Communicating at the workplace is similar to playing the children’s game of telephone. You say one thing, but by the time the message reaches everyone involved, everything might alter. From the words themselves to the tone and meaning behind them.
Effective communication is critical in a successful work environment, yet the ability to connect well with one’s peers is one of the most difficult skills to acquire. Using some professional communication strategies, you may strengthen your connections with your co-workers.
With some employees working in an office and others working remotely, hybrid work has drastically altered communication patterns. Email, in-person, chat messaging, “in-person” through video conference, or even the old-fashioned phone calls are now the standard for reaching out to a colleague. However, figuring out How to avoid communication breakdowns in this new normal is a difficult task for companies.
But, what is a Communication Breakdown?
Communication breakdown occurs when communication between two or more individuals is impossible, misunderstood, or completely missing. Any of the following conditions between the two parties might trigger it:
- Disagreements in viewpoints or behavior
- Unpleasant conduct
- Ignoring or attempting to avoid each other
Communication is the lifeblood of the workplace! Furthermore, it functions effectively and profitably on effective communication. However, it is frequently a focal point for communication problems, whether between coworkers, departments, or the hierarchy.
There are certain fun and innovative activities that enhance communication and improve productivity amongst your team and employees, no matter where they are geographically located.
Individuals, teams, and leaders can benefit from useful communication activities that can improve their communication skills–especially listening and interacting.
There are a variety of icebreaker-type communication activities are available to assist the silent or more reluctant among us to loosen up and begin speaking successfully.
Icebreaker-level activities should not take more than 30 minutes, and many are barely 10 minutes long.
The Categorization Game is a popular icebreaker activity.
To begin the categorization game, let’s assume you have a group of 15 employees, divide your group of 15 employees into five groups of three. Have each of the three workers in your five groups introduce themselves to each member of their respective groups, briefly going through a few of their likes, dislikes, and so on.
After the introductions, reveal to the teams that it will be their job to discover how they should classify themselves (as a team), into two or three subgroups such as “cricket fans,” “workaholics,” “pizza lovers,” and so on. Ensure that these criteria contains no negative, prejudicial, or discriminatory judgments. The sub-groups could be.
The Categorization Game has the advantage of encouraging participants to share a little bit about themselves, learn about one another, and avoid making subjective judgments about people around them. Subjectivity is usually an impediment to effective communication. Effective communication exercises should aim to eliminate subjectivity by educating individuals to recognize it while they are engaged in it.
Team building activities
Several team-building exercises simultaneously serve as communication exercises, often without the participants being aware that they are refining their communication skills at the same time.
A Workplace Scavenger Hunt is an excellent exercise. As a scavenger hunt game facilitator, make a list of around 20 things you want your game’s participants, who will be working in teams, to discover, as well as a time limit.
Successful scavenging in a group necessitates a high level of communication and cooperation. A scavenger hunt squad will invariably include leaders and followers.
Active Listening Games
Quite often, people speak over each other, fooling themselves into thinking they are talking when they are not. The development of active listening skills is critical to the development of general communication skills. In reality, several communication activities might aid in the development of listening skills.
“Draw What You Hear” is a two-person active listening activity. One person discusses an abstract item while the other sketches it. Typically, each couple gets two minutes to accomplish the job, with the person describing a specific object offering all sorts of suggestions and details to the drawer. At the end of the two-minute time, each group compares what was drawn to the actual thing and analyses any changes.
The goal of this activity is to instill the importance of strong listening skills. You will both have to adapt if you are unable to converse on the same level. This helps individuals recognize that listening and verbal communication are more than just talking over each other.
Problem-solving activities are regularly included in every communication exercises. One especially successful problem-solving activity is the “Sneak-A-Peek” game. A simple set of children’s construction blocks is all that is required.
To play Sneak-A-Peek, employees gather around as one person. Usually, the facilitator, constructs a tiny sculpture out of some of the blocks, taking care to keep the completed result hidden from the rest of the group.
Divide the gathering into small teams with their construction blocks once the building block sculpture has been completed but is still concealed from general view. Allow one person from each group to come forward at once and inspect the sculpture for 10 seconds. The team members are then given 25 seconds to advise the rest of their group on how to create an exact copy of the block structure. Each group then gets one minute to build the sculpture based on the description provided by their team member.
After the groups have completed their one-minute building rounds, have another member from each team come forward and take a look at the block sculpture. They should then go back to their groups, advise team members on how to build the sculpture, and repeat the procedure. Continue the Sneak-A-Peek communication game until one of the groups can successfully replicate the original sculpture.
Making a concerted effort to practice communication skills through such fun activities with your team will ensure you and your team experience Breakthrough in communication and relationships.