50 Communication Games To Improve Workplace Communication

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published August 4, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Effective communication can help teams improve their productivity, build their working relationships and boost employee morale. Playing games can be a great way for employees to get to know one another and improve their communication skills. By reviewing different activities and exercises, you can find games that work well for your team and help you grow your ability to communicate. In this article, we provide 50 examples of games you can use for inspiration and explain how to play them.

3 communication games and how to play them

Here are some activities that can help improve communication:

1. Guess the object

For this game, choose a player to guess an object in the room. The object they choose could be anything from a stapler, to a book, to a desk to someone's accessory. Have the other players ask yes or no questions about the object until they guess what it is. To further the benefits of this exercise, you can ask participants what question they would ask if they were allowed to use open-ended questions rather than only those with a yes or no answer.

If a participant chooses the question, "What is the object?" or "What are you thinking of?" you can use that as a lesson to illustrate the power of using words and questions carefully when communicating. There are often much more efficient ways to get an answer and being direct can save valuable time.

Related: Top In-Demand Verbal Skills: Definitions and Examples

2. Discussion questions

You can incorporate communication activities into your regular meetings. Consider starting every team meeting with a discussion question. You might address a specific member of the group or ask a general question about your organization's core values. You can also ask the group to discuss a quote from an inspirational leader or business person. Starting with discussion questions can be a good way to get teams thinking, talking and working together to form new ideas.

Related: Active Listening Skills for Successful Communication

3. Open the fist

Divide players into pairs. Have one partner make a tight fist. Then, give their partner a note instructing them to make the other person open their fist, by any means necessary. Tell the first partner they can't open their fist until their partner asks politely and directly. Many people might choose to pry open the fist of their partner using force, but they won't find success.

You can use this activity to start a discussion about the best way to handle getting something you want. Ask for examples where team members have struggled unnecessarily in a business setting because they didn't communicate as well as they could have.

Related: Communication Skills for Career Success

Additional games for building communication

Here are some additional communication building games and activities that can be fun to do as a team, either in person or remotely:

  1. Simon says: Simon says is a classic game where a chosen player, "Simon," issues commands to the other players by saying, "Simon says" followed by an action they want the players to perform. If Simon just says the command without the classic, "Simon says," any players who performed the action are out.

  2. Musical chairs: To play musical chairs, arrange chairs into a circle, but have one less chair than there are players. Have the players walk around the chairs in a circle while playing music and, when the music stops, have all the players sit down as fast as they can so they can get a seat and move to the next round.

  3. Telephone: To play telephone, have the first player whisper a sentence into the person next to them's ear. Then, have that person change the sentence slightly before whispering it into the next person's ear and keep going until you reach the last person who says the last sentence out loud.

  4. Group storytelling: Start a story and have each player contribute an element. For example, you might say, "Once upon a time, there was a singing frog who," and then choose a group member group to complete the sentence.

  5. Country ambassadors: Assign each member of the group a random country. Then, have them describe their country and have others guess which country they're describing.

  6. Bingo: You can use silly bingo cards or office themed bingo games to get team members talking, laughing and sharing stories.

  7. Trivia: Trivia can be a fun way for players to reveal what they know. Divide players into teams, choose a theme and ask questions to see which team can get the most answers correct.

  8. Never have I ever: To play this game, have each player hold up all 10 of their fingers and then go in a circle coming up with things you've never done. If a player has done something someone described, they have to put a finger down.

  9. Basketball: Basketball is a fun sport that can encourage teamwork and comradery. Teams can communicate to choose strategies and help one another.

  10. Most business cards: At a conference or networking event, see who can collect the most business cards. The player who speaks with the most people and gets their card, wins.

  11. Whose refrigerator: To play this game, have team members submit pictures of their fridges. Then, other team members take turns guessing who the fridges belong to.

  12. Build a bridge: Give teams each a supply of popsicle sticks and tape and ask them to build a bridge between two equal height books that are two feet apart. The team whose bridge can support the most weight wins.

  13. Untie the knot: Have the group stand in a circle and to hold hands with two people across from them, taking one player's hand in their right hand and another's with their left. Next, have the players detangle the knot of arms and hands without letting go of anyone's hand.

  14. Idea board: A helpful tool for workplace communication is an idea board where team members can write ideas, suggestions or timely quotes.

