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Away Day


As part of an away day, I have a 2hour slot to do something fun with a team who have some communication problems.

I don't want to use the slot to raise any big issues as the group will have just returned from a lunch and will be going off-site for a fun evening together.

So, just looking for something a bit different to my usual tired activities to provide them with;

a) something fun....
b) not too complex to run...(as the line manager will be doing this)
c) will suit a variety of age of participants from 16-50
d) will promote positive communication involving everyone in the group, not just the older, more confident members

Any ideas would be great....

Laura Wright

3 Responses

  1. Away day
    Hi there,

    We use lots of different exercises to emphasise importance of effective communication. They can be used as either icebreakers or energises..

    For a very simple 10 – 15min exercise drop me a line and i’ll happily explain the process needed.



  2. The Egg Drop
    Dear Laura
    You could use an exercise like the ‘Egg Drop’. You can debrief it as simply or with as much complexity as the situation demands. I have used it with multi cultural, multi lingual and multi age and experience groups in 4 continents. It works best if the groups are less than 7 and you must have easy access to a ‘drop’ of about 15 feet. Even if all the eggs do not survive you can focus on the positive and not open more ‘worms by simply asking particpants, “What went well and led to success of enjoyment’ What would you do differently next time? This keeps the debrief discussion positive and future oriented. You can email me for a copy of the instructions and more advice on how you might structure this in 2 hours. Best of luck, Pamela

  3. circular game
    I’ve used this with surprising effectiveness: my colleagues have had the same experience. The debriefing often shows amazing insights about work style and communication.

    You need to have the people in a circle and up to 8 soft juggling balls.
    1. explain that you’ll be throwing a ball to someone, who has to remember that I threw it to them, and thay have to throw it to someone else (remembering who) and so on until everyone has had the ball thrown to them – then it comes back to you.
    Be very clear that the challenge is to throw it in such a way that the person can easily catch it.
    2. Do it again, only quicker. Remind people to remember who threw the ball to them, and who they threw it to.
    3. Then say “keeping this pattern exactly, I’m going to be adding more balls. If you drop it, don’t worry – pick it up if you can, or let someone else pick it up if it’s near them. If you pick up a ball, keep on with the pattern of throwing”
    4. Then keep on adding balls to the group, with the challeng “Let’s see how many we can keep in the air”

    5. The debrief is to ask for general comments, and then to ask how it demonstrates anything about communication in the team. I have always been impressed by how easy people find it to see the game as a metaphor for their own communication.

    The only drawback is that it isn’t suitable for visually impaired team members, or people with very restricted movement, although it’s fine for many wheelchair users.

    Allow 30+ minutes. Then you can move on to the old one of putting people back to back in pairs, one with a pattern, who has to instruct the other one in drawing the pattern, which is also fun, and a very good communication exercise.

    If you still have time, the ‘learning styles line-up’ would be a good finisher (which I’ve described here already)


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