We recently played a game as part of learning process, in a class I am taking ‘Advance Topics in Project Management’, taught by Lisa (Drake) Schober. An amazing professor who distinguishes how to make a topic interesting. We as group of four, were given each a bundle of five-note cards. The first note card had some Project Management term on it. With a strong caveat from the instructor, do not share this word with anyone in your team, until we are done with the game. We were given one-minute each time, and the we will rotate the note cards in a sequential order: Draw the Word-Write the Word-Draw the Word- Write the Word-Draw the Word- Write the Word-Draw the Word. The entire team busted into laughter, laughter and laughter because no one could guesstimate preceding illustrations accurately. My Project Management Professional turned out to become Human Resources. The picture below is the concise form of actual class game. That was super-hilarious.
This game is called ‘Telestration’. In India, in my kindergarten days we played the similar game called, ‘Chinese Whispers’ or ‘Telephone’, in which we will sit in a circle and one person whispers a message to ear of next person and so on, until the last person announces the message to the entire group. Although the objective is to pass around the message without it becoming misheard and altered along the way. The part of the enjoyment is the, unpredictable outcome, which typically accumulates in retellings and leaves an amusing or humorous effect. On a serious note, point to make here is the unreliability of recollection of oral communication.
I sensed this fun-filled childhood Telestration game delivered two strong messages. One is reminding us, not to forget laughing. According to Mayo Clinic Laugher stimulates many organs and is the best medicine for lot of mental and physical problems. It triggers release of endorphins, body’s natural feel good chemicals. Endorphins promote overall sense of well-being and even temporarily relieve pain. Laughter decreases stress hormones and lowers blood pressure. There are many laughter yoga clubs around the world speaks volumes on its benefits.
The second message, underscores the importance of effective communication. I remember growing up, everyone highlighted the significance of decency, honesty and hard work but and no one underlined the conversing skill. Furthermore, asking questions was considered offensive and rude. Conversely, it’s a crucial lubricant and oxygen that keeps our relationships and projects running and breathing. Communication whether face-to-face or telephonic is an essential skill-set demonstrating your credentials in today’s career bazaar and mis-interpretations can lead to disasters.
The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply. Communication should be bidirectional, requiring effective engagement of receiver and transmitter. Communication leads to Community, that is, to understanding intimacy and mutual Valuing- Rollo May.
Writing on Telestration, Laughing Yoga and Communication is in continuation of my reflection to contribute to Vibrant healthy Communities. Share your experiences of funny interpretations and follow me on Twitter!