Teamwork Exercise 2: Paper Chains – The Importance of Communication

Teamwork Exercise 2: Paper Chains – The Importance of Communication


– Okay, so now if you remember
back in the first module
we did the paper chain.
Okay, well we’re going to
give you all another chance
to make the longest looped
paper chain, but with a twist.
So I’d like each group to
please assign a leader.
– Okay?
Kelly?
Okay, the two of you will come
out in the hall with
me for a moment please?
– I feel like I’m in
the principal’s office.
– [Brigetta] Oh not at all.
Okay so your esteemed
leadership has the rules.
The goal is the same: the
longest looped paper chain.
So I’m going to give you 30 seconds
to meet with your leader, okay?
And you can discuss.
But after that, there is no talking.
Alright?
So, go ahead and begin your 30 seconds.
(group chatter)
– You can only use your
dominant hand, so I think we’ll
have to work in teams.
The two of you could cut the paper
using two hands.
– [Brigetta] Okay and stop.
Now begin.
No talking.
– [Participant] I can
use my hand at any time.
– [Brigetta] No talking.
You can laugh, just no talking.
No whispering either.
And you have one minute.
30 seconds.
10, nine, eight, seven,
six, five, four, three, two,
one and stop.
Alright let’s hold them up here.
Gentle.
(group cheers)
Oh, yeah!
Alright, so, what helped
you make the longest chain?
– I think teamwork.
– [Brigetta] Teamwork?
What specifically about the teamwork?
What did you do differently this time?
– Well, we cut the paper more efficiently.
Maybe that’s the biggest thing.
– We all had our assigned
roles, and then toward the end
we shared more of the responsibility
but we knew going into
it exactly what everybody would be doing.
– Okay.
Did that make you more comfortable?
Knowing what was expected
and who was going to do what
and who you could rely on?
Right?
And helping one another.
That’s a good point.
That mutual support.
Having that situational
awareness to see, hey I’m done
with this so we can help.
– That made the difference at the end.
The fact that we all
jumped in and got the last
few loops in there.
– [Brigetta] Right, because
you knew you didn’t have to
cut any more paper.
– Right.
– That was done.
Awesome.
So what were some of the limitations?
What made it difficult to work as a team?
– No talking.
– No talking?
– [Group] Lack of communication.
– One hand is tough.
– [Brigetta] Right.
– [Participant] It’s hard not
to use your other hand, too.
– Mmmhmm.
Again, your resources.
But sometimes,
you made a much longer
chain without talking
than you did when you could talk.
So sometimes too much talking,
or confusion gets in the way.
And that has an outcome barrier, right?
Any other barriers?
Difficulties?
– Well we weren’t able to
troubleshoot, the communication,
we weren’t able to troubleshoot
when we realized that
we had to cut out all the
pieces and then just needed
to do one task.
We hadn’t quite thought
that all the way through.
– [Brigetta] Okay.
So what about that 30 seconds?
What did you discuss
during the 30 seconds?
– [Participant] What our roles would be.
– The roles?
Okay.
– [Participant] The roles and the rules.
– The roles and the rules.
Right. Okay.
But I like that fact that
you then got up and saw
hey, let me go over here and do that.
Again, that situational
awareness, the monitoring
of what’s going on.
And that’s what we want
you again to take back
as you go back to the workplace.
Okay?
Questions?
Alright, awesome.
Good job! Give yourselves a hand.
(applause)
Way to go!
Alright, thank you.

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