One Idea Group Session from Empower Your Team to Thrive by Alison and David Price

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INTRODUCTION – GROUP SESSION

This resource will help you facilitate a short group session to learn from the One Idea Summary on ‘How To COMMUNICATE’.

SESSION OBJECTIVES

  • Be able to list and describe at least six qualities of effective communication.
  • Be able to identify at least one area to improve their communication and what to do to improve in that area.

PREPARATION

Send a copy of the One Idea Summary on ‘How to COMMUNICATE’ to the participants one week before the session. They are to read it and bring it with them. Emphasize that they should bring the One Idea Summary with them to the session either as a printed copy or accessible on a mobile device.

THE SESSION

Introduce the session

Introduce the session by sharing the learning objectives with them.

Review COMMUNICATE

Split them into three small groups and:

  • Assign ‘COMM’ from the ‘COMMUNICATE’ acronym in the One Idea Summary to one group.
  • Assign ‘UNIC’ to another group.
  • Assign ‘ATE’ to the last group.

Tell each group to discuss, review and write down a quick summary of the parts of ‘COMMUNICATE’ they were assigned.

Give them 10-minutes for the activity.

After the 10-minutes is up, stop them. Allow each group to present their summary back to the whole class. If you feel their review did not capture all aspects of ‘COMMUNICATE’ properly, review the whole acronym using the ‘One Idea Summary’ after their presentations.

Next move on to use two scenarios to explore the differences between good and poor communication.

Spot the difference

Tell them to stay in their respective small groups and let them know they are going to do a ‘spot the difference’ activity.

  • In the activity they will be given two scenarios where a manager and team member are communicating.
  • They are to spot the differences in communication between each scenario.
  • Also, they are to identify from the scenarios which qualities of ‘COMMUNICATE’ were followed or not followed.
  • They will have 15-minutes to complete the activity.

Below are both scenarios. You should either copy and paste them on to separate sheets to print out enough copies for the groups or send them as an email or WhatsApp message to each participant.

Scenario 1

Peter has just walked into the office. He’s feeling a bit emotional because of a personal emergency that happened the previous night. He says good morning to his manager, Bello, who just grunts back. From the grunt Peter knows Bello is in a foul mood. He goes to his desk, puts on his computer and opens his emails to see a request from Bello that he doesn’t understand. He goes over to Bello for a better explanation and is met with a ‘I don’t have time, go and read it properly’ answer while Bello is glued to his computer. No eye contact at all. Later he attends the team meeting which runs over with no actions identified at the end of it. Plus, Bello spent most of the meeting complaining about how ‘useless’ a particular team in the organisation is. Back in the office while Peter is at his computer trying to gather his thoughts together and process the feelings of grief he’s going through, Bello comes into the office ranting and raving at him regarding a deadline he missed. By the way this is an open plan office shared with others. Peter is not having a good day.

Scenario 2

Peter has just walked into the office. He’s feeling a bit emotional because of a personal emergency that happened the previous night. He says good morning to his manager, Bello, who turns to him with a pleasant, ‘good morning, while smiling at the same time. ‘Oh, Peter you don’t look your usual self this morning, are you okay,’ asks Bello. Peter tells him about the personal emergency which happens to be a bereavement. Bello expresses his sympathy kindly and offers Peter the opportunity to go home early if he can’t cope and also talks about compassionate leave. Back at his desk, Peter opens his emails to see a request from Bello that he doesn’t understand. He goes over to Bello for a better explanation. Bello apologises for rushing out the email and carefully explains the request to Peter and what is required from him.

Then he attends the team meeting which Bello finishes ahead of time because the agenda had been covered. Bello also ensures there are clear actions. Back in the office while Peter is at his computer trying to gather his thoughts together and process the feelings of grief he’s going through, he receives an email from Bello, telling him to pop into his office. Bello asks about a missed deadline to find out what happened. Together they discuss what needs to happen now regarding the task and what Peter should do next time if he’s about to miss a deadline. Peter feels fortunate to have such an understanding manager.

After 15-minutes stop them. To review the activity:

  • Ask each group to tell you one difference alternately and go through the groups till they tell you all the differences they identified.
  • Next ask them about how the first and second scenario matched up or didn’t match up with ‘COMMUNICATE’. Go round the groups as you did before to get one answer from each group, till they run out of answers.
  • Finally ask them what their own personal lessons were from the activity. Listen to a maximum of ten answers.

After that appreciate them for participating and then move on to the last activity in which they will assess their own communication capabilities against ‘COMMUNICATE’.

Assess yourself against ‘COMMUNICATE’

  • Tell each person to get out something they can write on, like a notebook, sheet of paper or note taking app on their phone.
  • Next tell them to write down all the qualities of ‘COMMUNICATE’ on separate lines.
  • Then tell them to imagine for each quality, a score of 5 means, ‘wow, I’m great at this’ and a score of 1 means, ‘oh, I’m really terrible at this’. Tell each person to score themselves between 1 to 5 on each quality.
  • They should write their self-assessment score in front of each ‘COMMUNICATE’ quality they wrote down.
  • Give them 10-minutes to do this.

When they finish the self-assessment, let them know that the self-assessment scoring is their own confidential information unless they want to share.

Give anyone who wants to share the opportunity to do so, and if anyone does share, ask why they gave themselves that score.

After listening to their sharing if anyone volunteers, tell them to:

  • Go through all the self-assessment scoring.
  • Pick three areas where they feel they need to improve their communication.
  • For each area, write down one thing they are going to start doing almost immediately that can improve their communication in that area.
  • Give them another 10-minutes to do this.

After the 10-minutes is up, ask for anyone who wants to volunteer to share. Again, let them know that it is up to them if they want to share.

Listen to anyone who shares without asking any questions or making comments.

Then thank them for doing the activity and sharing (if anyone did). Next move on to review and close the session.

REVIEW AND CONCLUDE

To review the session, tell them that:

  • During this session we explored 11 qualities of effective communication that you read from the One Idea Summary, ‘How to COMMUNICATE’.
  • You reviewed the 11 qualities.
  • You also did a ‘spot the difference’ activity to differentiate between good and poor communication and identify areas where some of the 11 qualities of effective communication were used or not used.
  • Finally, you assessed yourself against the 11 qualities and wrote down some actions to take to improve specific areas of your communication.

What is important at this point is for you to take the actions you wrote down. Even if you do just one of the things you wrote down to improve your communication, it will make a difference.

After telling them that, thank them for participation and close the session.

End of session

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