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A Variation of Chinese Whisper Listening Exercise

A Variation of Chinese Whisper Listening Exercise
Exercises, Team Building, Communication Skills, Listening Skills

Article Rating:::: 6 Ratings :::: Tuesday, August 6, 2019

This is an interesting variation of the infamous Chinese Whisper exercise. In this variation, some volunteers leave the room and then be brought back in, rather than just whispering a sentence in the ear of the person next to them. This allows an audience to observe and hear all the intermediate statements so they can see how information exchange deteriorates in each step. You can then use this as an opportunity to teach about listening skills or communication in general.

This listening exercise is ideal for communication skills and teamwork where you can focus on feedback as a critical mechanism to make sure communication is carried out accurately.

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Fortunately - Unfortunately

Fortunately - Unfortunately
Exercises, Communication Skills, Motivation, Decision Making, Storytelling, Creative Writing

Article Rating:::: 2 Ratings :::: Tuesday, July 30, 2019

This classic game was popularised in 80s. It is fun to play and helps to generate a lot of positives and negatives for a given topic. Delegates go through a series of statements that start with ‘fortunately’ or ‘unfortunately’ while alternating between them.

Use this exercise for creativity, building narrative and storytelling. It is a great exercise to highlight that there is always a flipside to a negative or positive.

This exercise is also useful for analysing the development of a project over time, especially one that is troubled. The beauty of this exercise is that positive and negative statements are always balanced against each other; you can never say too many good things or bad things about a topic and hence it encourages participants to focus on improving it or creating a balanced narrative.

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Converged Words

Converged Words
Exercises, Icebreakers, Large Group, Attention and Focus, Storytelling, Learning, Creative Writing

Article Rating:::: 4 Ratings :::: Tuesday, July 23, 2019

This is a fun exercise focusing on word play where the delegates need to converge on a common word based on previously suggested words. When convergence happens, it is immensely enjoyable. The pair feel as if they read each other’s minds. As such, this is a great exercise to bring people closer together. You can also use this exercise as an icebreaker though make sure you don’t run it for longer than 15 minutes.

Consider using this exercise for team building, enhancing vocabulary, creativity and memory. It is also a fantastic exercise for practicing a foreign language as delegates must constantly think of new words in a systematic way and since they get to work in teams, they can learn from each other too. You can also run this easily explained exercise for a large group as teams work in parallel without much impact on timing.

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Change Management: Reorganised Wallet-Purse

Change Management: Reorganised Wallet-Purse
Leadership, Exercises, Persuasion Skills, Change Management

Article Rating:::: 1 Ratings :::: Tuesday, July 16, 2019

This is a powerful exercise that demonstrates why change should not be imposed. The likelihood of resistance is much higher when people are not consulted on change. This is why they should be involved in the decision-making process. It is a novel exercise since it can be shocking just as you tell them what they need to do which in turn makes delegates remember the exercise well. Hopefully, when it comes to imposing change in the future, they remember the exercise and refrain from doing it.

Before going through this exercise make sure you can use it with your specific delegate. You will need to handle this with care specially when it comes to the sensitive part as you will see. Only conduct this exercise when you have gained enough rapport and established your authority as a trainer so that in case there is some resistance, you can handle it with ease.

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Active Listening Skills Roleplay

Active Listening Skills Roleplay
Exercises, Team Building, Communication Skills, Attention and Focus, Listening Skills

Article Rating:::: 7 Ratings :::: Tuesday, July 9, 2019

This is a highly educational and entertaining exercise on asking open questions. Open questions lead to more information while closed questions lead to a yes/no answer. Open questions are usually much more effective in maximising communication. Unfortunately, most people tend to ask closed questions and it is always a good idea to highlight the differences and encourage people to ask open questions more often.

In addition to practicing asking open questions, this exercise also helps with active listening. Delegates must focus and pay attention to each answer given by a volunteer as they must relate to this immediately through the next question they ask. Hence, this exercise is a great tool to boost communication skills. You can use this exercise for a group of people irrespective of whether they know each other or not. It would still be an effective exercise.

Considering the nature of this exercise, it can also be used as a team building tool, since volunteers need to constantly give information about themselves which can help bring people closer together.

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Medieval vs. Modern Roleplay

Medieval vs. Modern Roleplay
Exercises, Personal Impact, Attention and Focus, Listening Skills, Storytelling

Article Rating:::: 4 Ratings :::: Tuesday, July 2, 2019

In this exercise delegates put themselves in the medieval era and try to look at the world from a new point of view. Their view is then compared to modern times. In the medieval era, people didn’t know what laser or a computer or a humble can opener was. When a modern person mentions them, a medieval person should get confused. As you can imagine, this is a very fun exercise.

Through this contrast of era many topics can be explored and scrutinised. This exercise helps us, the modern people, to appreciate what the medieval people didn’t have. Here are some examples for comparison:

  • Technologies
  • Discoveries
  • Philosophical understanding
  • Social issues
  • Attitudes towards religion such as believing without questioning
  • Attitudes towards justice
  • Racial, gender and equality issues
  • Political correctness
  • Meritocracy versus class-based society
  • Attitude towards the ruling class

This can be a fun way to explore some very serious topics, though the main benefit of this exercise is to practice listening skills. The exercise is designed to make people focus on what the other person is saying. It is also great for roleplaying, acting, storytelling and learning history.

