Product Specific

An introduction to Colourblind® (online version)

Colourblind® develops effective communication and team building skills and helps virtual teams recognise problems caused with imprecise communication and language

6th February 2023

An introduction to Colourblind® (online version)
Colourblind® is an online virtual version of the classic physical problem-solving activity that has been used for over 20 years to help teams reach a common understanding of meaning, and recognise problems caused with imprecise communication patterns. In that this online version, simple group meeting / conference technology is used to facilitate the activity.

Individuals draw on their experience and descriptive skills to explain to each other the complexities of abstract shapes that they can see but not hold in their hands, or be seen by the other participants. They use feedback and the skills of clarification to ensure that their understanding is accurate through verbal exchanges only.

The original physical Colourblind® activity was developed in 1991 when Geoff Cox was asked to design and deliver the first week of an induction training programme for Air Traffic Control cadets. The young people involved came from a range of backgrounds: direct from school or university, from business and industry, from air traffic control in the Armed Forces. Each had to face an intensive, demanding training programme in which teamwork and communication would be fundamental to success. Each, ultimately, would accept professional responsibilities which allow absolutely no margin for communication error, misunderstanding or ambiguity.

Colourblind® enabled participants to rehearse every communication skill which Air Traffic Controllers need and to highlight the problems and pitfalls which communication breakdown inevitably brings. Since 1991 Colourblind® has been used worldwide across languages, cultures and business backgrounds, to focus on the fundamental skills of great communication.

The activity itself is simple to describe: pool knowledge to identify the coloured shapes that are missing from a complete set. The communication processes involved are much more complex and take participants through increasingly sophisticated patterns of communication until the task is achieved.

During the exercise, teams must:

• Set up and manage an effective communication system that everyone understands and can use efficiently.
• Develop a dialogue which will lead to a common understanding of abstract concepts.
• Deliver a successful solution to the problem they face.

View a recent product demonstration recording here: Colourblind (online version) Session Recording

If you would like to experience a Colourblind session with a member of Experiential Learning Tools team book a demo or drop a message to us. You can subscribe today for instant access to Colourblind and many other engaging virtual training activities with the one easy to manage subscription.

Graham Cook @GrahamCookRSVPD

Cofounder of Experiential Learning Tools

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