Communication Games - Training Games To Experientially Understand Non-verbal Communication

On this page we will be looking at communication games which are training games to understand non-verbal communication. The two training games that we will be looking at are:
  • Catching the chicken
  • Non-verbal Introduction
  • (New - see below)

Refer to the Training Games page for some basic rules on facilitation

Let's now look at the first of the training games.

Training Game Communication 1: 'Catching the chicken'.

1. Ask for four volunteers from the group.

2. While three of the volunteers step out of the room, ask the rest of the group to sit in a circle.

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Listening Games:
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3. Ask the remaining volunteer to step into the circle and ask her to imitate the action of catching a chicken in a barn.

4. Remember this is a communication game or a training game to understand non-verbal communication.

5. Hence the volunteer has to use only actions to do this and neither she nor the rest of the participants can speak through the training game. They are not to reveal the training game that is going in any way to the volunteers coming into the room.

6. You will also tell them that the volunteers will come into the room and help her in her task of 'catching the chicken'.

7. Now step out of the room and send the other volunteers into the room at intervals of around one minute. When you send them in ask each of them to join their colleague in whatever they find her doing and help her out. 8. You'll see some hilarious scenes in the room.

9. After all three volunteers have come into the room and the training game has continued for another minute or so, have the participants stop this communication game or training game.

10. Beginning with the last volunteer ask her what she thought she was doing. She'll say something like 'cleaning the room', while the second last volunteer will say she was 'looking for a lost object'. The very first volunteer who walked into the room will say something like 'I was swatting a fly I think'.

11. By this time the room is echoing with laughter at the responses.

12. Finally ask the the first volunteer what she was doing. When she reveals that she was 'catching the chicken', all the participants are in a split.

13. When they have settled down a little, lead them in a debrief of this training game. In the debrief draw their attention to how it is normal for people to interpret the behaviour (non-verbal communication) of a person and respond to it rather than clarifying the communication.

14. Remind them that while the people inside were told not to speak or reveal in any way the training game that was going on, the volunteers outside were not restricted in any way. Yet they chose not to ask anybody about what was going on, rather they jumped in right away and started imitating the leader.

15. This behaviour is true especially when the person who is communicating is a leader.

Let's now look at the second communication game or training game.

Communication Game 2: 'Non-verbal introduction'.

In this training game the participants are sitting in a circle. This training game is about introductions, remember? So it is usually played in the beginning of a training. It does not matter how familiar or unfamiliar the participants are with each other, this communication game or training game is an interesting way of introducing each other.

The participants are made to pair up with the person sitting next to them. They are then asked to introduce themselves to each other and give their partner some information about themselves that they believe is interesting/uncommon/unknown.

After everybody has done that, they are asked to introduce their partner to the group. There is a catch however. The participant cannot use words or props to introduce her partner. She can use only actions to do so.

There will be some very funny moments as well as shouts of triumph as participants guess correctly the interesting facts about the members of their group.

For other categories of training games go to the Training games page and follow the links.

If you would like to know more about communication games or training games go to the Contact Us page.

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