Posted: 24 Mar 16, 02:08
I thought I might just take a quick moment to pen down the reasons for my initiating the game of Chinese Whispers in club last night…
Known in the US as Telephone, the Western game called Chinese Whispers is has been around for many years in various forms and might have been known to you as Russian scandal,whisper down the lane, broken telephone, operator, grapevine, gossip, don’t drink the milk, secret message, the messenger game, and pass the message. (Wikipedia)
It might not be politically correct to play a game these days called Chinese Whispers, but the roots behind the game remain apt, particularly in the training of the speaking craft. The name is believed to have spawned in the Western world from the relationship between Confusion and the Chinese language. When the Chinese began to mix with the western world in the 17th century their language was perceived as incomprehensible, confusing, and indecipherable. The history of the game comes from a time when specifically Europeans found the Chinese and their worldview as something that could not ever be understood.
The game itself, has no winner and is played largely because of its entertainment value. The rules are simple – a message is whispered into the ear of another player. That player then relays the message in a whisper to the next player.The message is transferred through all players and recited aloud at the end. The message is often misheard, mistranslated, or becomes indecipherable along the way. In this respect the game is in fact often used as an educational tool, particularly in learning new languages where correct pronunciation is critical.
The game demonstrates how easily a message can become corrupted through interpretation, understanding, and sound. It is also an excellent way to demonstrate how voice, sound, pitch, and timbre all play a critical role in the relaying of a successful message.
Often overlooked as a necessary part of great communication the game also requires the use of good LISTENING skills. The ability to listen, to hear the message is critical. If you haven’t taken the time to listen to what the speaker has to say, how on earth the you ever hope to take their message with you.
It is the purpose of all speakers to impart a message, so as an audience we must learn to listen, otherwise the message goes nowhere.
Thanks everyone for getting involved in the game, and next time you get up to speak, try and remember that everything counts; voice, gestures, and your listening ears! Great communication uses EVERYTHING.