“If you just communicate, you can get by. But if you communicate skillfully, you can work miracles.”
— Jim Rohn
Well, we learned it in a very nice way. In fact, through a game during one of our Continuous Learning sessions at MyNextHire. For those of you who are new here, Continuous Learning sessions are activity sessions that we have at work. We have themes – Art & Craft, Sports & Games, etc. It is a fun way of learning new things for us. Learn we do – many things – from new painting styles and other fine arts to leadership and teamwork lessons. In short, we have a blast at these sessions. The best part – it is led by a team member and everyone, including our CEO takes part in these sessions. It is as much as about sharing knowledge and learning new things, as much as it is about the fun and teamwork. This time the session was led by Bhushan Patil who works as a Business Analyst. He loves to play badminton and read books in his free time. A social person by nature, he is great at leading people.
The session was about communication and was aptly name Blind Drawing. It was a team-of-two game and each one of us paired up with another team member – each team sitting back-to-back. One of the team members would be blindfolded and handed a paper and pen or pencil. The other member of that team would be given a picture and they have to describe the picture to the blindfolded teammate. Well, the difficult part comes now. The teammate with the picture couldn’t name the object or thing in the picture – say if it was a picture of an apple – they couldn’t say apple; they had to describe it in other words or characteristics. The blindfolded person had to draw the object in the picture based on this description.
The session began and so did the fun. As the descriptions began and the drawing started, it was hilarious to see what some of those descriptions turned out in the drawing. The result of what was communicated and what was perceived from that communication. As the drawings reviewed at the end of the game, the funny pictures made everyone laugh. The lessons were also very clear. The pictures, though funny, told each one of us why the picture was drawn the way it was – either it was based on very little information or about the way it was perceived. It also brought forth communication issues. Some couldn’t describe enough to convey to the blindfolded teammate and in some cases, the blind-folded person did not take the efforts to ask questions or doubts to draw.
To conclude, that’s the way communication works in a team also. Communication and interpretation or perception goes hand-in-hand. Communication is also a two-way street. If there is no clarity in what was conveyed, then the interpreter needs to ask questions to confirm if the perceived information is correct or not. The communicator (especially if they are in the management or team leadership role) should make sure to convey precise and clear messages skillfully that helps the team get to the target easily.