9:06:34 AM

Simultaneous Conversation


In front of class

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Give and take

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Verbal Communication

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Have the group break off into smaller groups of 3. Place 1 of the 3 in the

center and the remaining 2 will be to either side. Give one person on the

outside a mundane topic, and the other a different mundane topic like

helicopters or panty hose. Instruct the people on the outside to talk

NONSTOP about their given topic to the person in the middle. The person in

the middle is to try to maintain both conversations as best they can.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure that, when the person in the middle is addressing

one conversation, he/she turn toward that person. Continue for a minute or

2 and place a new member of the 3 in the middle.

APPLICATION: This exercise demonstrates communication on many different

levels. Initially, the person in the middle will experience sensory

overload, but, after 20 seconds or so will settle into a groove. They will

learn that they are much better listeners than they give themselves credit

for. The people on the side will also learn that they know a lot more about

pointless topics than they previously thought. Here is how to illustrate

the most important point: Ask the speakers on the side how they felt when

the person in the middle turned away from them. Likely you will get answers

like "ignored," "insignificant," "hurt" or "angry." And these were

converstions about insignificant topics. Imagine how one would feel if they

were talking about something important. Not only is this exercise a sort of

listening lay up drill, but it also illustrates what emotional effect occurs

when listening does not.

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Simultaneous Conversation



©2003 Karen Stobbe and "In The Moment". Material may be freely distributed with proper accreditation.