Communication exercises for teams (Top 5)

This blog focuses on the importance of communication in teams and the various communication exercises for teams that can help in enhancing team performance and productivity in the workplace.  

Some communication exercises for teams are:

  • Feedback using ‘I’
  • Blindfold game
  • Back to back drawing
  • Truths and lies
  • Card pieces

Teamwork is an important aspect in a workplace setting as it helps in maximizing productivity, achieving goals and objectives. Good communication is an essential component for reaching targets and goals.

The members of the team need to understand the importance of communicating in teams to understand that it is crucial for their success. 

Effective communication will lead to building a common purpose within the group that will allow them to reach their goals in an easier manner.

A sense of belongingness and understanding can be established through frequent friendly and healthy communication among group members. 

Members of the group will be more willing to reach out, as they start to understand the quality of their work, and this makes the team more capable. Organizational efficiency can be increased through healthy and regular interactions between members of the group.

Strong group communication leads to understanding and understanding in turn help to creates powerful relationships within the team. 

The ability to communicate skillfully is the most significant factor of any team. 

By setting team communication goals, team leaders can ensure healthy team communication and maintain its effectiveness. 

It is important to develop goals that will help in identifying areas to improve in. These can include weekly meets to discuss updates on projects.

Chances of miscommunication taking place in team meetings are quite high. This can often cause complications and confusion within the team. This is when organizational communication is important to keep everyone on the same page. 

The purpose of communication needs to be easily understandable and the purpose needs to be conveyed in simple and the right terms. 

Being respectful towards members of the group is an essential factor in communicating effectively. 

Respect can be shown towards members of the group by keeping in mind professional boundaries, time limits, and making sure the conversation is productive and to the point. 

Feedback and constructive criticism need to be given and received in a respectful manner. 

There are chances of team members making errors, but maintaining respectful communication will definitely make it easier for correction rather than complete disagreement.

By checking in with team members and maintaining good communication ties would mean going the extra mile to assure progress and productivity.

Poor communication between team members can lead to unnecessary tension and anxiety. This is another reason why team members must encourage members to communicate with each other.

Healthy communication within the team can help save time that might have been lost to misinterpretation. 

Verbal communication might create misunderstandings and conflicts sometimes, and in such cases, it’s always better to communicate via email, which is a written mode of communication, for better clarity and transparency. 

Team members should be able to express how they feel with any coworker they might have a problem with, even if it is something tiny. This should be done in a polite manner and by being mindful of giving constructive feedback rather than criticizing the person. 

Setting aside time for team members to interact and hosting communication-based exercises for teams can really help in building trust and effective communication.  

Some communication exercises for teams are:

  • Feedback using ‘I’
  • Blindfold game
  • Back to back drawing
  • Truths and lies
  • Card pieces

Feedback using ‘I’

Directions:

This exercise encourages team members to use ‘I’ statements, which describe other team members’ behavior objectively. This communication activity for teams enables the speaker to express the impact that has taken place on their feelings.

Employees can either work as pairs or individually for this activity and they’ll be given a worksheet each with a list of imaginary scenarios. They can make ‘I’ statements about how they would feel if they were in the imaginary scenario. 

Then they can practice in pairs and make sure to be mindful of how they frame their sentence and reduce the chances of being critical or defensive.

Most often defensiveness is the main cause of conflict and miscommunication at the workplace. It is difficult to receive criticism when it is delivered insensitively.

This communication activity for teams, enables members to be mindful of how they express the impact on their feelings in a way that isn’t critical or defensive. 

The blindfold game

Materials required

  • Four or more participants
  • Blindfolds
  • Obstacles such as chairs, boxes, etc

Directions- Obstacles are constructed in the room/ open area and the group is divided into pairs. 

One of the members of the pair is blindfolded and the second member is required to navigate. 

The second member needs to call out directions to the one who is blindfolded and they are supposed to make it to the finish line without tripping and falling down.

