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The Communication Puzzle

Communication is a challenge for most organisations. This activity explores the nuances of how we communicate, with memorable experiences to improve interaction going forward.

Activities

Phase 1 – The Search
In twos with one partner blindfolded, pairs must search for and recover two sealed envelopes, ideally hidden outside the meeting room. This highlights the impact of tone and clarity in one to one verbal communication.

Phase 2 – Blind Discussion
Having found their envelopes, pairs return to the main room and sit in groups. Before opening their envelopes all except one ‘seer’ put on blindfolds. Envelopes are then opened revealing jigsaw pieces of different sizes and colours. A 15 minute countdown begins, during which time the puzzle pieces must be accurately sorted into sizes and colour. The seer may only answer questions by saying yes or no, blindfolds can’t be removed without the seer’s agreement. This session mimics a typical meeting in which information is distributed amongst those present. Only when this information is effectively shared can the group reach a shared solution.

Phase 3 – Puzzle Assembly
The puzzle pieces are once again shared evenly amongst the team, this time with one colour per person. New, larger groups then form based on the colour of their puzzle pieces. Around tables these groups assemble their puzzle in the shape of a ring. Taking care to establish the correct sequence to spell out communication related words and phrases written across their puzzle pieces. For example: “Listen to understand, not to reply” “Good words are worth much and cost little” “Beware of assumption, clarify”

Phase 4 – Final Assembly
Once each coloured ring is complete, the final task is to find a way to assemble the rings together to make the large target.

Key Points

  • Suits groups from 20 to 100 +
  • Indoor or outdoor options
  • We can source suitable venues on your behalf
  • Teams work together to attain success
  • Overcomes office hierarchies as natural skills come to the fore

Sample Format

The Communication Puzzle can be especially effective when included within the agenda of a conference, either as a 1 to 2 hour team building activity or as a series of 15 minute energisers spread throughout the programme.