From the Observation Deck

I love quick effective ways to learn. Within 1 hour I had learned a lot about communication and was already excited to recreate the scenario for other people the learn from. We played a game in which the 3 players were each assigned to a role of doctor, nurse, or administrator. There were varying levels of communication allowed, ranging from unidirectional to complete communication between both parties. The doctor then had to give instructions on how to construct a certain pattern of dominoes to the nurse. In all of the scenarios the doctor’s back had to be to the nurse. I learned a lot by playing each role but I was most surprised by my experience as administrator. The administrator just observed the interaction between the doctor and nurse and could give feedback at the end. While observing, I saw my team making errors. I quickly thought to myself “Uh-oh, let me see if I can figure out where they are going wrong so I can tell them once we finish.” So I watched closely and thought I had identified the error and how they were miscommunicating. So once we debriefed I shared my thoughts on how and where they went wrong. I remember being really happy that I had been the administrator, as I felt I had seen something they hadn’t. But when I shared, both the doctor and the nurse chimed in and agreed that their source of error was actually something else. Wow! I thought that from my observation deck, I had seen, interpreted, and found a solution. But I hadn’t, I was not directly involved in the communication between the two, so I had misunderstood! This made not only the importance of communication resonate with me, but also the danger of an outside party establishing “solutions” to situations they had only observed.