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Communication Skills Exercise: Good News, Bad News

Communication Skills Exercise: Good News, Bad News


Purpose

This exercise helps the delegates to look at both positive and negative aspects of everything in their environment. It is an energizing activity which sets two groups against each other who need to continuously think of positive and negative parts of an issue.

Objective

A team presents good news about a feature and the other team responds by mentioning the bad news.

Setup

  • Divide the delegates into two separate groups and set them against each other.
  • Select one team to start the exercise by presenting a piece of positive remark. It is better if this is related to their work environment.
  • The other team should respond by presenting a negative remark related to what the first group has presented.
  • Continue with this exercise until the topic is exhausted or you want to limit the time.
  • Here is an example:
    • The good news is that, we are opening three new branches
    • The bad news is that, we have a shortage of staff
    • The good news is that, we are recruiting using new investors’ money
    • The bad news is that, the investors want us to open two more branches
    • The good news is that, we expect the demand to be high for these three branches which will lead to a bigger return for investors
    • The bad news is that, we may not have enough products in the stock to sell
  • Delegates might be slow to get the hang of this, but once they do they probably don’t want to stop!
  • You can pause and restart with a different topic so that the groups can explore a different domain as well.

Timing

Explaining the Test: 2 minutes.

Activity: 5 minutes

Group Feedback: 2 minutes.

Discussion

Follow with a quick discussion on why it is important to see the positive and negative aspects of anything. After all, if you ask the right questions you get the right answers. If you ask lousy questions, you get lousy answers.