The Reverse Mechanics of Dumb Charades

“Being positive doesn’t mean ignoring the negative. Being positive means overcoming the negative. There’s a big difference between the two.”


Who doesn’t love the game of dumb charades?

But, have you ever played it with a twist that doesn’t include anything related to movies anywhere? Without movies!


I know you are. But, it can happen!

We recently played one such game – Reverse Dumb Charades. Our Continuous Learning sessions at work are known for unique content. We have had a range of games and activities that have made us think through, learn loads of things, stand together as a team and what not.

So this one did not surprise us with its uniqueness. Led by Prithashree Mitra, our Digital Marketing Executive, the game had us thinking. Why? I will come to that in a minute. But first, let me introduce you to Prithashree.

Prithashree’s idea of a long vacation is hitch hiking across the length and breadth of the county. For the trip she doesn’t intend to pack a lot (in fact she wants to leave behind her phone and laptop as well). The hitch hiking means she gets to live the life of hippy with the sky as the roof and the earth below as the floor, make friends on the streets and believe that the entire country is her home. For this boss of her own thoughts, putting her thoughts with a pen into the paper is how she likes to spend her leisure time.

She is an avid reader too!

 Books are her soul mates, movies her dreams and those innumerable TV series – her addiction. She loves experimenting with food. She loves non-vegetarian food to the end of this earth and back. And vegetarian food? Well,she loves these too, but let us say- rarely!

Let’s Come back to the game from Prithashree’s world again! The game of reverse dumb charades has a twist to it. The team members were divided into teams of 4 each. They were given chits, which had negative emotions or words (As in sadness, depression, frustration, laziness, etc.) written in them. These are typically the emotions that related to workplace negativity – especially, when you are not happy at work. One of these 4 had to guess the word from the way the other 3 enacted these words.

But, Prithashree didn’t make it so easy. The catch was that the team that was enacting had to enact the opposite emotion or the antonym of these words.

Since the game was not so easy, she slipped in few rules to make it easier.

  1. The team could use Google to check up the antonyms of the negative words.
  2.  If they guessed the nearest antonym or somewhat similar word, but not the exact one, they would still get points.
  3. They got 5 minute for planning before they started enacting and had to execute the action in the next 5.

The game was a mixed bag. For one or perhaps due to the complexity of the game the team didn’t apply the concept of enacting as a team. In fact, they picked up individual words and each member enacted the word they chose. So the lone person guessing the opposite had quite a difficult time. Some of us thought the concept was not worked on as a team or because the lone crusader was not actually aware of the antonym (the negative word) or because everyone’s acting skills were not quite really worth an Oscar! Despite all these factors, two teams still got points and went on to win the game.

The basic lesson that we learned was that negativity comes first in any workplace and it is easiest one to access. But if a team works in tandem it can bring positivity to the environment and make it a happy place. The other lesson were in strategizing – each team member looked into themselves to see how they could have played this game better. That is something that is unique about our continuous learning session… with every victory at these session we rejoice, but when we fail, we look into ourselves to spin and analyse theories as to how we could have done this better and come out a winner. Is that continuous learning sessions should be about? Constantly learning, analyzing and bettering ourselves. Thank you Prithashree for an opportunity where we could do this again!

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