Advertising
Advertising

I Played A Game About Animals And Connected Deeply With Someone In Less Than 5 Minutes

I Played A Game About Animals And Connected Deeply With Someone In Less Than 5 Minutes

I want to share a game with you.

This game will reveal something surprising. It’s something nice for ice-breaking with some newly-met friends, and a great way to reconnect with your long known friends.

To make the game work, promise me, don’t scroll to the bottom through all the text to get straight to the results. Deal?

Are you ready?

The Game

I want you to think of three animals right now. The first three animals that come to your mind, what are they?

These animals can be any kind.

Just one condition, make sure you do know about these animals in reality; and that they are not make-up things, for example, no Mickey Mouse.

They don’t have to be your favorite animals. But of course, they don’t have to be the ones you hate.

They don’t have to be pets. They can be big ones, or small ones.

Advertising

Let’s work on the first animal together.

What is it? Does it walk, fly or swim?

What is its habitat like?

How would you describe it? Clever? Reliable? Hard-working? Amiable? Courageous? Dangerous?…

Got your first one yet?

Okay, let’s get to the second animal.

So what’s it this time? Is it one of the mammals, reptiles, birds or amphibians?

Where does it live?

And the nature of it, wild or easily tamed?

How does it interact with its same species? Does it tend to live in a group or alone? …

The second one’s ready?

Advertising

Let’s get to the last animal.

I know it’s getting harder when it comes to the third one. But don’t worry, I’m still with you.  So what’s it for the last one?

Does it live under the sea, high above somewhere or on the ground?

What is it good at? Hunting? Protection? Learning? Escaping?…

What does it like doing? Relaxing? Having fun?…

If you’re still playing along with me, I think you’ve already got the three animals in your mind. And the next step will be fun.

If you haven’t got your three animals, I’ll wait a bit. Just don’t scroll to the next part yet.

Once you get to the next part, you’ll never ever be able to enjoy this game again. There’s no turning back, trust me. So, please have the three animals in your mind ready first!

I’m waiting….

….

Advertising

… yea still waiting….

….

Ready? Good. Let’s get to the next part.

….

….

….

The animals that come to your mind and the order of these animals can reveal a little about you:

  • The first animal that comes to your mind represents how you think others see you.
  • The second animal reveals how others actually see you.
  • The third animal represents the kind of person you really are.

I played the game with others and their results surprised me and themselves.

I played this game with a fellow editor and the barista of the coffee shop downstairs and these are what they told me about.

    ▲ The three animals that came to my fellow editor Emily’s mind were dolphin, seal, and pig.

    Advertising

    To Emily, a dolphin is smart, playful and agile; a seal is watchful, careful, playful and likes to stay within their social groups; while a pig is cute, smart, and loves eating and sleeping. She found it especially true that she loved eating and sleeping like a pig. I also found it true that she’s a careful person who pays attention to details.

      ▲ The three animals that the barista Ryan chose were lion, tiger, and sheep.

      Ryan is the barista downstairs, we recognize each other as I always go there to buy muffins but we’d never really talked much. I just came across him during a time when he was less busy and so I played this game with him.

      To Ryan, a lion is strong and charismatic as it’s always seen as the king of forest; a tiger is brave and competitive; while a sheep is pure, gentle and loves to follow the crowd. He was really surprised about the results and he also found it unbelievable that he’s like a sheep. He didn’t believe all of these but we did have a great laugh over his choices and we shared our thoughts about how he really took the risk to be brave like a tiger to become a barista instead of following the crowd to get an office job.

      How you describe these animals is how you and others perceive you. You can probably connect these animals’ nature with your own life somehow, right?

      Remember, the Game is all about connecting with someone.

      The above things are not all correct. There’s no research or studies as evidence to prove that these animals are representing your personalities. But as I said, this is a game, a game that I’ve heard about for many years. And a game is supposed to be fun, and it’s supposed to be fun to play with others.

      As you play along though, you feel like the game really seems to be reflecting some parts of your thoughts, and some bits of who you are.

      Imagine playing this game with someone, you’ll only need a few minutes to get to know more about them. As you play this game with others, you guys get to discuss about your aspirations, interests and hobbies. It’s a great opportunity to understand a person’s character in a delightful way. You’ll probably be remembered as a witty person who can dig into some deep and meaningful topics starting with an interesting game.

      Advertising

      A bonus tip: this game is good for ice-breaking, but don’t forget about the basic greetings and introduction before trying this game. Just at least make sure you guys will play the game under a casual and relaxing atmosphere first.

      In case you forget about the details of this game, save this article now so you can make use of this game the next time you’re getting to know someone!

      More by this author

      Anna Chui

      Anna is the Chief Editor and Content Strategist of Lifehack. She's also a communication expert who shares tips on motivation and relationships.

      The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You The Purpose Of Friendship: The Only 4 Types Of Friends You Need In Life How Self-Doubt Keeps You Stuck (And How to Overcome It) How to Live Life to the Fullest and Enjoy Each Day 30 Books Everyone Should Read At Least Once In Their Lives

      Trending in Communication

      1 Is Living Together Before Marriage Good or Bad? 2 How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication 3 11 Facts About Volunteering That Will Surely Impress You 4 I Hate My Wife – Why a Husband Would Resent His Spouse 5 How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

      Read Next

      Advertising
      Advertising
      Advertising

      Published on May 18, 2021

      How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

      How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

      We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

      The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

      Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

      Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

      Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

      There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

      Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

      Advertising

      Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

      We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

      Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

      A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

      The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

      Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

      Advertising

      Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

      Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

      Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

      While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

      Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

      These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

      Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

      Advertising

      Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

      Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

      Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

      Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

      Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

      Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

      As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

      Advertising

      This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

      Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

      Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

      These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

      Actions Speak Louder Than Words

      Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

      Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

      Advertising

      Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

      More Tips Improving Listening Skills

      Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

      Reference

      Read Next