  15. Thank you cards: Suggest having team members write thank you cards to someone who helped them recently.

  16. Meditation: Hosting mindfulness classes or weekly meditations can help team members settle their thoughts and clear their minds. Doing this regularly can have many benefits and help influence the comfort teams feel around each other.

  17. Yoga: Like meditation, yoga can be another fun way for colleagues to connect and be active. Bonding over a shared activity can make communicating easier and more natural.

  18. Entry to senior: For this game, have the players line up according to how long they've worked at the company. Only allow players to communicate nonverbally.

  19. Show and tell: Invite members to share something with the team, improving their communication and presentation skills.

  20. Egg basket: Have teams work together using found objects like paper towel rolls, popsicle sticks and cotton balls to create a basket for an egg. Then, drop the baskets from the top of a stairwell or roof and see whose eggs can survive the fall.

  21. White elephant: A white elephant is a gift exchange where participating team members exchange silly gifts randomly. You can make the gift exchange a fun communication game by making it anonymous and having participants guess the gifter.

  22. Something I'm proud of: In a meeting or group setting, ask team members to share something they're proud of with the team. It could be work related or personal.

  23. Piece of advice: Similar to sharing something your proud of, consider asking team members to share a piece of advice with their colleagues. This can be a good activity for communicating and learning more about others' values.

  24. Codenames: Codenames is a board game where teams make one-word clues to describe multiple words at once. You can find online or physical versions of the game.

  25. Who am I: Write the name of a famous person and pass it to the person on your left. Go in a circle asking yes or no questions until players guess who they are.

  26. BS: BS is a card game where you deal out the entire deck to the players, going in a circle to play cards in consecutive order, but if a player doesn't have the card they need, they can lie and play a different card. If another player can detect the lie, they call "BS!" forcing player one to pick up the pile, but if they're wrong, they have to pick up the pile.

  27. Stickers: For this game, paste matching stickers around the workplace and have teams try to find them all. The first team to locate all the hidden stickers wins.

  28. Peer review: Have team members share something they've been working on. They might ask for help with editing a piece of their writing, brainstorming or completing a task.

  29. Compliment circle: Have team members go in a circle giving one compliment each to another member of their team.

  30. Pick an object that describes you: This can be a fun activity for remote teams. Ask team members to take a few minutes to find something in their house that describes who they are as a team member.

  31. Forensic sketch: Have team members describe a random person to an elected sketch artist.

  32. Group work: Work on a project as a team.

  33. Picture telephone: Start by writing a sentence at the top of a piece of paper, then pass it to the next person who draws your sentence. Fold over the top sentence, have the next person write a new sentence based on the drawing and keep going until everyone has drawn or written a sentence.

  34. Blindfolded obstacle course: Put obstacles along the floor and blindfold one team member. Have the other members of their team shout directions for avoiding obstacles.

  35. Questions only: Have a conversation using only questions. If a player stumbles or doesn't answer with a question, they're eliminated.

  36. Charades: Have players act out a secret word or phrase and invite their team members to guess what they're acting.

  37. Two truths and a lie: Go in a circle and have each person reveal two true things about themselves and one false thing. Have others guess which is the lie.

  38. That sounds like me: Have players take turns saying a true statement about themselves. If the statement describes another player, they can turn on their camera or raise their hand.

  39. Grand introductions: Have team members introduce one another in grand and over-the-top ways.

  40. Overcoming obstacles: Have a team member share a goal they have. Then, have other team members suggest silly, outrageous or unlikely reasons their plan won't work and have the goal-setter explain how they'd overcome each obstacle.

  41. Murder mystery: You can find murder mystery party stories online. Have players guess who the guilty team member is.

  42. Escape rooms: Escape rooms can offer a fun team-building experience that helps members learn to communicate effectively and solve challenges together.

  43. Book group: Consider hosting a book study group and assign work-related or self-improvement books to discuss. Choose someone to choose a new book and lead the group discussion whenever concluding the previous book's conversation.

  44. Teach something: Have team members take turns delivering brief presentation about something they're passionate about.

  45. Create a backstory: For this activity, have team members share a fake backstory where they describe what they were doing before they came to work for their current organization. Stories can be as silly and unbelievable as people like.

  46. Role playing: For this activity, have pairs discuss a situation where they wish they would have been more assertive. Then, have them role play the scenarios they came up with, showing how they would have handled the situation differently.

  47. Make a list: Arrange around 20 objects on a table and allow players to see the objects for only a few seconds. Then, cover the objects back up and ask the players to work together to make a list of all the objects.

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