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Communicating with Clarity and Impact
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Overview :

Each shepherd needs to guide his/her group of blind sheep into the pen using  only a whistle. This is a challenging team building activity where each team needs to come up with a very good plan to be able to communicate non-verbally.

Time :

25 Minutes

Tools/Items required:

Blindfolds for the 'Sheep' , Whistle for the 'Shepherd'

Set up :

• Split the participants into sub groups
• One person in your group will be selected as a shepherd.
• The remainder of the group will be sheep and will be blindfolded.
• The sheep will be individually led (already blindfolded) to various points in the immediate area and left there.
• A ‘pen’ area will be marked out (not necessarily near the shepherd).
• Identify the shepherd
• Brief the whole group away from the area – 10mins preparation time.
• Take the whole group to the edge of the area.  Blindfold the ‘sheep’ and lead them to various points around the pen area.  Disorientate the sheep.
• Stand the shepherd away from the pen.
• Begin the time and re-iterate ‘No verbal communication’.
• Trainers should watch for safety and use ‘STOP’ if difficulties arise.

Rules :

• The shepherd must guide the sheep into the pen.
• No verbal communication after the preparation phase.
• Sheep must not remove blindfolds until the end of the exercise.
• The shepherd cannot move.
• The shepherd must remain in their original position away from the pen and not ‘touch’ any sheep.
• The shepherd can only communicate with a whistle.  The sheep can only return communications without verbal communication.
• 10 minutes maximum for the briefing and preparation phase.
• 25 minutes in total for both the planning and the retrieval/penning phase.


Trainers will oversee the activity and watch for delegates getting into difficulty.  If a trainer shouts ‘STOP’ all must stop until the trainer has sorted out the situation.

What's the point from this activity ? :

For each  team to be able to complete this challenge successfully , they will need to come up with a very efficient communication plan  between them . They will need to be very creative and come up with and agree on a plan together and execute it successfully to enable their 'shepherd' to successfully guide them into their designated pen without any verbal communication and using only the whistle .


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