This is a quick and easy activity that shows how the same instructions are interpreted differently by different people and highlights the importance of clear communication.
Give one sheet of letter size/A4 paper to each
Tell the group that you will start giving them all instructions on how to fold the paper to create an origami shape.
Tell the group that while you give them the instructions, they must keep their eyes closed and cannot ask any questions
Start giving the group several instructions to fold and rip their paper several times then ask them to unfold their paper and compare how it looks like.
Debrief and discussion
Make the point that each paper looks different even though you have given the same instructions to everybody. What does this mean?
Ask the group if they think the results would have been better if they kept their eyes open or were allowed to ask questions
Communicating clearly is not easy, we all interpret the information we get differently that’s why it’s very important to ask questions and confirm understanding to ensure the communicated message is not distorted.