What are You Really Saying?

A Global Play Brigade session about how we communicate meaning to others. Designed and facilitated by Yvette Alcott and Cheng Zeng.


The Global Play Brigade is on  a mission to change the world, one small step at a time. One of the ways we thought we could contribute to this mission was to look at how we communicate with each other. We figured, if you are going to make change, you need to be able to authentically connect with others. We designed a session of play and improv games to draw attention to what we say, how we say it, and to see how clearly we get our meaning across to others.

We started with everyone telling their life story in 30 seconds – all at once! Could we hear any details about each other? Not at all! Just a whole lot of noise coming at us, which can be a common issue with everyone wanting to be heard but with nobody listening.

We mimicked each other – imitating each other’s words and tone to bring our attention to the micro channels of communication.  This was an especially lovely game to watch when two people from entirely different cultures perfectly mimicked the others’ accent and tone.

We unravelled the notion that when we speak, everyone immediately understands us! We asked everyone to think of an intention to put behind a very simple exchange, which could be expressed in English, another language, or in gibberish, and we had to guess what we were saying to each other.

Along the way we remembered to slow down and feel the soothing and calming effect of truly connecting with each other with a “Zoom Gaze”, and then we finished off by dancing out, showing some emotion! It was a session with people from the U.S., China, Australia and Italy crossing cultures and borders to connect with clarity. Just knowing that those who came along “felt more connected to others”, “felt more conscious of listening to others and taking notice”, and “had fun” in the session was the most wonderful reward for both of us (Yvette and Cheng).

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Post originally part of our November newsletter.

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