Team Building Activity – The Dangers of Chinese Whispers in your Organisation

Team Building Activity – The Dangers of Chinese Whispers in your Organisation

EML Team recently ran a team building workshop for a client who were looking to take a longer-term approach to the development of their teams.

The client’s management team of 20 were well developed, the business was over 20 years old with some 14,000 employees and a highly experienced inhouse HRD team. With such an experienced inhouse HRD team it is always a challenge for our consultants to suggest fresh ways to enable them to achieve their desired learning objectives from their conferences or team meetings. But we are always up for a challenge!

Firstly our client wanted to have a meaningful team building activity in the afternoon of their conference, this was the easy part for us. Our consultants ran through a number of options to achieve their aims while staying close to their Learning and Development goals and language used. Options included Lego Master BuilderBuilding Bridges and a Communication Workshop – the client opted for Lego.

The morning ice breaker was a slightly different matter as it had a very specific brief. The client had identified 3 ‘tests’ that they had set themselves within their revised business structure. These 3 tests needed to be developed, committed to memory and easily explained in a visual and fun way.

The output of this session needed to be able to be taken away by the client’s employees and used with other teams within the business as a part of a wider piece. The things discussed in the conference needed to be disseminated through the rest of the business and a fun, visual solution was identified as a great vehicle for doing this.

The answer came in the form of the old game of Chinese Whispers. We chose not to use ‘language’ instead we used visual hand movements. A few of the delegates first discussed and then agreed on a series of hand movements and gestures to represent and explain the 3 tests to the rest of the management team and then on to the employees not attending the conference.

Guests were lined up facing the front of the room and then the first recipient of a message was tapped on the shoulder and asked to turn around where upon they were then shown the message. The message had to be passed down the line one by one to the rest of the team.

The results on this occasion were interesting to say the least. The core 3 messages were quickly lost and the relatively complex movements that the delegates had agreed upon had been replaced with a simplified, erroneous version.

Clear Communication is Key 

This activity demonstrated that positive reinforcement and accurate communication are key when rolling out new systems and initiatives. In this case we only had 20 guests from a senior team – imagine what it will be like getting this information across to 14,000 people without significant loss of program integrity.

In short this was an excellent way of clearly demonstrating how easily imprecise communication can degrade an information stream, ultimately leading to the failure of a program which may have had many thousands of hours and a good deal of money invested in it.

If you’d like a unique team building workshop to help highlight an important business message, contact us on +44 (0)1905 330660 or info@emlteam.com. We love a challenge!

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Thanks a lot for a great session. We will definitely have you in mind when doing team building activities in the Munich office.

Lego Spokesperson - Indoor Team Building

A great set of events to help keep spirits up and teams connected during lockdown. Especially appreciated the flexible and creative approach. Many thanks.
Adele Cox
Excellent fun and fully engaged activity, completely loved it 😊 Thank you so much.
Himabindu Vutukuri
I thought the event was excellent - informal, fun & very engaging!
B. A. Nimmo
I really enjoyed the exercise and was honestly quite surprised at just how engaged with the activity I became.
Richard White
Enjoyable virtual event. I liked the theme and imaginative art class to make it a fun group event.
Conor Morris
A very entertaining experience... we had to make decisions and work together. And we also got a sense of achievement - I can’t draw and produced 2 decent superheroes. An excellent activity.
Elizabeth Donachie
A great event which made was a lot of fun! At first I was nervous to try the task but by the end I wanted to do more!
Lisa Redpath
Enjoyable event and well run, enjoyed our 3 hours with EML.
David Rodman
Good afternoon of activities and being in the winning team topped the day, thank you for the prize.
Adrienne Cousins
Many thanks to Neil and Ruth for leading our virtual team building exercise... Many laughs were had while scrambling to collect the twenty items...!!! The Murder Mystery was my favourite and my team winning was the icing on the cake. The Haka showed how uncoordinated we are but the laughs ...just proves what an enjoyable experience we all had.
Suzanne Mitchell, Beckton, Dickinson & Co
Our team really enjoyed the event - they are already asking when we can do another!
Karen Wilson, Zhero
The EML virtual team building event was well organised and entertaining. Tasks were interactive and challenging in a fun and relaxed environment.
Brandon Lee Maharaj
It was fun and I loved the energy this brought out of us as a team.
Clinton De Klerk
Great and fun team-building event. Enjoyed!!!
Christopher Dahwa
Perfect. From initial enquiry to event day. I’m really pleased with the session. We had a short meeting pre activities and then 4 fun team games. The event staff were really helpful and professional all the way through.
James
EML delivered a great virtual training afternoon for our new Graduates, Undergraduates & Apprentices. Everyone found it to be a fun and engaging afternoon.
Victoria Goodwin
Super fun virtual event, the team are friendly and entertaining. Thank you so much Neil and Jon.
Joynab
Thank you EML for a great virtual team building Christmas party. Everyone had a great time and this virtual option created a great opportunity to stay in touch with our colleagues and have some Christmas fun. I've received lovely feedback from staff - they really appreciated the event.
Sue Quick
Thanks for organising and facilitating our online Christmas social. I've had some great feedback from the participants and it was lovely to do something together even though we couldn't meet face to face.
Michelle Hammersley
Great fun, thank you.
Simon Elkins
Well organised and good fun - many thanks to EML Team.
Mark Roberts
Great fun, engaging and well organised :o)
Belinda Mitchell
Thank you so much for organising a very interesting and fun event... it gave staff an opportunity to work together in different ways and helped to develop our team skills. I'd recommend similar online events to other organisations.
Isla Boadle
Great fun had by all. Both inclusive and engaging. We will be looking to use EML again next year.
John Williams, ECCTIS

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