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Improving your communication skills workshop


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The workshop leader leads players through the Russian party game “Mafia” created in the USSR by Dimitry Davidoff in 1986, modeling a battle between an informed minority (the mafia) and an uninformed majority (the townspeople). Players are secretly assigned roles: mafia, who know each other, a doctor, a cop and also townspeople, who know only the number of mafia amongst them. In the game's night phase the mafia covertly 'murder' a townsperson. During the day phase, all of the surviving players debate the identities of the mafia and vote to eliminate a suspect. Play continues until all of the mafia has been eliminated, or until the mafia outnumbers the townspeople. As the game is played, players will discover their non-verbal communication skills, teamwork skills and also their observation skills.

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Improving your communication skills workshop

  1. 1. Improving Your Communication Skills (by Killing the Russian Mafia)Facilitator: Nicole Ferdinand, B.A (Hons), M.Sc, FHEA
  2. 2. Today’s Session Reflection The game A bit on communication Brief intro
  3. 3. Communication is … • A series of experiences, including:
  4. 4. A skillfulcommunicator …• Has the ability to competently use language and express information• Can supply and extract information• Is able to persuade• Makes him/herself understood• Gets people to take action and change behaviours
  5. 5. Effectivecommunication uses … Verbal Messages - the words we choose Paraverbal Messages - how we say the words Nonverbal Messages - our body language
  6. 6. CommunicationBarriers Emotional/ Semantic Psychological Organizational
  7. 7. Communication stylesdiffer among …• Men and women• Youth and the elderly• Different cultures
  8. 8. Studies have found… • Overall teenagers report preferring instant messaging • On the average, and text messaging women talk to face-to-face communication about twice as much as men
  9. 9. Communication Styles Context Space Information Time Flow Adapted from: Hall and Hall, 1990
  10. 10. The Game• The Russian party game “Mafia” created in the USSR by Dimitry Davidoff in 1986• A battle between an informed minority (the mafia) and an uninformed majority (the townspeople)
  11. 11. Rules• At the beginning of the • During the night time game the narrator will phase of the game hand out playing cards identities will be• You must keep your revealed but must be card a secret from kept secret other players • Eyes must be kept closed• Cards will assign during the night players identities as • During the day eyes will mafia, KGB, surgeon be opened and mafia will and comrades plot to kill and comrades will try to guess who the• The game will have a mafia are night and day time
  12. 12. Let’s play!
  13. 13. Reflection• What were the barriers to communication?• What differences in communication styles have you noticed?• Who is better at using non-verbal communication? • Men or women? • Older or younger people? • Western or Eastern cultures?
  14. 14. Thanks for playing! For more information on how cultural differences andcommunication styles impact events management, get my new book Events Management: An International Approach Nicole Ferdinand @evntmgt