COLOURBLIND® was developed in 1991 for training Air Traffic Controllers in Great Britain -- where team communication is fundamental to success and where absolutely no margin for error, misunderstanding or ambiguity can be tolerated. Since then, COLOURBLIND has been used worldwide across languages, cultures and business backgrounds, to focus on the fundamental skills of great two-way communication and the achievement of shared meaning. It is also used to explore team problem-solving, team understanding of abstract concepts and to explore team culture. Colourblind is now listed as a 'Preferred Learning Material' by ILM (Institute for Leadership and Management), Europe's foremost leadership and management training provider.
Wearing blindfolds to ensure total dependence upon the quality of their verbal communication, and holding a collection of small, irregular, coloured plastic shapes, a group works together to gather information that will allow them to solve a puzzle. The size of the group (between 4 and 28) demands different types of skill: information and group management, effective listening and questioning, strong chairing skills, the ability to clarify and summarize and the need for feedback to ensure understanding.
The exercise can last for up to 40 minutes, with breaks for review and coaching, and generates a large amount of discussion. The activity can greatly benefit employees working in remote locations and is widely used for telephone support and customer service positions.
Sample challenge: Which are the two components that are missing from the set of shapes we have in our possession?
" I have a piece that is like a rectangle with points and a hole in the middle."
"Yes, I have one too...two points and a circular hole."
"Yes, I think I have one...does it look like a Capital A?"
"No, not an A...like a rectangle with a diamond shape lying over it..."
"Would you describe it as an arrowhead?"
"Like a triangle, but instead of having three flat sides one is an arc..."
"Does anyone know what an arrowhead is in Italian?.."
6 puzzle pieces in each of 5 colors
Binder with Facilitation notes
Colourblind is designed by RSVP Design Ltd, now validated by ILM.