Communication games are a great way to improve corporate culture and boost productivity. By playing communication games at work, employees learn to communicate more effectively and improve their teamwork skills in the process.
From improving the way team members work together to how they make decisions, the best communication games, which we have collected in the list below, help employees improve their communication skills easily.
It’s no secret that good communication is the key to any successful team.
If you want to build a better team and create an environment where everyone is at their best, there are some proactive measures that you can take. So it might be good to look at a few of these ideas before your next company meeting to see how you can implement some new ideas at your next meeting or brainstorming session.
The key to doing any of the activities we mention below is to get your whole team engaged and on-board.
What are communication games?
Communication games are activities that use competitive as well as cooperative team play to promote good communication in a group. Communication games are designed to improve cooperation, reduce conflict, increase awareness of other points of view, improve listening skills, and strengthen the ability to empathize.
Top Communication Games and Activities to Boost Teamwork
Here’s the list of 27 communication skills games that you can implement in your organization to improve corporate culture and productivity.
Featured Activity: Suitcase Mystery
Invite Japan’s dispatch game series, the Suitcase Mystery, is one of our most popular communication team building activities that forges deep bonds between team members. Suitcase Mystery is a corporate culture game that forges deep bonds between team members.
It features a suitcase filled with different puzzles, challenges, and mysterious objects. The goal is to complete all the puzzles within the suitcase within the given time limit (60 minutes). This game gets team members to start communicating and sharing ideas naturally as soon as they start. This is due to the fascinating look of the game and the out-of-this-world, “escape-room” style experience that they share.
Suitcase Mystery is perfect for teams that are meeting for the first time and for new employee training. It quickly breaks through the ice and gets team members talking and laughing.
Your team’s successful completion of the Suitcase Mystery will reveal the strengths and weaknesses of your team’s ability to communicate. But at the same time it fosters more communication and collaboration, builds trust, and serves as a fun shared memory that will last a lifetime.
Team members are divided into four or five groups. During the first round, a random object (such as a ballpen, stapler, or clear folder) will be presented to an individual from one of the teams, in private. Then, they must demonstrate how to use the object without actually showing it to the rest of the team. After this, all their team has 30 seconds to identify the correct object (the amount of time can be adjusted based on the difficulty of the objects).
In the next round, your opponents have their turn. You will continue to play until each team member has demonstrated an object to their teammates.
Charades is a great way to break up a mentally draining day and give your team the opportunity to do something fun and team-building that does not have anything necessarily to do with their job.
This fun communication game not only lighten the mood but also enhances team dynamics.
The telephone game requires everyone to sit in a circle. One colleague then whispers a word or message into the ear of the player on their right side. This colleague then must repeat the same word or phrase to the colleague on their right, and so on. Once the word or message comes full-circle, the message is said aloud. This is likely to be very funny because it will probably differ significantly from the original.
This game helps develop listening skills, which are essential to communication.
Direct Me to the Shop
This is an active game that gets your team up and out of the office. Split your team into pairs. Have one of the team members write down directions to their favorite shop/cake shop/pizza shop nearby (without telling them the name of the shop.
The pairs can then start their actual journey and head to the destination written.The member who writes down the directions can help their team member if they get really lost. Once you arrive, continue the team building and communication activity by having a nice chat over some coffee or food.
“Direct Me to the Shop” highlights the importance of written communication skills.
This is a great communication team building activity that is simple and easy to do. Have each team member draw a picture (the more complicated the better). Then split your team into pairs and have them sit back-back. One member of the pair describes their drawing to the other, who has to draw a picture based on their description. At the end, the team members compare their drawings and then switch roles.
This game can also easily be played online too. And no need to sit back to back, since it’s easier to hide your drawing from the other team member.
In particular, this activity illustrates how two-way communication (including active listening) is important in preventing communication breakdowns.
The activity can also be a starting point for discussions about how employees can improve their communication skills at work. For example, consider how someone might misunderstand unclear instructions – and how the outcome would have been different if the listener had the opportunity to ask a question.
