20 Games for Communication Skills that Will Help You Improve at the Workplace

When you find yourself immersed in work over the computer or any other device, it’s much easier to use technology-driven tools such as Slack, Zoom or other software to quickly communicate what needs to be done in the shortest possible way.  Communication is a key aspect to work success. 

 Like the idiom goes “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” (We support diversity and inclusion), so it’s safe to say it makes Jill a dull girl too!   To keep up pace, there are plenty of games for communication skills that combine both learning and fun. These games are designed to help improve teammates’ ability to exchange information, hone their communication skills and also add some fun quotient at the office. So what games help with communication skills? Read on to find out.

1. Benefits Of Improving Communication In The Workplace?

Benefits Of Improving Communication In The Workplace?

There are a wide range of benefits that result from effective and proactive communication at the workplace. 

  • It helps to minimize the potential for conflict by providing ample room for expression of thoughts, feedback and opinions.
  • Enhances productivity of team members since they are more aligned with set goals and expectations. 
  • Boosts employee engagement so team members feel more connected and it results in creating a positive work culture.
  • Reduces attrition rates since effective communication at the right time through the right platforms can help resolve employee grievances.
  • Fosters a sense of team spirit and unity since communication can bridge any gaps and ensure cohesive work approaches that call for collaboration and teamwork.
  • Empowers employees to proactively participate and suggest strategies or innovative approaches that can help in achieving business goals. 

2. 20 Games You Can Play To Improve Communication Skills

2.1 One-syllable Mystery

As part of games for communication skills, this one’s great for teams to enhance communication, get familiar with individual communication styles and hone their observation and listening skills.

How to play:

  • Form two main teams and appoint a representative each who will share clues 
  • Based on the mystery image/text on the card, each representative will try to get the opposite team to guess what’s shown on the card. 
  • The hitch on this is that the representative sharing the clues can only use one-syllable words to describe what’s on the card. 
  • While one team’s representative tries to describe the term, opposing team members need to observe, listen and try to  catch the clue giver using multi-syllable words.

2.2 Secret Agenda

Team members get to hone their creative skills, work on collaborating the story through team work and thereby improving communication with such fun games for communication skills.

How to play:

  • Arrange for blank paper or cards and pens and distribute these among team members.
  • Let the players come up with unique terms or phrases to jot down on their cards and keep it to themselves.
  • Get one member to start off with “Once upon a time…” and the adjacent team member continues the story by adding one of their secret words. 
  • The story then continues until the last member of the team concludes.

2.3 Yin and Yang

As one of the games for communication skills, this game is well-suited when you need to ask purposeful questions and decipher the meaning through effective verbal interactions.

How to play:

  • Create a list of things that go together such as bread-butter, pepper-salt, pen-paper or yin-yang and write them down on post-its. 
  • Stick these post-it notes individually on the backs of team members.
  • The trick is for each team member to walk around the room, gauging clues or asking questions to try and figure out the mystery word.

2.4 Blind Design

Such games for communication skills help to showcase the significance of communication, and also how to interpret tasks while actively listening.

How to play: 

  • Create pairs among team members and have them seated with their backs to each other.
  • Provide a blank paper and pen to one team member, and an image or item to the other team member. 
  • With a timer-on, the member with the item or object needs to describe it in detail while the other team member needs to draw the item or image as close to what is possible based on the description or directions being shared. 

2.5 Back to Back Drawing

Another one on the list of games for communication skills is the drawing game. This one is all about active listening and accurate interpretation to get a ‘clear picture’ through effective communication between both sets of players. 

How to play:

  • Create two distinct groups among the team members. One will be the “Listener’ and the other will be ‘Speakers’’
  • Get the Speakers to describe an image that the Listeners need to draw – the only hitch being that these listeners cannot speak or ask for any clarification.

2.6 Lip Reading Liars

These kinds of games for communication skills work well for those who need to hone their observation skills and interpret what others are trying to communicate.

How to play:

  • Choose one or two players who need to mute their computer audio and wear noise-canceling earbuds.
  • Over the next three minutes, two to four other players need to enact a scene 
  • The players who wear ear buds need to try and decipher the scene being played out only by observing body language and lip-reading.

2.7 Mad Gab

Mad Gab

One could create variations for these types of games for communication skills. However, the main focus is to help in quick thinking and creative ideation for effective communication. Use the Mad Gab Flashcards as fun starter prompts.

How to play:

  • Hand over cards that have a series of randomly arranged words that do not make sense at one go, but are actually jumbled parts of a common idiom or saying
  • Set a timer and let the players try to quickly rearrange the words to form the right sentences in the correct order. 

2.8 Mirror

This fun game that’s part of our games for communication skills enables team members to focus on what’s being shown to better understand the opposite team member’s communication style. 

How to play:

  • Pair team members and have them face each other.
  • Appoint one player as the leader, while the other becomes the follower. 
  • The leader can make a move or action without speaking, and the follower needs to mirror each movement only by observing body language. 

2.9 The Barter Puzzle

The Barter Puzzle

This is one of the more creative games for communication skills that’s on our list. It helps to hone negotiating and strategizing skills through  teamwork since team members need to figure out which puzzle pieces are missing from their set and how to go about getting them. 

How to play:

  • Choose a set of different jigsaw puzzles for teams to start working on. 
  • These puzzles must have a mix of all jigsaw puzzle pieces that are distributed among the teams in random order.
  • The trick is to complete the entire puzzle before the other teams do, and to also come up with unique ways to convince the other teams to let go of the pieces they need, through a team member exchange, merger or barter.

