Back to back communication
1- Split the whole group into teams of two
2- Have each pair adjust their chairs and sit back to back
3- Issue a copy of the diagram in the figure below to one of each pair of participants
4- The person holding the diagram is tasked to explain the shape to his/her partner and the listener must not see the diagram and should draw it based on his partner’s description and directions
5- After 10 minutes call the activity to a stop and ask each pair to compare the outcome and how close is the listener’s drawing to the original diagram
Discussion points and variations
- You can run the activity more than once and on the first time do not allow the listeners to ask any question but on the second time to allow questions and clarification to be asked by the listener then compare the outcome on both cases and stress the importance of asking questions to confirm understanding and ensure the accuracy of communication
- Debrief also by asking how difficult it was for the drawer was it when they were not allowed to ask questions
- You can also switch roles where each pair gets a chance to be a listener and a chance to describe the diagram
- Ask participants about what they learned about communication from this simple activity?
- Ask participants how can this be helpful during their everyday communications on the job?