Scavenger Hunt (Hidden Secrets Journey)
Outdoor scavenger hunts involve teams searching for clues and solving puzzles in an outdoor environment– usually a city, famous park, or tourist spot.
As our Hidden Secrets Journey scavenger hunts combine scavenger hunting with puzzle-solving, participants must communicate with each other and combine their skills to overcome each of the puzzle challenges.
Team building games like these, where members explore and discover new places together, are a very effective method for increasing communication both during and after the game. While playing, team members have to communicate well to navigate their way through the scavenger hunt and solve the different puzzles. And after the game, teams will be able to share their funny memories from the event.
Scavenger hunt games are more fun the more people participate. And they can even be conducted with a group of people who do not know each other very well, to give them a chance to bond.
Provide your team with company-specific quests so that they can acquire some fun facts about your company’s history or values in the process. To increase motivation, you can award prizes to the most creative team or the first team to complete the challenge.
As everyone will need to be paired for this activity, you will need an even number of participants. Set up objects like balls and cones on the ground – ideally in a large open area like a park or empty parking lot – and have one person from each pair apply a blindfold to their partner.
The non-blindfolded person is responsible for leading the blindfolded person from one side to the other by providing verbal instructions only. The blindfolded person cannot speak.
To make it even more challenging, you can use tape to create specific routes through which the speaker must lead their partner.
8 to 20 people will be required for this activity. Have all your participants stand in a circle facing each other and close enough to be shoulder-to-shoulder.
Everyone should extend their right hand and grab someone’s hand from across the room. Now do the same with everyone’s left hand (make sure to grab a different person’s hand each time). The group must then break out of the knot of arms without releasing hands. Add a time limit for an extra challenge.
In this exercise, have your team sit in a circle facing one another. Then have them count from one to ten (you can go higher if you want) in no particular order. Only one team member can say each number. If two team members say the same number (or start to), start back at 1. This exercise forces teams to really listen closely to each other and be patient. But it’s also really fun, too, and can be easily played at the start of meetings or events.
For this exercise, suggest a phrase related to the meeting topic and ask everyone to take a moment to respond with the first word that comes to mind. Depending on the results, it could bring up some surprising answers. You may want to rethink your process if you receive comments such as stress or exhaustion from your team.
This method gets people to express their opinions, thoughts, or feelings in meetings instantaneously, so you will have the opportunity to read the room before diving into the topic. You may have some concerns or questions you would like to address, resulting in a more productive meeting. This activity is also good for creative brainstorming as well.
Your team should be divided into two groups, each facing the other. First, members of Group A are given a brief observation period (15–30 seconds) during which they must try to remember as much as possible about the individuals in front of them. Then Group A turns around, and team B has time to make any adjustments to themselves that they want.
Anything is acceptable, including switching shoes with someone or altering your hairstyle. Group A can turn around after about 45 seconds, and has five to ten minutes to ascertain what has changed. Depending on the size of your group, you can vary the duration.
This game gets teams to focus on observation and nonverbal communication skills. Your team can play this game as part of a break to take their minds off of work.
In this activity, your remote team can get to know each other better by participating in regular coffee calls, similar to the experience they would have in an office setting. You can schedule team calls with four to five people or randomly assign two people to each other and switch them every time. Depending on the size of your team and their interest, you may wish to conduct these simple calls once a week, bi-weekly, or once a month.
It is difficult for remote teams to chit-chat and get to know each other without discussing work or feeling as though meeting time is being wasted. However, your team members can bond with people they may not normally interact with by arranging these casual chats.
Your First Idea
Whenever you are presented with a problem, ask your team members to write down the first idea that comes to mind. Then, compile the list and review it together as a group.
The game can be used to brainstorm new pitches for a real-life problem, or a fictional problem. One fun twist is to ask everyone to write down their worst pitch idea. After reviewing them with your team, you may find that these ideas are not as bad as you first thought.
It is common for us to get too caught up in the details of our problems and solutions and lose sight of our original ideas and instincts. Writing down the first solution that comes to mind can help us uncover these perspectives and find new solutions.
