In collaborative environments communication between team members is key to not only success, but survival.  But how aware are your team members of how they communicate?  Is there a common language and approach that is understood and agreed to?  

Using the Empathy Toy from Twenty One Toys we explore the difficulties that can occur when a common language is missing and how to create a framework that can be used to avoid misunderstandings and other pitfalls.  This games was developed by Paul to be used with Agile teams and is not part of the Empathy Toy Facilitator's guide.

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

  • Brief introduction
  • 2 volunteers are selected as Build Team 1
    • They should not know each other prior to game
    • One is designated as the builder
    • One is the guide
    • Both are blindfolded
  • Guide is given a completed object
  • Builder is given parts
  • Guide describes object to builder
    • Build Team 1 is given ~5 minutes
  • Debrief of Build Team 1 and group
  • New volunteers are selected as Build Team 2
    • same as before
  • Before being blindfolded, group discusses and agrees to a common set of labels, terms, and approach
  • Build is repeated using Build Team 2 and agreed common language
  • Debrief of Build Team 2 and group
  • Contrast and compare builds

Learning Outcome

Participants learn the value of a common set of terms and ways of interacting.  Group discusses different approaches to communication and the benefits or drawbacks of each.

Target Audience

Anyone interested in exploring how we communicate

schedule Submitted 1 year ago

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  • Richard Kasperowski
    By Richard Kasperowski  ~  1 year ago
    reply Reply

    Hi, Paul! This looks good! Can you modify it so everyone is involved? Like, maybe, groups of 4, and in each group of 4, two of them are team 1 and the other two people are team 2?

    Cheers!

    • Paul Wynia
      By Paul Wynia  ~  1 year ago
      reply Reply

      Yes!  The facilitator kit comes with 2 sets, so I can run two groups at the same time meaning a total of 8 players in a 30 minute session.  I can also run additional sessions and games in either a longer session or during the open day.  That said, being an observer and seeing the differences in communication between the rounds is actually very interesting and informative!


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