Growing up, my family spent time together camping, water-skiing, and riding motorcycles. Most weekends we sat by a fire in the woods instead of at a table in a house, so we were never big on playing board games. Sure, I played with my friends at times, but as a family, not so much. So when we did play games, we were never really very competitive. In Monopoly, if you ran out of money, my dad would slide you a few bills to keep you in the game. During Pictionary, if you couldn’t guess the drawing, my dad would give you a few “hints” out loud. Some might call my dad’s actions “cheating” - but because we just played games as a social experience and not really to ever win, my dad just helped everyone stay in the game and part of the fun. Imagine my surprise when I played games with my husband’s family and discovered that all families did not play games like mine! One weekend (pretty early in our relationship), we visited Scott’s family in Ft. Worth. That evening, his dad brought out the Monopoly board for a “friendly” game. After dividing the money, picking the game pieces, and adjusting our snacks and drinks, we started to play. Although my husband disagrees, I’m pretty sure that I was out of money by the 5th turn. Seriously, those people were out for blood. Scott’s sweet mother turned into a fierce warrior on the Monopoly battlefield, and you could see in her eyes the ruthless determination to win! His soft-spoken dad became a greedy, money-and-property-loving maniac! And Scott, well let’s just say that I saw a competitive side of him that was NOT pretty! At that moment, I discovered that most families played games to win, not just to visit, and made a promise to myself to NEVER play board games with Scott’s family again!
In the spirit of playing board games, this week’s blog is a game about communication. Don’t worry -- we’ll play it like my family plays games where everyone wins just by participating! Like Jeopardy, I’ll give you a word or phrase about communication, and you think of the question that the word or phrase can answer. Good luck!
Active Listening for $100
What is listening with no distractions, without interrupting, asking clarifying questions, refraining from judgement, and reflecting what you heard?
Audience for $200
Who are the receivers of the information you are sharing, and how can you make communication choices about your message and the medium to meet the expectations and better share your message?
Grammar and Spelling for $300
What should you check carefully before you send an email so that your message is professionally presented and shows your attention to details?
Note-taking for $400
What easy tool can you utilize to help remember discussions, tasks, and important information?
Positivity for $500
How can you approach every communication experience by using words and non-verbal cues to create an atmosphere that encourages idea-sharing and collaboration?
How did you do? We should all play the communication game like my dad - work to include everyone. etc Strategies believes that by making good communication choices like active listening, knowing your audience, being professional, note-taking, and working to be positive, the communication experience will be more productive and effective. And most importantly -- everyone wins!
PS - Even after 30 years, I still won’t play board games with my husband’s family!!