You (and your participants) will find that it’s pretty difficult to remember a list of somewhat-random words, especially when there is a break in time and another discussion in between hearing them and recalling them! He keeps talking, expanding on the story until he is released by the leader. This activity comes from the folks at and offers participants a chance to communicate their feelings and provide a recap or rephrasing of another person’s feelings on a subject. Make the point that each paper looks different even though you have given the same instructions to everybody. After creating your unique design, you can preserve it by placing it on a cookie sheet and baking it in the oven on warm for several hours (until hard). Draw a circle within the square, such that it fits exactly in the middle of the square. Place these slips in the second bowl and mix them up. It is a little complicated to explain, but here is how it works: When this person returns, their teammates will try to guess what the object is by asking only “Yes or No” questions (i.e., questions that can only be answered with “yes” or “no”). Underline all the even digits on the left-hand side of the page. The following activities are not just fun family or classroom activities. Without letting family members see the diagram, tell them what they need to do to make a copy of your picture that matches as closely as possible. Listener and Talker Activity. These exercises, also from Defeating Divorce, are not just for married couples, but for anyone in a committed relationship. The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. When the dough has formed into a small ball, remove it from the heat and knead while still warm. It’s vital to keep your own body language in mind, just as it’s vital to notice and understand others’ body language. If friendliness is a personal characteristic that you value, you may want to mold a face with a pleasant smile, or if you have a great love for animals, you may want to mold several of your favorite animals. Afterward, you can use these questions to guide discussion on the exercise: This game is easy to play but not so easy to “win.” It requires participants’ full attention and active listening. I hope you leave this piece with a treasure trove of new resources you can use to improve your own life or the lives of your clients. The Netherlands The other partner reciprocates with a similar conversation, all while holding eye contact. This is to be done in a fixed time limit (such as a minute or two). 18 Communication Games and Activities for Adults, 17 Exercises to Help Improve Communication in a Relationship, The Importance of Communication in the Family Unit, 14 Family Therapy Activities for Communication, Effective communication shows respect and. A: Forget it. No-Hands Cup Stacking Challenge. When he makes a mistake I throw it in his face as often as possible especially when it’s a repeat. This exercise is a fun way to see who is paying attention and who is skipping the most vital instruction—to read everything before acting. It also outlines the traits of people who are assertive communicators, including: Next, it shares four tips on communicating assertively: After some examples of assertive communication, we get to the active part of the worksheet. To begin, player one makes eye contact (no words or hand motions) with another player (player two) and gives them a signal that means go. Taxation (VAT) Number: NL855806813B01, Instead of trying to avoid or deny anger, it’s vital that families learn how to manage their anger and communicate it to others in a healthy way. The couple discusses what the experience was like. It has to be something that requires both partners to be present in the moment; think sailing, rock climbing, or dance lessons rather than seeing a movie or going out to dinner. The couple will then “check-in” with each other about the other’s day. What are your favorite ways to work on communicating with your spouse? Many people find this game uncomfortable at first, but with practice, it can greatly enhance your sense of intimacy with your partner. Facilitate a group discussion on the importance of listening, how to use active listening, and what indicates that someone is truly listening. On the reverse of this page, draw quickly what you think an upright bicycle looks like from overhead. The role you are holding is knotted together to form a circle; it must not be undone. (2018). Next, have the first person to receive the message in each line report the original message and compare it to the final message received. Engaging in this exercise daily will give the couple a chance to practice their communication skills on a regular basis, as well as their active listening skills. When they hear three claps, they should rub their belly. All you’ll need for this exercise is a deck of playing cards, a blindfold for each participant, and some space to move around. Why? These are your prompts. They can use indicators like thumbs up and thumbs down or facial expressions to communicate their opinions. Open-ended questions are an excellent way to save time and energy and help you get to the information you need fast, however, closed questions can also be very useful in some instances to confirm your understanding or to help you control the conversation with an