Effective Communication Exercises – Seeing, Thinking, Feeling #32


During this exercise the team will form pairs of three. The pairs will spread throughout the room and sit down. In this exercise the participants will exchange feedback by saying what they are seeing in the one sitting across from them. After that they’ll say what they are thinking and lastly what they are feeling when they look at the other person. In the first part of the exercise one person from each pair will name what he sees in the other for one whole minute. He just names what he sees without interpreting what he sees. The participant that is being observed remains silent. The third person pays attention to the one talking that he only sums up what he truly sees without interpreting or feeling. If this does happen this person may make him aware of it. The observer begins each sentence with “I see…” In this case he says: I see a blue fitted shirt with a brown pair of pants. I also see you lift your eyebrows sometimes. I see that you clench your jaws. I see a silver colored watch and I see you are sitting with a straight spine. I see a fit body from someone that presumably works out a couple of times a week. ” The third participant intervenes and says: “You were doing a great job of naming what you were seeing. Only assuming that he works out is an interpretation. The first round continues like this for 1 minute. Now the second part of the exercise starts. In this part the observer says what he thinks while looking at the other. He starts every sentence with “I think.” The third person makes sure the observer only says what he is thinking and not yet what he is feeling. If this does happen he may intervene again. The observer starts talking: “I think you dressed well because you wanted to leave a good impression today. I also think that you clenched your jaws because you find this exercise a bit uncomfortable. I think the ring around your finger is a wedding ring and that you are still happily married. I think you care a lot about your general well being and work out a couple of times a week to keep yourself in good shape. I think that because of your friendly appearance you care about those around you which makes me feel comfortable with you. The third participant intervenes again. You were perfectly saying what you were thinking up until now. When you said you were comfortable. This round will continue for one full minute. After the time has expired the last part of the exercise starts. In this part the participant will say what he is feeling. He starts every sentence with “I feel…” The third participant pays close attention that the talking participant is only expressing his feelings and not saying what he is seeing or thinking. If this happens the thirt person may intervene. Reassure the participants that it’s ok when there are silences. The observing participant may need time to register what he feels when looking at the other before he can verbally express it. The observer says: “I feel comfortable with you and I trust you. I also feel that I want to give you more personal space because you might not take that for yourself often enough.” This also continues for one minute. In this case the third person didn’t intervene. The one speaking did it well by only saying what he was feeling. After this the roles rotate to the next person. Now someone new will express what he sees without interpretation. After this the roles will rotate further so that everyone has fulfilled each role. After everyone has had a turn the group will form a circle and discusses the exercise. Does someone prefere to be the observer or the observed? Did everyone get a good grasp on the differences between seeing, thinking and feeling? Let everyone share with the rest of the group how he experienced the exercise. The trainer guides the team and applies variations. What kind of variations you can read below this video oon Youtube. And haven’t you subscribed yet? Click on subcribe to stay tuned for every sunday a new exercise on youtube.com/teamexercises to improve cooperation and communication.

Daniel Yohans

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