This effective exercise helps the delegates to understand how critical it is to listen before they talk in conversations. Most people simply talk from their own point of view and pay little attention to the other. This exercise helps the delegates to understand the need and the mental shift they need to go through to become better listeners.
Delegates must remember and repeat a previous conversation delivered by another member in the group before they can provide their own observation and analysis.
- Split the group into teams of 3-4 people.
- Ask each group to discuss a specific topic such as “The importance of effective listening in communication” for 5 minutes. This can also be some directly related to their work, such as “Should the management receive high bonuses as a way to attract talent, or this is a waste of resources which only satisfies greed”. Open questions are ideal so the conversation can go on indefinitely.
- After 5 minutes, stop the teams and explain that from now on if anyone wants to make a comment on the topic, they must first repeat a summary of what was just said by the last person in their team on the subject. Once the last person to contribute is happy with the summary, the other person can make his or her point.
- This process continues during the conversation for another 5 minutes.
Explaining the Test: 5 minutes.
Activity: 10 minutes
Group Feedback: 20 minutes.
Ask the delegates if they had to change their listening techniques during the second part of the discussion? Was there any difference in communication during the first and second part of the discussion? Did delegates find the second session more informative? How effective was listening on the quality of the conversation? Did it flow better?