10 Powerful Communication Exercises for Teams

10 Powerful Communication Exercises for Teams

Will communication exercises improve my team’s overall performance?

The short answer is YES!

If you’re a leader or manager, you might want your employees to communicate well. Good communication among your staff can benefit your organization in so many ways.

In this article, let’s discuss 10 simple yet powerful communication exercises for your teams.

10 Simple Yet Powerful Communication Exercises for Teams

Before You Start

If you want to know how you can run successful team building sessions, you can read this article for inspiration: How to Facilitate Team Building Activities in Your Workplace?

So, let’s go!

#1. Ball Toss

This exercise not only improves communication and listening skills but also helps with handling pressure.

Time: 10-20 minutes
Participants: Any number of members per team (But small is better)
Materials: A ball

How to Play?

  • First off, split the participants into teams, and let each of them stand in a circle. Now, throw a ball to each team.
  • The person who catches the ball must say a color (for example, green) and throw it to anyone in their circle.
  • The second person who gets the ball should restate that color and say another color (for example, green and red). Then, they can pass it on to someone else.
  • The third person who gets the ball should restate all the previous colors and add their own color (for example, green, red, and blue). This process continues, and those who get it wrong will be out of the game.


Here your task is to understand how effective the teams were in communicating and listening. So, try these questions:

  • How did the listening process go throughout this activity?
  • What challenges did you face during this activity?

#2. Project Race

This activity helps employees know how effective communication can improve team performance.

Time: You decide
Participants: Any (But less than 8 members per team would be ideal)
Materials: None (But use paper and pen if required)

How to Play?

  • Initially, arrange the participants into small teams.
  • Now, assign them a small project to complete. It can be a fun task, for example, creating a social media ad for your company.
  • Then, ask the teams to assign roles for each of its members and complete the project within a specific time limit.
  • Finally, see which team completed the project first.


The point to note here is how the participants communicate and cooperate as a team. So, you can ask these questions:

  • What were the discussions in your team during this activity?
  • Do you think everyone on your team contributed well? If so, why?

#3. Card Swap

This exercise shows how to communicate and negotiate properly for better results at work.

Time: You decide
Participants: Need at least 2 teams
Materials: Playing cards

How to Play?

  • First, get a few sets of playing cards, and cut each card diagonally into 4 pieces. Next, divide the participants into teams.
  • Now, give an equal number of pieces to each team, and set a time limit for the whole activity. Then, let the teams reassemble the broken pieces correctly to form as many cards as possible.
  • During this activity, each team will realize they can’t complete the task without the help of others. So, encourage them to negotiate with the other teams and get the missing pieces.
  • After the time limit, see which team completed more cards correctly.


Make sure that your teams understand the value of communication and collaboration in the workplace. So, try asking these questions:

  • Were you able to find the missing pieces by negotiating with the other teams? If so, why?
  • What message did this exercise give you and how will it be useful to your actual work?

#4. Just Listen

This is one of the best communication activities that demonstrate how we perceive something. Here your employees will understand how their brain interprets a message.

Time: 10-15 minutes
Participants: 2 members per group
Materials: Index cards or paper slips

How to Play?

  • Initially, split the participants into pairs. Also, have some index cards (or paper slips) with a topic written on each.

(Note: The topics can be anything personal or professional, but be respectful. Make sure that you don’t pick anything that makes them uncomfortable.)

  • Now, invite each pair to choose an index card. Then, one of the persons in each pair can speak about that topic for a few minutes. When they talk, the other person must remain silent and listen carefully.
  • After that, the listener should recap what their partner said. They must not debate, agree, or disagree – what they need to do is only summarize. Then, they can switch their roles and do the activity again.


The idea here is how one interprets something they hear. So, this activity tests your participants’ ability to communicate a message effectively. Therefore, you can ask these questions:

  • What went through your mind while your partner was talking?
  • Were you able to summarize what you heard without missing any important points? If so, why?

#5. The Blindfold Game

In the blindfold game, the employees will understand how proper communication can help build trust among their colleagues.

Time: You decide
Participants: Exactly 2 members per group
Materials: Blindfolds and various small objects

How to Play?

  • Initially, scatter various small objects around the room (or outdoor space) as obstacles.
  • Now, split the participants into pairs, and one person in each pair must be blindfolded.
  • Then, the blindfolded partners should pass through the obstacles without touching them and reach the other end of the room. They can do this by listening to the verbal instructions of their sighted partners.
  • Once they reach there, switch roles and repeat the activity.


Sometimes, we need to rely on others to complete certain tasks. For this reason, proper communication and trust are mandatory. So, try these questions:

  • Do you think you could successfully pass through the obstacles without the help of your sighted partner? If so, why?
  • How did you communicate differently with your blindfolded partner?

#6. Circle Story

This activity shows how creative communication can promote teamwork and subsequently, better outcomes.