2.10 The Perfect Square

This is a great choice in games for communication skills to inspire leadership and exercise communication styles. Some team members would like to call the shots on how to go about doing so while the rest may be comfortable in executing the instructions. The blindfold aspect of this game also helps to establish trust which is essential in any workspace for effective communication. 

How to play:

  • Ask teams to form a circle and give them a long rope with their ends tied together  to hold.
  • Blindfold team members while holding the rope and instruct them to form a square.
  • The players can drop the rope to the floor and then walk steps backwards based on their interactions.
  • The idea is to form a square while blindfolded while communicating with each other on how to do it. 

2.11 The Human Knot

This one helps in building teamwork and communication through playful physical and verbal interaction, Minus any props, the Human Knot works well  as an  ice-breaker besides being one the best games for communication skills.

How to play:

  • Let  team members or players form a circle and reach out to shake hands with others.
  • Each hand that extends will connect to a different player’s hand, creating the ‘human knot’.
  • Players then need to unwind their bodies without letting go of their hands.

2.12 Shuffled Storyboards

This storytelling game is all about intensive interaction within teams and creative ideation for the stories they plot and that in turn enables effective communication. 

How to play:

  • Create groups among team members and share cards that have random series of related images.
  • Under five minutes or less, each team needs to connect the given images in a logical sequence that creates a story.
  • Teammates will have to communicate and explain the reasoning behind the choice for each image that creates the entire story
  • Finally, all  teams present their stories to the rest of the group.

2.13 Are You More Like

This game is a great way to develop communication and encourage team members to look at other perspectives. 

How to play:

  • Arrange for cards and write, print or label them with  items or things such as cat and dog, door and window, or movie and television
  • Hand over the cards to all team members and  instruct them to search for their matches.
  • When they do identify the correct matches, team members need to respond to the question on their cards. For example: “Are you more like a cat or a dog?”

2.14 Paper Telephone

The funny take on the telephone game emphasizes clear communication and easy team bonding.

How to play:

  • Ask team members to come up with a simple sentence each, and write them on pieces of paper.
  • When done, every team member has to pass on their paper to the adjacent player seated on the left.
  • After everyone has received their papers, the players have to draw the phrase that’s  written and fold it in such a way that the phrase stays hidden and only the drawing shows.They can then hand it over to the adjacent person.
  • The recipient player has to now guess or identify the phrase based on the drawing and write it down below the drawing. 
  • It can be passed back on to the player who wrote down the initial phrase so they can compare and have a good laugh.

2.15 Birthday Lineups

This game requires total silence which means participants have to rely on non-verbal cues and body language to create the order. It is great for communication and collaboration. 

How to play:

  • Have the players or team members lineup in order of the their birthdays (month and day) in total silence 
  • The lineup should begin with January 1st and end with December 31st
  • When the lineup is done, ask the participants to state their birthday month and day out 

loud. If the team gets the ordering right, everyone should ideally be in calendar order.

2.16 Survive it!

This one makes a challenging addition to the list of games for communication skills. The game encourages teams to don their thinking caps, collaborate and solve problems together, enabling effective communication.

How to play:

  • Brief team members about a scenario where they are deserted on an island. 
  • Share a group of objects you have arranged for pre-hand, and ask them to rank the objects based on their utility for survival until a rescue team comes.
  • All team members should arrive at a common consensus on the rank position and the reasoning behind it. 

2.17 Charades

Charades

This game encourages players to express themselves more effectively through non-verbal communication and hones their observation skills too. 

 How to play:

  • Divide team members into groups and hand over cue cards that have images, words, phrases or themed messages 
  • Set a timer on for the round of guessing.
  • Players need to take turns acting out the cues so the opposite team can guess it correctly. 

2.18 Zen Counting

This game helps in mindful thinking and promotes active listening so it’s great for introverts in the team as well. 

How to play:

  • Let teams form a circle facing away from each other and are instructed to count out a number between 1 to 10.
  • Each member can only say one number aloud and no other words can be spoken.
  • If the same number is called out twice by different players, then the game starts all over from the number.

2.19 Pop The Balloon

This fun game is a great way to enhance your team’s communication style while adding a dash of humor and makes it to our list of games for communication skills. 

How to play

  • Create a list of witty thought-provoking questions such as “What will finally break the internet?” or “Name your worst trait that you use to your best advantage”.
  • Label one balloon each with a single and inflate it.. 
  • Ask every team member to catch a single balloon, pop it and reply to the question on the balloon. However, the catch here is to avoid using words like “okay’’, ‘’um’’, ‘’so’’,  ‘’like’’, ‘’you know’’, ‘’kind of’’, ‘’okay’’, etc. 

2.20 The Minefield

This game is a great way to develop communication through trust and active listening.

How to play:

  • Create an obstacle course or ‘minefield’ using available items such as boxes, chairs, markers, bottles and more.
  • Split teams into pairs and have one player in each pair blindfolded. The other player will be the ears and eyes, helping to guide the partner through a pre-set obstacle course,
  • The catch is for both players in each pair to rely only on verbal cues to navigate through the obstacle course.

3. FAQs

3.1 What games help with effective communication?

Games such as the ones listed above are great to hone effective communication skills. Besides these games can help in honing strategy, negotiation and active listening skills, all of which are important factors for effective communication.

  • Blindfold Game
  • Building Blocks
  • Crazy Comic
  • Four at a Time
  • Get It Together
  • Misunderstanding

3.2 How games improve communication skills?

Games are a fun, interactive way to hone important skills for effective communication. Not only does it improve your team’s ability to express themselves clearly and actively listen, but it boosts morale and brings your team closer together.

3.3 What are effective skills for communication?

Some really effective skills for great communication are:

  • Active listening
  • Body language
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Clarity