Simbols

Simbols

4 - 30 participants

Interactive activity for improving communication skills within a team. Use problem solving techniques and strategic thinking to succeed in this challenging activity.

Simbols stands as a pinnacle of experiential learning, meticulously crafted to elevate team communication skills. In this immersive online activity, teams are thrust into a scenario where they must swiftly forge a shared language, employ strategic thinking, and harness problem-solving techniques. The challenge intensifies as teams transition to a timed second phase, using their shared understanding to reach a formidable target.

Key Features
:
  • Group Dynamics: Simbols is versatile, accommodating groups from 6 to 30 participants. For optimal engagement, we recommend sessions of up to 15 participants. Larger groups can be split into two simultaneous sessions.
  • Team Configuration: Customize each session to your needs, either as a unified team or divided into three sub-teams.
  • Platform Compatibility: Seamlessly facilitate Simbols on popular video conferencing platforms, including Zoom, MS Teams, and Google Meet.
  • The Challenge: With a singular solution and only one shot at success, Simbols is not for the faint-hearted. Participants are equipped with virtual tiles adorned with symbols. The task? Describe these symbols to accurately position their tiles on a digital grid. The catch? Only verbal communication is allowed, and tiles remain hidden from peers. This demands clear communication and active participation from every team member.
  • High Stakes, High Rewards: With a single opportunity to nail the correct answer within a set timeframe, teams must exhibit impeccable planning and synergy. This activity simulates real-world scenarios where visual references are absent, pushing teams to refine their communication for mutual understanding. Beyond communication, Simbols challenges participants in project planning, strategic thinking, performance enhancement, and time management, all culminating in a race against the clock to achieve perfection.
  • Cultural Insights: Simbols shines in international or cross-cultural settings, spotlighting diverse cultural references and linguistic nuances.

Learning Outcomes
:
  1. Establish a universally understood and efficient communication system.
  2. Foster dialogues that demystify abstract concepts.
  3. Implement a final process through effective communication.
  4. Achieve solutions under stringent time and quality constraints.
  5. Manage and integrate individual inputs for team coherence.
  6. Recognize and respect diverse explanatory and perceptual styles.
  7. Prioritize active listening and understanding.
  8. Grasp the cultural specificity of language and communication.
  9. Experience and refine team leadership.
  10. Foster team cohesion, collaboration, and continuous improvement.
Simbols is an immersive experiential learning activity designed to enhance team communication and strategic thinking in a virtual environment. Participants are presented with virtual tiles adorned with symbols and must collaboratively decipher their placement on a digital grid. With only verbal communication permitted and a single opportunity to submit the correct answer, teams are challenged to quickly develop a shared language, employ problem-solving techniques, and think strategically.

Applications
:
  1. Team Building: Ideal for teams unfamiliar with each other, Simbols fosters trust, collaboration, and mutual understanding.
  2. Communication Training: Teams refine their verbal communication skills, focusing on clarity, precision, and active listening.
  3. Strategic Planning Workshops: Participants learn to strategize under pressure, making quick yet informed decisions.
  4. Cross-Cultural Training: With its emphasis on language and shared understanding, Simbols is perfect for highlighting cultural nuances in communication.
  5. Leadership Development: Emerging leaders can practice guiding their teams through challenges, making crucial decisions, and ensuring every voice is heard.
  6. Performance Review: Simbols can serve as a reflective tool, allowing teams to assess their communication and problem-solving strengths and areas for improvement.

Outcomes
:
  1. Enhanced Team Communication: Participants emerge with a heightened ability to convey ideas clearly and understand their teammates.
  2. Strategic Thinking: Teams learn to approach problems methodically, considering both immediate and long-term implications of their decisions.
  3. Problem-Solving Prowess: Faced with a singular solution, participants hone their analytical skills, learning to view challenges from multiple angles.
  4. Time Management: With strict time constraints, teams practice prioritizing tasks and making decisions swiftly.
  5. Cultural Awareness: In diverse teams, participants gain insights into the varied cultural references and linguistic nuances that influence communication.
  6. Role Flexibility: Participants experience various team roles, from leadership to active listening, understanding the importance of each in a collaborative setting.
  7. Feedback Utilization: Teams learn the value of feedback, using it to refine their strategies and improve outcomes.
  8. Trust Building: By relying on each other's descriptions and insights, trust is fostered within the team.
  9. Increased Empathy: Recognizing the challenges of verbal-only communication, participants develop empathy, becoming more patient and understanding with teammates.
  10. Application to Real-World Scenarios: The skills honed in Simbols are transferable, preparing participants for real-world challenges in diverse team settings.
Effective communication is about making informed choices. While we have a plethora of mediums at our disposal today, the essence of impactful communication lies in the quality of content we share. In this activity, the onus is on every participant to articulate their information clearly and accurately. Each individual holds a piece of the puzzle, and only by fitting these pieces together can the entire picture be revealed.

Rather than appointing a designated team leader or coordinator, this exercise allows the group to organically determine their communication flow. The evolution of this flow and its management becomes a focal point during the review process. To guide the learning journey, facilitators can pose open-ended questions such as:

  • How did the group encourage individual contributions?
  • How were the more reserved participants engaged in the dialogue?
  • Which questions proved most effective?
  • Can you cite instances of particularly effective communication?
  • How were the cards described to ensure mutual understanding?
  • How did descriptions evolve to reduce ambiguity?
  • How was mutual understanding verified?
  • How did individuals adapt their communication styles to accommodate others?
  • What systems were implemented to manage the influx of information?

Such questions help participants pinpoint the strategies that made the exercise successful. If the task wasn't completed, these inquiries guide learners in understanding the reasons behind their shortcomings. For instance:

  • Given the challenges in strategizing for the exercise, how can this group improve its information-sharing approach moving forward?
  • The varied language used to describe identical symbols led to misunderstandings. How can you adapt in the future to ensure genuine understanding, especially with those who communicate differently?

Facilitators, with their keen observation skills, can make timely interventions to steer the group towards more effective communication. For example:

“I've observed some ambiguity around the symbol termed ‘the necklace’. This seems to be affecting your numbering system. Can the group collaborate to pinpoint the source of this confusion and employ precise descriptions to ensure everyone's on the same page?”

In Summary: When focusing on Communication Skills training, consider:
  • The establishment of communication systems.
  • The prevalent communication patterns within the group.
  • The adaptability and precision of descriptive language.
  • The clarity of instructions provided.
  • The diversity of questions posed and the attentiveness to responses.
  • The avenues created for feedback, clarification, and summarization of discussions.

Information

Delivered
Fully Remote
Available
To all subscribers
Activity created
2020-11-19
Average Duration
60 mins
Participants
4 - 30

I would highly recommend these team activities, they are both fun and challenging, and can be used as a virtual energizer too.

Fiona Wright
VP Marketing The LEGO Company

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