Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Babble On - A Problem Solving, Communication and Team Work Drill

Purpose:  To enhance Problem Solving & Communications Skills

Summary: Babble On is a team work drill that forces your team members to refine their communication skills by considering the problem and the result. It forces them to use three different types of communication, from one sided all the way through open communication.

Materials Needed: - Clip Boards, Pens or Pencils, and 3 sheets of paper for each member of the team.

Drill: 

1)      Break your team up into partnerships, 2 people in a group.  Have them sit in chairs or on the floor, with their backs facing each other.  Have them decide who A is and Who B is, as this designation will allow the drill to flow.
2)      Have each person label their papers, 1, 2 and 3, 1 being the paper on top of the clip board, with 2 and 3 under 1.
3)      Instruct the A people to draw a figure or diagram on Paper #1, using 5 – 10 Straight lines. No Curves, and the lines must be touching and they may intersect.  We call this on the Simple Picture.  I show them and example of each as I explain what I want. Caution them NOT to draw simple figures like a square or a star, but rather a Random drawing with straight lines only. Repeat the instructions for Paper #2 and #3, except #2 uses 10 – 15 lines and #3 uses 15 – 20 lines.  Give them 5 minutes to accomplish the task  
4)      #1 Drawing: When you say Go, A gets 2 minutes to tell B what to draw.  B may not communicate in anyway what so ever.  They listen and draw, asking no questions, making no requests and not communicating in any way at all.
5)      #2 Drawing: When you say Go, A gets 2 minutes to Tell B what to draw. B may ask Yes or No questions.  Do NOT belabor what a yes or no questions is, other than, B asks a questions, A may answer it Yes or No.
6)      #3 Drawing: When you say Go, A gets 2 minutes to Tell B what to draw, and A and B may communicate verbally anyway they want.  They just cannot show the drawing to each other, or face each other.
7)      When you have finished all three drawings, have them compare the drawings, pulling out any that actually match by design and close in size.
8)      Repeat the entire exercise with A and B reversed.


Teaching the Lesson:
This may take 10 to 30 minutes easily:
1.    Ask them to explain what the Problem they were solving was? (Figuring out how to communicate so that the drawings matched.)
2.    Ask them the difference between the different types of communications, and how they felt about each.
3.      Ask them if they have every experienced the first or second type of communication.
4.      You must teach them that a definition of what the problem is creates better communication, so ask them which time the task was easier, the first or second time.  Obviously the second was easier, and that is because they understood the problem better.
5.    Ask them what Hot is, or Cold, or Large, or Small.  Teach them that they have to use language that everyone agrees on.  A machinist may look at measurement differently than a heating guy.
6.      Ask them which method the liked and why.

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