For this game, form groups of two to six individuals. Create a list of challenges for your team that test their logical and intellectual abilities, their ability to perform skills (such as aptitude tests), and their ability to involve some creativity and out-of-the-box thinking (such as creating a unique handshake, taking a funny picture, etc.).
Now let the teams off and have them compete against each other. This challenge is almost like creating your own personal scavenger hunt, so you use it for situations where you want to plan something quick for your team.
In this game, everyone is able to contribute to the team’s success, whether you are a good runner, a quick thinker, or a creative thinker. Your team can therefore become closer, and will learn about new aspects of their teammates that they may not have known before.
Four at a Time
With this activity, your team can explore nonverbal communication skills in a slightly larger group. You need at least 9 members to play, but the more participants you have, the better the activity will work.
Start off with four players standing, and the rest of the players sitting. Set a timer for ten seconds, and when the timer goes off, have the four that are standing sit and another four stand. The trick is you cannot actually speak during the game.
If more people stand up, continue playing. Discuss nonverbal communication and what strategies people use to know when to stand after the game has ended. Identify how your coworkers rely on one another to know when to act. Discuss how this makes them a tighter team.
Blindfolded obstacle course
Trust is one of the most important aspects of communication. And getting blindfolded is a fun way for employees to learn to trust their coworkers!
The purpose of the activity is to create an obstacle course in a reasonably large room using everyday items from the office. Split the team into pairs. Have one partner blindfold the other. The non-blindfolded partner should then lead the blindfolded employee through the obstacle course. Ensure that every member of your team has the opportunity to participate.
It is important that the participants use clear and concise language in their explanations, particularly at the beginning of the activity. Use this lesson as a teaching point at the end of the activity to emphasize the importance of using as few words as possible.
As a result of its effectiveness, this is one of the most popular communication exercises for teams. For this game, you will need groups of at most participants each. An ideal team size would be three or four individuals per team.
Each employee should be given five playing cards. Make four triangular pieces by cutting the playing card diagonally from each corner. Assign equal amounts of pieces to each team, and mix up the pieces.
To begin with, the teams must sort the pieces and determine what is needed to create a complete card. You should then give the teams approximately eight minutes to negotiate for the pieces they require from the other teams. The team with the most complete cards will be the winner.
As a result of this activity, employees learn how to bargain, reason, and empathize with each other. In this game it is critical for employees to utilize negotiation tactics in order to increase their chances of receiving the card pieces they desire. So it would be beneficial to discuss the different teams’ strategies at the end of the game, including what worked and what did not.
Flip it over
In this game, have a group of 6–10 people huddle together and stand on top of a tarp. The goal is to flip the tarp, but the difficult part is having to flip the tarp while standing on opposite sides of the material. Players are limited to using their feet, and they are unable to leave the fabric or let the ground touch their feet.
This game forces the team to come up with fresh solutions to the problem while staying on the sheet. It also incentivizes groups to include everyone, since it’s impossible to achieve success in this game without everyone participating.
Back of the Napkin
Provide your team with a variety of open-ended problems that have no clear solution, and divide them into groups of two to four. The problems may be related to the workplace or even problems relating to politics or the environment. Have each member sketch or write their proposals on the back of a napkin. Afterward, have them discuss their ideas in their small groups and combine their proposals together. Then have each team present to the larger group.
Napkins are said to be a helpful place to record some of the most creative ideas (hey, when creativity strikes, you’ll write on anything). The objective of this game is to simulate this scenario and to challenge your team to solve a creative problem by collaborating.
Create Your Own
In this game, each team will design and share their own original problem-solving activity. The challenges can be physical, mental, or creative. Consider playing some of the games afterward if you have the time.
Creating your own games is an enjoyable and creative experience. Additionally, it allows your team members to showcase their strengths by presenting challenges to each other.
What Would “X” Do?
Ask your team to think of a famous individual or leader whom they admire. This person can be a celebrity, a businessperson, a motivational speaker, an influencer, or even a relative.
