Fun exercise to make the energy flow in a team while reflecting on the importance of communication through the right channels.
Energize members of a team after lunch or break in a fun way with a concentration and communication exercise.
Demonstrate the challenges of communicating two messages at the same time through the same communication channel.
- 2 marker of different colors (could be any other item as well)
- Space for people standing up in a circle
- Get two different color markers. One is going to be the Pik and the other the Puk.
- Get the participants around in a circle standing up.
- Share the instructions, "We want to see how well can we focus our attention and concentrate on the task at hand, listening is key. I am going to give you something, but in order to receive it and move it along you have to ask and answer in a specific way. Before we do it, let's try it out."
- The facilitator presents one marker to the person on his right (PERSON 1) and say "Here is a PIK", then the person must ask back "A what?", so the facilitator can answer "A PIK" and you hand over the marker to him/her. If the facilitator is not asket "A what?" the item can not be passed.
- Person 1 presents Person 2 (the next person on his/her right) the same sentence "Here is a PIK", and he/she should answer in the same way, "A what?", then Person 1 will ask the facilitator again "A what?", only then, the facilitator can answer "A PIK" to Person 1, who then tells Person 2 "A PIK", and he/she hands over the marker to Person 2.
- Person 3 asks Person 2 "a what?" , then Person 2 asks Person 1 "a what?" and Person 1 asks the facilitator "a what?" and the facilitator responds "a PIK". Then Person 1 the says to Person 2 "A PIK" and so on and so forth
- After 4-5 people do this the facilitator stop the exercise and says to the group, "It seems we got it clear now, let's start over."
- The facilitator presents one marker to the person on his right (PERSON 1) and say "Here is a PIK", and starts the cycle.
- After that when Person 1 is presenting to Person 2 the Pik, the facilitator turns to the person on his/her left and presents the other marker "Here is a PUK" so it can start traveling in the opposite direction of the Pik.
- The Pik and the Puk will start traveling the circle, with the questions "A what?" and answers "A Pik" or "A Puk" also going around.
- When trying to make Pik and Puk try to pass one another is when it gets fun and all formality breaks loose, as people get easily confused on what question is coming and what response is going, so get ready for some staring, confusion and lots of laughs. Let the group motivate each other to continue as the Pik and Puk have to go all around until they get back to you.
After the Pik and Puk arrive to the facilitator, the facilitator asks everyone a big round of applause to celebrate the completion of a quite challenging task!
Some questions you can ask the participants as part of the conclusions are:
- Was the exercise difficult or easy? Why?
- When we started did it seem that way? What happened? What made it so difficult?
- What conclusions can we draw regarding tasks that on the surface seem simple?
- What conclusion can we draw regarding the use of the same channel to communicate two different messages at the same time?
It was taught to me almost a decade ago, I've been trying to find some literature with no success unfortunately. If you know who made it please share!