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Communication Skills Exercise: Fold and Cut

Communication Exercise: Fold and Cut


Purpose

The powerful exercise illustrates the importance of giving meaningful instructions to others and expecting feedback for correct execution of those instructions. The activity is fun to do but indirectly leads the delegates to make the target conclusion which makes it more effective and memorable.

Objective

Follow the tutor’s instructions to fold and cut a paper.

What You Need

  • One sheet of A4 paper for everyone
  • One scissor for each delegate.

Setup

  • Distribute the papers and scissors to all delegates.
  • Explain to delegates that you are about to give them instructions and they must follow these instructions as given to them. They must follow these quietly and are not allowed to ask any questions. They should not get help from others around them or even look at other people’s work.
  • If anyone asked questions, simply tell them to follow the instructions as they see fit.
    • Present these instructions:
    • Hold up the papers please.
    • Fold the paper in half.
    • Cut off the top right corner of the folded paper.
    • Fold in half again.
    • Cut off the top left corner of the paper.
    • Fold in half again.
    • Cut off the bottom right corner of the paper.
    • Fold in half.
    • Cut off the bottom left corner of the paper.
    • Unfold the paper.
  • Ask delegates to show off their unfolded papers to each other and examine similarities or differences.
  • Follow with a discussion.

Timing

Explaining the Exercise: 5 minutes.

Activity: 5 minutes

Group Feedback: 5 minutes.

Discussion

Did you end up with similar patterns or everyone’s pattern was different? Why is that? Were the instructions given by the tutor clear enough? What was missing? Why feedback is so critical in communication? What happens if feedback is missing?