This free energiser focuses on communication and emphasises how, even what we think is good communication, fails if the person receiving the message is not absolutely clear on what is meant. It is also good fun and provides the perfect light-hearted look at the topic of communication.
A set of instructions for the free energiser, ‘Communicoat’ can be downloaded from the link at the bottom of this page. You can also follow the notes for the energiser below.
- A coat or jacket
- Ask for a participant to volunteer and join you at the front of the room.
- Explain to the volunteer that you are going to ask them to give you directions on putting on your coat.
- Before the volunteer begin giving you directions, mess with your coat a little. For instance, pull one or both of the sleeves inside out and screw the coat into a ball that you place across the room from you.
- As the volunteer gives you direction, be sure to follow their directions very literally and have some fun with the guidance they give you. For instance, if they say ‘walk across the room’ go in the wrong direction. If they say, ‘turn around’, keep turning on the spot. If they say, ‘pull the sleeve out’, do it to the wrong sleeve’ etc. It’s best if you don’t co-operate too much.
- Continue the activity until the group get to exasperated, or until it is complete.
- Review the energiser using the questions below.
- How did the activity make you feel as the volunteer giving instructions?
- How did the activity make you feel as the observers?
- What similarities are there with this activity and things that happen in the workplace? What examples can you give me?
- What do you think we could do better to improve the communication process?
- How will you apply what you have learnt here to your workplace?
This free energiser is great for ensuring effective communication and helping participants understand how they should be careful to communicate in such a way that people fully understand their meaning.