Time: 5-10 minutes
Participants: Any number of members per team
Materials: A large private room or outdoor space

How to Play?

  • Initially, group the participants into different teams. Then, instruct each team to sit in a circle.
  • One of the individuals in each team should start a story with the phrase “once upon a time”. Next, the person who is sitting on their right side can continue the sentence.
  • This process continues so that everyone will contribute to the story. Finally, let them conclude the story after going around the circle multiple times.


A beautiful story is formed when the creative ideas of different people are conjoined. Just like this activity, proper communication and teamwork can help with overall goal achievement. So, ask these questions:

  • Did you find the creative ideas of your teammates useful while creating a new story? If so, why?
  • Would you have produced a better story within the same time frame if you were asked to do it individually? Please explain.

#7. Make Your Team

This exercise helps your coworkers understand how to communicate promptly by overcoming barriers.

Time: 5-10 minutes
Participants: Any
Materials: One paper slip per person

How to Play?

  • Initially, get some paper slips and divide them equally into 4 or 5 different sections.
  • Now, write “Red” on each paper slip that belongs to the first section. Then, write “Green” on each paper slip that belongs to the second section. Likewise, write different color names in the remaining sections.
  • Next, each participant should receive a paper slip from you. Then, let them form a team with people who got the same color. For example, all the people who got “Green” should combine as a team.
  • Finally, award the team that finishes the task first.


Sometimes, it is important to overcome communication barriers and respond quickly. The point here is to understand the value of quick and timely communication despite the challenges. So, try asking these questions:

  • What were the communication barriers during this activity and how did you overcome them?
  • Have you found any “shortcuts” to quickly form the team? If so, why?

#8. Guess the Emotion

This is one of the nonverbal communication games that test the emotional intelligence of your groups.

Time: 10-20 minutes
Participants: 3-6 members per group
Materials: None (But prepare some paper slips)

How to Play?

  • First, get some paper slips and write different emotions on each of them. For example, happiness, sorrow, etc.
  • Now, each participant can pick a paper slip, and they must not share it with anyone. Then, split the participants into small groups.
  • Next, each person should act out the emotion they got, and their teammates can guess it. If you want, you can award a point to the person who made the correct guess. At last, see who scored more points.


Since emotional intelligence is an integral part of communication, it is a much-needed skill one should develop. The idea behind this activity is to understand a person’s internal state through their body language and gestures. So, ask these questions:

  • Did you find it difficult to express the emotion? If so, why?
  • How did you guess the emotions of your teammates?

#9. Back-to-Back Drawing

This is one of the conventional communication activities out there. Here employees will realize how improper communication leads to misunderstandings, which can be costly in the workplace.

Time: 10-20 minutes
Participants: Exactly 2 members per team
Materials: A simple object or image

How to Play?

  • Initially, group the participants into pairs, and instruct them to sit back-to-back.
  • Give an object (or an image) to one of the persons in each pair. Likewise, give a paper as well as a pen to the other person.
  • Now, the person who has the object should verbally describe its shape, size, color, etc. However, they must not show it or reveal its name to their partner.
  • Then, the other person must draw a picture of the object based on that description. Finally, let them compare the picture drawn with the real object.


Explain to your staff how improper communication can create misunderstandings and more issues like conflicts. Also, let them realize the importance of proper communication. So, try these questions:

  • Were you able to correctly guess the object while listening to your partner? If so, why?
  • Sometimes what we perceive may not be the reality. Do you agree? If so, why?

#10. Two Truths and a Lie

This is one of the funniest communication exercises that can help your staff to know each other better. Moreover, it can encourage them to communicate creatively.

Time: 10-20 minutes
Participants: 2-8 members per team
Materials: Paper and pen (But that is optional)

How to Play?

  • First off, divide the participants into teams. Next, provide a sheet of paper and a pen to each team member.
  • Now, ask them to write three statements about themselves on the paper. Here two statements must be a truth and one must be a lie. Then, they can share it with their teammates.
  • After reviewing each person’s statements, the remaining members should identify the lie. They can do this by asking a limited number of indirect questions to the concerned person.


To build good interpersonal relationships at work, employees should know each other well. For this, communication is a must. This is what you need to address your staff. So, try asking these questions:

  • By doing this activity, were you able to know more about your colleagues? If so, why?
  • As a team, how did you plan to identify the lie?

Want Some Unique Team Building Activities?

If you want some unique team building activities (including communication exercises) that have not been used by HR trainers before, you can get my new e-book:

The Busy Leader’s Guide of Unique Team Building Activities: 30 Fully Customizable Exercises That You Can Conduct with Any Group of Employees, Anywhere

Final Words

Without effective communication, a team can’t flourish well. As a leader, it is necessary to develop the communication and listening skills of your staff. Hopefully, the above exercises will help you accomplish that mission.  

Enjoyed this article about the powerful communication exercises for teams? Feel free to share your thoughts.


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments