James Smart

Blind Drawing

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Test your communication and interpretation skills with Blind Drawing!



One of the challenges of team communication comes when one team member tries to explain an unfamiliar concept to another team member. If teams aren’t great at communicating, this process can be frustrating for both parties.

With Blind Drawing, test your communication abilities creatively with a fun, simple teambuilding exercise that can help participants think about how they choose to communicate and articulate themselves more clearly in the future. 



Step 1:
Organize your team into pairs or small groups. Pairs are especially effective in a live environment, though having small groups where several people are interpreting the directions of one speaker is also a good exercise!

Step 2:
Invite one person to be the speaker and have them choose an object to describe. They then describe the object while the other person or people must draw the object from the description alone.

The rule is that the person describing the object cannot say anything which clearly gives away what the object is or is closely related. For example, if describing a tree, you might say, “It’s a tall cylinder with lightning coming out of each end, one set of lightning spreading out into the air, the other going into the ground. It has rough, weathered skin, and at the ends of each fork of lightning there are hundreds of children that grow until they’re ready to fall.”  

Give three to five minutes for this first stage. If you're running this activity online, separate folks into breakout rooms or have them communicate their descriptions over text chat.

Step 3:
Once the drawing is complete, give your group the opportunity to reflect. This can be humorous as well as illuminating. While debriefing the exercise, ask your participants to think about how they communicated, what was difficult, and how they might communicate better next time.

If you want to go a step further, mix up your groups, and have another round of blind drawing. Challenge your participants to try and communicate more clearly while still following the rules of the challenge!

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