Two-Way Communication

Description:This classic communication exercise illustrates the importance of two-way communication in a very visual and often humorous way.
Materials:8-1/2″ x 11″ paper for each participant
Directions:Have participants arrange their chairs classroom style or around a table.

Give each participant a sheet of paper. Ask them to close their eyes and follow your directions as noted below:

No one may ask questions during this activity.

You must keep your eyes closed during the activity — no peeking.

Fold your sheet of paper in half.

Tear off the upper right hand corner.

Fold your paper in half again.

Tear off the lower right hand corner.

Fold your paper in half.

Tear off the upper left-hand corner.

Fold your paper in half a final time.

Tear off the lower left-hand corner.

Unfold your paper and hold it up.

Open your eyes, look at your paper and compare it with the others.
Remote Tip:Dispersed teams can easily complete this activity using a video conferencing tool such as Zoom, Webex, or Google Hangouts.
Discussion:Take a few moments to discuss the importance of effective communication and to ask participants for examples of how this applies to their daily work with customers. For example:

• If you were given the same directions, why is everyone’s paper different? (Remember when you communicate with others, they may not receive the message you sent. Individual perceptions vary.)

• Would two-way communication have resulted in all of the papers being more similar?

• What does this mean to you as a communicator?

• How does this activity relate to our daily work with customers?

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