Communication Skills Exercise: Getting to Know Each Other

Communication Skills Exercise: Getting to Know Each Other


This activity helps the delegates to learn more about each other by answering specific questions. You can easily bias the exercise by including relevant questions to the course or to your overall objective.


Pick a question at random and answer it to the group.

What You Need

  • A hat
  • Several pieces of small papers such as non-sticky post-it notes.


  • Before the exercise, prepare the small pieces of paper by writing questions on them. Examples of questions are provided below:
    • “What was the highlight of your last week?”
    • “What is one of your best habits?”
    • “Explain one of your most embarrassing moments.”
    • “What is the biggest lesson you have learned on inter-personal relationships?”
    • “What piece of your cloth best represents you and why?”
    • “If you were given one million pounds, what would you do with it?”
    • “What is one of your worst habits?”
    • “What were the qualities of your worst boss?”
    • “What is your most productive time during the day? How about during the week?”
  • Fold all the papers and place them in a hat.
  • Get everyone to sit around the hat.
  • Ask for a volunteer to start the activity by picking up a paper from the hat, read the question and answer it to others.
  • Put the folded papers in a separate pile.
  • Carry on clockwise until everyone has answered.
  • Put the pile back into the hat and start a new round.
  • If anyone picked up a question that they have answered before, they can drop it back into the hat and pick another one.
  • If someone doesn’t feel comfortable to answer a particular question, don’t push them. Respect their wish, ask them to pick another question and carry on.
  • Continue for a specific number of rounds or a specific amount of time.


Explaining the Exercise: 2 minutes.

Activity: 15 minutes

Group Feedback: 2 minutes.


What do you think of this exercise? Do you feel you know each other much more than you did before the exercise?


There are many possible variations in this exercise which you can implement depending on your circumstances:

  • Divide everyone to groups of 4. Provide a separate hat to each group along with a set of questions. Ask them to carry out the exercise as explained. Some people may feel more comfortable to talk about themselves in smaller groups and this setup encourages them to talk more. You can regroup everyone after a few rounds to mix the participants.
  • You can bias the exercise by asking specific questions. For example if you are training them on Anger Management, you can present specific questions on how they respond to anger.
  • Rather than going through a clockwise order, the person who answers a question can nominate the next person to pick a question. This encourages everyone to become more comfortable with each other.
  • When a question is picked, everyone can answer the question in turn so everyone learns about everyone else based on that particular question.

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