Managers' Library Home

Listening Team Activities


Communicating Without Body Language


Time required:

30 minutes.

What it does:

Highlights the role of body language in communication and identifies strategies for communicating more effectively over the phone.

You will need:

Blindfolds for every participant, and a flipchart.

In a nutshell:

Participants have a discussion whilst blindfolded to identify the difficulties that a lack of body language creates when not communicating face-to-face.

Getting the Message


Time required:

30 minutes.

What it does:

Demonstrates how easy it is for communication to break down and for misunderstandings to occur.

You will need:

Space for your team to wait outside the room until they are called in one at time. You'll also need a picture (two are provided in the handout in the resources tab), a flipchart and a stopwatch or phone with a timer.

In a nutshell:

Can your team successfully pass the right message on?

Miss Communication


Time required:

20 minutes.

What it does:

Demonstrates how easy it is for misunderstandings to occur even when we think we are being very clear in what we are saying.

You will need:

Plenty of post-it notes for your team members. You'll also need 10 sheets of flipchart paper, numbered between 1-10, with each sheet's number written in the top left corner.

In a nutshell:

How often do your team members hear the same word and understand something differently?

The Shoe Shop


Time required:

25 minutes.

What it does:

Considers a real life scenario whereby other customers witness how a store handles a customer complaint. What went well, what didn’t and how did it impact on other customers?


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This team activity can be run on its own or you can follow it up with Handling Unhappy Customers - LACE.


You will need:

Each of your team members will need a copy of the brief to review.

In a nutshell:

What does the customer think when watching a complaint being handled in front of them?

Tim's Tales - A Test of Listening Skills


Time required:

30 minutes.

What it does:

Tests the listening and recall skills of your staff, enabling them to explore barriers to listening effectively. It will also enable you all to create a list of Listening Tips for your staff.

You will need:

A ball or other soft object for team members to catch, plus enough space for your team to stand in a circle. A flipchart to document the key learning points.

In a nutshell:

Team members build a story that tests their listening skills.

Witches of Glum


Time required:

30 minutes.

What it does:

Demonstrates how easy it is to make assumptions and how often this impacts on our perception of reality.

You will need:

Nothing other than the materials provided.

In a nutshell:

Participants identify the dangers of making assumptions.
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