overly talkative person/customer. It is okay to draw simple stick figures that represent people or other objects. Similar to a previous exercise (“Eye-to-Eye”), this exercise relies heavily on eye contact; however, unlike the previous exercise, this one does not allow talking until the end. After the two minute period, each letter is read aloud to the group. What kind of thoughts was going through your head? Finally, facilitate this activity to really drive home the importance of effective nonverbal communication. This exercise will show how difficult it is to communicate without words, but it will also show your participants that it is not only possible, it gets easier as they start to pick up on one another’s nonverbal cues. Your email address will not be published. Situation: Your neighbor is adding an expansion to their house, and the crew starts working, very loudly, at 5 am. You could even carry on the discussion as the program continues.”. The Blindfold Game. I hate when you get bossy. The one you borrowed. The story continues until everyone has contributed at least a couple of sentences to the story. The resources in this piece include tips, techniques, exercises, games, and other activities that give you the opportunity to learn more about effective communication, help guide your interactions with others, and improve your communication skills. Draw a square, measuring 5 inches on each side. The scene must be interrupted when a second actor (or several actors) enter the scene, and their arrival should have a big impact. This classic exercise from Becky Norman (2018) at Sift’s Training Zone illustrates why listening is such an important skill, and why we shouldn’t ignore any opportunities to improve it. Paper shapes A simple activity you can easily incorporate in any communication skills training intervention to show the importance of two way communication. Have family members come up with answers to the following questions and any others they might think of in relation to how they felt when angry. People can barter on their own or collectively with their team. The couple should agree to try this exercise together and follow these instructions: Another great exercise from Racheal Tasker is focused on using positive language with one another. One of my favorites is a game called Famous Pairs. Discuss the importance of knowing when you are getting upset and might need to take a break and think. Gandhiplein 16 Divide students into small groups and give them dry spaghetti noodles, gumdrops and toothpicks. Once participants have all gathered into one of the four groups, have them line up according to their rank (Ace is the lowest, King is the highest); again, they cannot speak or show their cards to anyone during this part of the exercise. The aggressive animal doesn’t need to be an alligator, it can be anything that makes sense to your children. This is a type of one-way communication where students use their listening and/or reading skills to comprehend spoken and written language. It will give participants a chance to practice nonverbal communication in a fun context. You could cut pictures out of old magazines and paste them on a poster board. It can reinforce what we hear or it can interfere with the verbal communication we receive. Exercise 1: Card Pieces* In this activity, team members trade pieces of playing cards to put together complete cards. Use these instructions to conduct the activity: After each participant has played both roles, end the activity and guide a discussion with the following questions: You will find this activity at this link, exercise #4. This game is another one that can be frustrating for the couple but ultimately provides a great opportunity to build effective communication skills and unite the two in a common goal. This exercise gives each participant a chance to practice talking about their wants and needs, as well as an opportunity to engage in active listening and use the knowledge they gained to understand and relate to the speaker. The Aggressive Alligator is a great tool from Kristina Marcelli-Sargent, for teaching assertiveness over-aggressiveness or passiveness. Give the group your instructions on how to fold the paper into the origami shape of your choice. This activity boosts active listening skills because it requires careful and attentive listening to what has already been said in order to make a good contribution to the story. The most important ingredient we put into any relationship is not what we say or what we do, but what we are. Each module includes interactive lessons, lesson plans, activities, assessments, guided notes, teacher presentations, and many other resources to teach communication skills. First, divide the training session attendees into pairs. The point of using games and other activities to build and maintain communication skills is to keep the team engaged and proactive about their progress. Which didn’t? On the second slip of paper, have each family member write an answer to the question they came up with. Once the course is ready to go, blindfold one partner and bring them into the room. During the activity, what communication skills could you have used to improve performance? Feelings of frustration are common in this game, but it can be a great way to highlight issues in communication or, alternately, highlight