Benefits- This communication-based activity for teams encourages active listening, cooperation, trust and these are basic components of effective communication. 

This activity is suitable for all age groups and can be demonstrated with friends or even family.

These activities can be fun and interactive and can really help you in building effective communication skills without being able to feel pressured to do so.

Back-to-back drawing

 Materials required:

  • Even number of people
  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Whiteboard

 Directions- all the members of the group are paired and are made to either sit or stand with their backs facing each other. 

One person will take the role of the speaker who will give out instructions and the other member will be in charge of drawing.

 The speaker is asked to describe the geometric image in the prepared set of cards designated to them and the listener will draw the image, solely based on the instructions received from the speaker’s description. 

The listener (the person who is drawing) is not allowed to speak or ask doubts during the course of this communication activity.

Benefits- This activity shows that effective communication takes place only when both parties are equally invested but it can also take place through active listening. 

By patiently listening to the instructions and being able to comprehend without asking questions is a difficult task but this activity does inculcate effective communication and listening skills and cooperation.

Truths and a lie

Directions- This activity requires five or more people. Each person is asked to come up and state three facts about themselves among which two statements are true and one is a lie.

The lie should not stand out and should be plausible. After the person reads their list out the rest of the group is encouraged to guess the statements that are true and point out the lie.

Benefits- This helps improve communication and also increases the level of sharing and makes the environment fun, making it easier for those who hesitate to communicate in groups.

 

Card pieces

Materials required:

  • Nine people or more
  • Playing cards cut into a triangular shape
  • Envelope

Directions- Minimum of three teams with three to four members in each team. 

An envelope with the cut-out cards will be handed over to each team. 8- 10 minutes will be given to each team to barter their card pieces with that of the other teams so as to complete their cards. 

The team, who completes the most number of cards, wins.

Benefits- This game helps in building negotiation skills and empathy which are the key components of effective communication.

 Accepting loss, trying to understand another person’s perspective, and being able to communicate this effectively during the course of a short span can increase communication.

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Frequently asked questions 

How do you strengthen communication in the team?

Some ways to strengthen communication in teams are:

  • by working to set the tone for more transparent and open conversations,
  • encourage members to take part and give their honest feedback on projects and 
  • by respecting and being open to new ideas even if they oppose one’s opinions.

What are some activities used in a workplace to develop communication skills?

Some activities used in a workplace to develop communication skills are:

  • Feedback using ‘I’
  • Blindfold game
  • Back to back drawing
  • Truths and lies
  • Card pieces

What are the 5 methods of communication?

The 5 methods of communication are verbal, non-verbal, written, visual, and listening. 

How do you solve team communication problems?

Team communication problems can be solved by creating a safe space for communication among members, setting clear boundaries, norms, and expectations, seeking feedback proactively, and taking an active part in meetings.

What are the barriers to communication?

The barriers to communication are the work environment, attitudes of co-workers, language, culture, distractions, and other priorities.

What are the C’s of communication?

The C’s of communication is- 

  • concise, 
  • clear, 
  • concrete, 
  • courteous, 
  • complete, and 
  • coherent. 

References

Team Building Exercises – Communication: Fun Ways to Build Communication Skills.

(2009). Mindtools.com. https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/team-building-communication.htm

8 Team-Building Activities for Improving Communication (With Tips). (n.d.). Indeed

Career Guide. https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/communication-team-building-activities

15 Communication Exercises and Games for the Workplace. (2019, May 21).

PositivePsychology.com. https://positivepsychology.com/communication-exercises-for-work/

Stowell, C. (2018, September 21). Team Leadership: Why Effective Team

Communication Is So Important. CMOE. https://cmoe.com/blog/team-leadership-why-effective-team-communication-is-so-important/

Team Building Communication Skills. (n.d.). Small Business – Chron.com.

https://smallbusiness.chron.com/team-building-communication-skills-4832.html

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