The Broken Email Activity

Communication is the key to all successful relationships whether in the family, community, at work or with customers.

Telling employees they need to communicate should be a no-brainer. They either do it or they don't.  But the simplest of things often trip us up and then the team needs a little reminder about improving the communication between their colleagues or customers.

This simple activity is designed to help improve communication awareness and can be used in several situations during training courses, team meetings, breakout sessions, and workshops.

The original idea for this activity comes from Teampedia.

Objectives

  • To be the first team to correctly reproduce the "email".
  • To open up discussions around communication and collaboration.

Group Size

  • Medium to large.
  • Minimum of 5 people.

Materials

Table, Paper, Pens or Markers, Simple Images

Set Up

On a table, place as many pieces of paper with a pen as you have teams. Have pre-made simple images or "emails" made (example: Heart, Tree, Smilie Face, Star, Stickman, etc.)

The players should be divided up into at least two teams with at least five people per team. Teams should have an even amount of players.

Directions

  1. Have the teams line up in a straight line in front of their piece of paper on the table. Instruct them that there is to be no talking. The person at the back of the line (furthest from the table) on each team is shown a simple image we call the "email".
  2. The image is then taken away. Once one person from each team has seen the image, he/she must then draw that image with their finger on the back of the person in front of them.
  3. That next person draws on the back of the person in front of them what they think the person behind them drew on their back. It continues down the line until it reaches the person standing at the table with the paper and pen.
  4. That person draws the image on the piece of paper. Once all teams are finished, the original image or "email" is revealed. The team who finished first, and drew the correct image wins.

Alternatives

  • You can show each team a separate image.
  • You can give points to the team that finished first, and the team that drew the correct image.
  • You can play in rounds with teams accumulating points to have an overall winner.

 

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