfolded with the bandanas in order to replicate the telephone environment (in which they cannot see the person they're talking to). They should sit together in one area of the room. One person will act as the scribe for the group's findings and will not wear a blindfold.

  4. The third group represents the e-mail environment. These employees should sit back to back and may not speak. They should have paper, pens, and clipboards. In order to communicate, they must write notes and pass them to one another.

  5. Give them about 7 minutes and then ask each group member to make its report. (Participants can now be free of the blindfolds, clipboards, and other constraints).

  6. Capture the findings and guidelines on a flip chart. After the session, transfer the information into a computer document and distribute a copy to all participants.

Deming, V.(2004). The Big Book of Leadership Games. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. P.115-116      

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