In any business or organisation, the ways in which employees communicate have a great impact on its productivity. Conversations are most difficult to initiate among strangers. Bolstering activities that help in developing the conversation skill-set of the staff can go a long way in furthering a business or an organisation. Here are three great activities to develop conversation skills among your work colleagues.
Quick, simple games
Remember the childhood game of Chinese whispers where we sat in a circle with friends and whispered a phrase into our neighbour’s ears? The purpose of this game is to see whether information is being conveyed and taken down. Both parties have to be alert so as to not miss a word, and success depends on successful communication. This simple game from our childhood comes with a deep message: that of the need to hear and be heard. This simple conversation skills activity can work wonders in an office space, often working as an ice-breaker of sorts.
Another game, often used by writers experiencing writer’s block is thinking of a word and writing down 10 words as quick as possible, the first ones that come to mind. This game leads to the development of self-understanding of one person, as well as in the development of understanding of others in a group. When one person writes his or her words down and then compares those with another colleague, often a feeling of marvel sets in as he/she witnesses the unique way the other is thinking in. It further leads to discussions and better understanding of the team.
Change of places
A change in place is a sure way to encourage different ways of looking at each other. The same setting every day of desks and computers can slow employees down. Apart from mere office picnics where employees “have to relax”, there can be a set of activities designed for them to take part in together. Adventurous conversation skills activities like rock-climbing, where the support of each to the other is required, could help building trust, as they learn to rely on each other in a sticky situation.
This activity makes employers to work together in close proximity. The aim of this activity is to untangle the knot without letting go of hands. It encourages team building and communication, problem solving, and makes it easier for employees to talk to each other, to break the ice. This game is flexible in the sense that several group dimensions can play it at the same time. Make the groups stand in a circle. Within the circle, each person lifts their right hands and catches hold of someone stand ing through the circle. Next, each person does the same with their left hand. No one should be holding the hand of a person standing right next to them. The group then tries to untangle the knot.
After having finished playing the game, there could be a set of questions you could ask each member of the group to answer. For example, ‘Which strategies did the group apply?’
You could increase the difficulty level of this activity by blindfolding some members of the group, or by forbidding them to talk.
More on conversation skills on Tower of Power: http://www.towerofpower.com.au/blog