 

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Team Building Exercise: Leaky Pipes

Team Building Exercise: Leaky Pipes
Leadership, Games, Exercises, Team Building, Exercises for Kids, Problem Solving, Planning

Article Rating:::: 3 Ratings :::: Tuesday, June 25, 2019

This is a classic exercise on team building. It is fun to participate in this exercise and yet it is quite powerful in bringing a team together while teaching communication, leadership and problem solving.

Delegates are asked to pour water into a pipe to raise a ping pong ball inside and therefore to get it out. The pipe is leaky though and there is a challenge on how fast they can get the water into the pipe without losing it through the holes. This requires cooperation, planning, delegation and resource management.

This exercise is ideal for team building and can be used for any age. Several variations are provided at the end to increase the difficulty of the task as you see fit.

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Board Games for Team Building and Icebreakers

Board Games for Team Building and Icebreakers
Exercises, Icebreakers, Team Building, Decision Making, Planning, Resource Management

Article Rating:::: 5 Ratings :::: Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The purpose of icebreakers is to bring people together, familiarise them with each other, put them into the zone and basically break the ice as the name suggests. The purpose of team building activities is to bring the teams together, get them to go through a shared experience, solve problems, make decisions, manage limited resources and usually work against time. To address both, you can take advantage of great educational and entertaining tools in the form of board games.

You can use board games for many training purposes. Some games last long which help to bring a team together and some can be quite short which could be ideal to break the ice. There are cooperative games, competitive games, or even games that don’t have a winner, but just one big loser! Some games abstract down the real world in such imaginative ways that become incredibly rewarding to experience. As such board games are great if you want to create a memorable event which is also educational as this is what many traditional team building games aim to achieve.

In this comprehensive article, you will be introduced to several hand-picked board games that you can use in a training environment to address a variety of topics.

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Learn Scrum with an Exercise on Agile Project Management

Learn Scrum with an Exercise on Agile Project Management
Leadership, Exercises, Team Building, Communication Skills, Decision Making, Planning

Article Rating:::: 3 Ratings :::: Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Agile project management was popularised by the tech industry and has its roots in Japanese companies such as Toyota, Honda and Fuji. There are many who think agile development can lead to efficient project management and as a result it remains a hot topic. The Scrum framework was then developed based on that in the 90s and has since gained momentum in a variety of technology and engineering companies.

The exercise shown here is a great tool to quickly and elegantly show what Scrum project management is about. Scrum has many amusing and somewhat unusual jargon, such as sprint, backlog, daily scrum, scrum master and so on. This engaging exercise can help you familiarise delegates with these jargons and make it easier to remember them.

Before going through the details of the exercise, here is a quick intro to Scrum. It is highly recommended that you familiarise yourself with the methodology using numerous guides that are available online. The overall aim of scrum is to indicate clearly what needs to be done, by whom it should be done and how this information should be updated periodically to make sure the whole team stays up-to-date, or ‘agile’ so to speak. These are the main components of scrum:

  • Product Owner. This is a person in charge who has the authority to say what goes into the final product. This is formulated based on the end user’s interest.
  • Backlog. This is a prioritised list of tasks and requirements for the final product. The product owner oversees this list.
  • Sprint. A team must complete tasks from the backlog with a certain timeframe which is known as sprint. Typically, this is about two weeks, but it depends on the team’s needs.
  • Daily Scrum. This is a daily meeting of teams to give progress updates. It is typically held in the same location, at the same time, time-boxed to 15 minutes and carried out while standing (it is also called Daily Stand-Ups).
  • Retrospective. Each sprint is finalised with a review session to see what needs to be improved for the next sprint.

In this exercise, teams compete to retrieve a highly dangerous nuclear waste. There are three distinct roles based on the scrum framework. Teams score points for their performance and the winning team is acknowledged.

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Contrasting Ethical Dilemmas Exercise

Contrasting Ethical Dilemmas Exercise
Leadership, Exercises, Decision Making

Article Rating:::: 8 Ratings :::: Tuesday, June 4, 2019

This exercise facilitates discussion of ethical dilemmas. In most job, some decisions are not straight forward to make because one clear choice comes with certain ethical issues. The question then becomes more of what is right or wrong to do, what is conscientious, and sometimes even what is legal.

In today’s fast changing world, there is a lot of pressure on being politically correct. The ease at which bad news can be magnified through social media and interpreted the wrong way also exasperates the problem. It pays to study and practice the art of ethical decision making.

This exercise presents a series of ethical dilemmas through which you can address a variety of subjects. The discussions are key in this exercise which should be controlled based on what you want to teach. For example, if you are using this exercise in a course on management skills, you should relate this to the kind of decisions a manager needs to make and the resources available to him or her.

Review the scenarios provided and consider adding your own scenarios based on your training requirements to tailor the exercise to your training needs.

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