Then give your team a problem. Have your teammates approach the problem in character (extra points for playing in character). Taking on the perspective of someone else provides the chance for team members to get outside their heads and look at things from a new perspective. Plus, it’s fun to pretend to be someone else for a while.
This game asks your team to provide their insight and opinions on a few topics you are interested in. Give everyone sticky notes and pens. Write a problem or question on a white board. Then give team members time to write short answers on the sticky notes and paste them to the board.
Next, organize the sticky notes as a team. The best way to organize your ideas is to place ideas that are similar on the left side of the board, and put outliers on the right side. The result will be the creation of a spectrum of popular ideas on the left and more out-of-the-box ideas on the right.
Through this game, you will have the opportunity to discover how diverse the perspectives of your team are on different topics. It is important to keep in mind that unpopular opinions are not necessarily wrong. You will be able to uncover new perspectives and innovate ideas as a team when you embrace this diversity.
Sneak A Peek
For this game, the team should be divided into groups of two to four people and split them up into different rooms. Give each team enough Legos to recreate a structure, and give them 30 minutes to complete it.
Once the teams are done completing their sculptures, give one player from each team 15 seconds to peek at one of the structures of another team and then run back and describe it to their teammates, who will have to build an exact replica. Each round, have a different team member peek at another team’s structure. A prize is awarded to the team that completes another structure as close to the original as possible.
Teamwork and communication are key components of this game. As each member of the team is only permitted to view the original at a time, they may perceive different aspects of the structure. Of course, this game gets tougher as the structures get more complex.
The goal is to invite a group of people from different teams at the same company to dinner at a restaurant. Expenses will be covered by the company.
Team members should only be made aware of the date and time of the dinner, and nothing more. Then, on the day of the dinner, an email is sent to everyone with the name of the restaurant.
Make sure that team members are broken up from people they normally interact with. This makes it more surprising when team members show up. This gives individuals the opportunity to step outside their comfort zone and interact with different colleagues.
Group your team members into four to six groups and ask them each to stand in a tight circle. One person should be given a rope, and all participants should put blindfolds on or close their eyes.
Each team must then pass the rope around so that each player holds a piece of it. The goal is then to form a perfect square without looking at what they are doing. When the team is satisfied that their square is perfect, they should lay the rope down on the floor, remove the blindfolds (or open their eyes) and examine their work.
More than just a game about perfect geometric shapes, this game teaches teams how to listen and communicate effectively. Since nobody can see what other members are doing, they must communicate clearly throughout the process of creating a square from a rope. As an added benefit, it is often very funny to watch the squares turn out to be so imperfect.
Virtual team building
You can add fun and mental stimulation to your communication team building activities by playing online team building games, such as those offered by Invite Japan. We develop exciting and out-of-this-world online games that will captivate members of your team and motivate them to join in on the fun.
In our online games,participants must use their communication and decision-making skills in order to solve a series of puzzles and stimulating challenges during the games. Through the exploration of an original online environment, they will also learn how to trust and support one another. The fact that the system is online also makes it an excellent choice for teams operating remotely or hybrid.
Communication games are great for improving teamwork and communication on teams. These games are quick and easy to implement, and most don’t require a lot of time or resources. These games also work for any kind of team, from small to large, and they work whether you are in a formal meeting or an informal setting.
So, if you’re looking to improve your team’s rapport, these games to improve communication skills are a great place to start.
We hope you try them out!
FAQ: Communication Games
What is the purpose of communication games?
The purpose of communication games is to provide a structured environment in which participants can explore and experiment with different ways of communicating with each other. Communication games can be used to promote understanding and cooperation among team members or to improve specific skills like nonverbal or written communication. They can also be used as training tools to help people learn new communication strategies.
What are the benefits of communication games?
One of the benefits of communication games is that they provide a fun and interactive way for teams to learn about and practice communication skills. Communication games can also help people to build trust and rapport with others. Finally, communication games can help people to better understand and resolve conflict, and make better decisions.
These games can also be considered as business communication exercises that help in real-world scenarios.
What are good communication games for work?
Good communication games for work include Invite Japan’s Suitcase Mystery, scavenger hunts, and charades.