the couple’s communication strengths. Besides making our relationships easier, there are also relationship-boosting benefits to good communication: Fortunately, all it takes to develop better communication skills is a commitment to do so and a little bit of effort. Need a digital exit slip template? . If you’re specifically looking for ways to improve your communication in a romantic relationship, these 17 exercises are a great place to start! Switch between the five different instructions and begin to pick up the pace. Retrieved from They are also great tools to help you work with kids on their social skills. Use some of the other tips and techniques mentioned in this article when you are planning your trip and while you are enjoying your trip; you’re sure to see some improvements to your communication with your partner (Tasker, n.d.). Let us know in the comments section. My boyfriend and I are having huge problems with communicating. Other great activities for group communication include the “Square Talk” and “Follow All Instructions” activities. Follow these instructions to give it a try: It’s a simple activity, but an effective one! Story Description: Here is a story scenario you can use to help teach about the need for using good communication skills when interacting with other people. Set up a maze in your home using furniture, such as kitchen chairs or other pieces of furniture that can act as a barrier. These tips from Australia’s Better Health Channel can help guide you toward better communication with your partner or spouse (these tips can also apply to any other relationship in your life with a little tweaking): If you’re experiencing high levels of conflict in your relationship(s), the Better Health Channel has some specific recommendations for you: Before you teach communication skills, it’s helpful to build a framework for your students. This group never tells any of the other groups what they are doing. Start with one clap, then two claps, and so on until you have given the group each instruction once. Talk about what is happening and how it affects you. Communication skills are one of the most important skills a person can have, making it well worth your while to devote some time and energy to develop them. This nonverbal communication activity is available from Sue Simmons at Equinox Family Consulting. There’s nothing inherently wrong with interpretive communication activities in the classroom. Why was clear detailed communication necessary for this exercise? What were some of the difficulties associated with helping a family member complete this exercise? Tie string or yarn between the furniture to create a clear path through the maze. This popular and fun game may help enhance good listening skills in kids and can be played by kids of all age groups. If it helps, use a timer to limit how much sharing can occur and to ensure equal time to share feelings. How can they use the lessons from this exercise at work? When you had your backs to each other, did a lack of non-verbal communication affect your ability to communicate with the other person? The two partners should schedule a 15 to 30-minute “fireside chat” each week to practice their ability to speak calmly, respectfully, and effectively about important and relevant issues. 21 Couples Therapy Worksheets, Techniques, & Activities (PDF), Codependency: What Are The Signs & How To Overcome It, 100+ Positive Parenting Tips, Skills and Techniques, 8 Best Positive Parenting Books & Workbooks for Parents, 18 Ways to Handle Emotional Blackmail (+ Examples & Quotes), 7 Ways to Improve Communication in Relationships. It will help each family member understand that they are a valuable part of the family and that they are always free to share their unique perspective. You can include other members of … Don’t jump to conclusions. After your kids have chosen an animal for each term, describe some social situations and instruct your kids to act them out with their animals. The couple will only succeed if the blindfolded partner has trust in their partner and the non-blindfolded partner is an effective verbal communicator. Nonverbal communication activities for adults often mirror communication activities for students, with added sophistication. What are the things you are going to do to manage your anger so it does not hurt your family relationships? Can recognizing anger cues help in managing your anger? Discuss what actually happened. Rotate the acting opportunities between the two groups. Getting out of your routine and into a novel environment can do wonders for your communication—not to mention your overall mood. B: Which one? If there’s time, you can have multiple rounds for added competition between the teams. Share this observation with your group and lead a discussion on how body language can influence our understanding and our reactions. As Covey notes, communication is the foundation of all of our relationships, forming the basis of our interactions and feelings about one another. After each set of scenes, ask what clues the second group relied on in order to guess the activity and ascertain whether they got it correct. This activity will help family members identify their anger cues (the signs that indicate they are getting angry) and help them regulate their emotions to ensure they don’t say