Telephone Game

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Timing 15 mins


  • People and space
  • Notepads and pens for participant


  1. The moderator whispers a short phrase, such as “The company is facing budgetary problems, and some of us will be let go,” in the ear of a participant. The moderator writes down what he whispered.
  2. The participant then whispers the sentence that he heard in the ear of another participant and writes down what he whispered.
  3. Repeat step 2 until everyone has participated.
  4. The moderator then asks each participant to read aloud the sentence that the participant wrote down.

Learning Points

  • The morale will deteriorate quickly, often in comical ways. Invite the participants to discuss why communication is intrinsically noisy. Discuss practices that promote good communication.

Submitted by Michael dela Maza <MdelaMaza @>

Posted by Mike

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2 Responses to "Telephone Game"
  • Michael de la Maza June 12, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Of all of the sample sentences — “The company is facing budgetary problems, and some of us will be let go” — has to be one of the worst ever!

    How about this instead: “Today is a wonderful day to learn about agile principles and practices.”

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
  • Stacey Louie July 23, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    Michael – you are still very blunt! LOL But I agree that there are better sentences that can prep the discussion in a more positive way.

    “The market is ruthless and we need to grow by cutting out our poor performing products.”

    This is more realistic and offers an opportunity to connect a POSITIVE message with the end mal-formed result.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
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