Activity: Communicating as a Learning Experience
This activity will promote thinking about how we communicate and be a foundational exercise that can be referred to throughout the mentoring relationship. It will encourage reflection, planning and communication moving forward in a project.
This activity will give the mentor and mentee an opportunity to each practice communication and listening skills in a low-stress environment. It may highlight strengths and points of improvement in communication, and inform partner communication moving forward.
Mentor and Mentee
- Sit back to back. One person with an object; the other with paper and pen.
- The person with the object assumes the role of speaker and the other assumes the role of listener.
- The speaker should take 3 minutes to describe the object.
- The listener should use that description to draw the object.
- Have a conversation, reflecting about the experience. Explore what you learned about yourself and the other person:
- What were the assumptions you made in describing and listening? How do these assumptions relate to your lived experience?
- What did you find particularly helpful about the description?
- What would you do differently next time?
- Repeat the steps above in the opposite role with a new object.
- How might these reflections help you with communication in your relationship?
- Perform this early in your mentoring relationship or project, because it can be a foundational experience to refer back to throughout.
- The listener should not ask questions, and should instead be focusing on the speaker’s word choice and communication.