or do something they will regret. We often have trouble sharing our feelings, even (or especially) with those we are closest to. Use the exercises below to improve essential communication skills like listening, empathy and verbalization. This worksheet is a great way to help older kids understand the difference between types of communication and to learn how to communicate assertively. The couple will find that the lack of one arm makes the task much more difficult than they might expect! The final exercise from Tasker is called “I Feel _____” and it’s a simple one. A: No. They’ll get a feel for what it’s like wielding the language in different situations and contexts. It may take a few rounds for everyone to get the hang of the game, but family members will get more comfortable with the game and enjoy it more as they go along. To make sure we are saying what we want to say with our words and our face, body, and tone, help your kids learn how to understand and “speak” non-verbal communications. The team can ask as many questions as they need to figure it out, but remind them that they’re in competition with the other team. Finally, another activity from Sue Simmons is called “Silent Snack” and it gives young children a chance to have fun while building their nonverbal communication skills. Respect yourself—your wants and needs are as important as everyone else’s. Have the participants guess the emotion of each reader by writing down what they think the speaker is feeling (or what they are supposed to be feeling). Try using a friendly contest to emphasize the importance of interpersonal communication skills and valuing all team members' contributions. Similar to the “three good things” exercise, this game’s aim is to boost a couple’s gratitude for one another and give them both a chance to practice expressing it. They should minimize the chances of distraction (turn off the TV, put their phones on silent, etc.) This communication exercise is based on President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “fireside chats,” in which he addressed the American people with the intention of making it feel as if he was speaking directly into their living room, carrying on a calm and rational discussion of important issues. That makes it a great game for car rides, waiting in restaurants, or standing in a long line. Give the teams eight minutes to barter. What do you want to incorporate in future meetings? Did they get better as the exercise progressed? Use these three exercises to help them learn this important skill. Memory Test Activity. If so, how? Are non-verbal messages always obvious in real life? Instruct the screenwriters to write a silent movie, but to keep these things in mind: Give the screenwriters time to write out their script, then have the actors perform the script. Each time a participant engages in the wrong activity, eliminate them from the game. How Can We Develop Better Communication Skills? Finally, lead a debriefing discussion on how things like tone and body language can impact the way a message is received. Using some of the ideas from this exercise, how can you, as a family, improve your communication skills? As they talk, they should focus on trying to understand the other person’s feelings. I do encourage them to use gibberish (like blah, blahs) to give the other group some paralinguistic clues. The group that lines up in the right order first wins! The listener should listen attentively to the speaker, concentrating on understanding their perspective and attempting to gain new insights into their thoughts and feelings. Punctuation should be added only as it is needed for the sense of the letter. This activity from will help your participants work on their body language skills. Draw three circles in the left-hand margin. Accept responsibility for your own feelings. 5 communication games guaranteed to bring you closer. What can you do to be more aware of non-verbal messages? Instruct one player from each team to leave the room for one minute and come up with a common object that can be found in most offices (e.g., a stapler, a printer, a whiteboard). It can be hard for some family members to communicate their thoughts and feelings when they feel like the odd one out or a “black sheep” in the family. 5 Listening Activities for Adults. Use these 3 exercises to help your kids build their nonverbal skills. Pass each bowl around the room and have each family member take one question slip and one answer slip. Another great exercise from Grace Fleming (2018) is called “We Have to Move Now!” and it will help your participants learn how to express and detect several different emotions. If you remember the game “Twenty Questions”, you’ll recognize this game. Relate this to real-life listening by emphasizing the importance of paying attention to people when they are speaking to you, especially if it’s an important conversation. Inform your participants that they must keep their eyes and mouths closed as they follow instructions; they are not allowed to look at the paper or ask any clarifying questions. Teach respectful vocabulary and remind students that being “cold” (passive) or “hot” (angry) will probably result in less understanding and more conflict. Each team has one piece of paper and two pencils. 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