Communication lies at the heart of any successful organization. Almost all organizational systems are dependent on effective communication, and within team-based organizations and organizations with fewer layers of management, clear communication is even more important. Still, sorting out how communication has an impact on organizations can be difficult, and we often overlook it as a source of problems.
New systems, organizational changes, and productivity demands are realities in today's workplace and to effectively meet these challenges, positive communication is a must. Communication Derailed is a powerful, simulation-based communication style game that will help you to proactively equip your people with the skills they need to become good communicators.
How It Works
Communication Derailed is a hands-on activity tackling three classic communication challenges: communication within a team, between teams, and during organizational stress. Three comprehensive, self-contained modules provide the necessary framework to conduct independent training workshops or a series of sessions.
In Communication Derailed, participants will discover the powerful results of both ineffective and effective communication within their organization. Working as employees of a toy manufacturing company, teams are charged with building new prototypes using fun, colorful parts. However, the hands-on tasks become complicated when they are presented with obstacles that challenge their communication skills. Through the experience of working together and with the help of the facilitator, participants learn how to overcome these problems. By doing so, they improve their performance through effective communication.
Uses and Applications
Communication Derailed is appropriate for individuals at any level of an organization where the three modules are able to be run independently or in a series. The individual modules are:
- Module 1: Can be run with new teams (to give them an idea of the challenges they may face) or existing teams (to expose and identify current communication problems). This can also be used for general team communication skill-building.
- Module 2: Is appropriate in organizations that require cross-team or cross-department work. Organizations with only a few levels of management will also benefit from this training.
- Module 3: Should be used in organizations that are in the midst of a transition. It will also be helpful to fast-moving organizations that function under continual time pressure.
At the end of this simulation, participants will understand how to:
- Recognize how poor communication can damage an organization
- Understand how to handle unique communication problems
- Learn how to improve communication skills
- Create a personal action plan
- Product Type: Game.
This Facilitator Guide is set up so each module is self-contained. The preliminary section provides the overall framework for the game, theoretical background, and general setup guidelines.
- Target Audience: All individuals - Particularly those working on a team or with new people.
- Measures: Communication Derailed measures how your team handles the most well-documented communication problems in contemporary organizations.
- Dimensions: Communication in times of:
- Work stress
- Casual conversations with coworkers
- Team building exercises
- Time Required: 2 to 3 hours per module.
What to Order
Complete Game Kit: Order One Kit to Train Up to Three Teams of Eight
The Communication Derailed Complete Game Kit consists of three unique modules, which may be used singly or sequentially. The modules are also self-contained, yet progressive, becoming increasingly demanding as the organizational circumstances become more complex.
Extra Parts Pack: Order One Pack to Train an Additional Eight Participants
Train a whole other team of participants per module with this Communication Derailed Extra Parts Pack.
About the Authors
Eileen M. Russo, Ph.D., is former vice president of research and development for HRDQ. She has a Ph.D. in social psychology with a minor in organizational behavior and an MS in social psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Russo has a BA in psychology from Fairfield University. Her work includes research in social influence, group behavior, decision making, and perceptions of control at work. As vice president of research and development, she was responsible for overseeing the development of HRDQ products.
Chris Bayley Giblin is a former member of the research and development team at HRDQ. In addition to developing products, she also wrote for the public relations department. Prior to joining HRDQ, she was a member of the TV Guide writing staff. She has a BA in English from Principia College and is now a freelance writer.