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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Closing the Store

For everything you wanted to know on building leadership and management, refer Shyam Bhatawdekar’s website:
(Refer our High Quality Management Encyclopedia “Management Universe” at:

It’s a beautifully simple yet very impactful management exercise. As a workshop facilitator or program leader, you can use this exercise in your sessions on communication and communication process to emphasize the need for absolute clarity of communication- an ambiguous communication can be severally interpreted by different people in the audience and obviously the people acting on one and same communication will understand it as per their own interpretations and act in different ways. Such a communication can kill effective implementation of any plan in any organization or society.

The exercise also leaves one with a surprise effect and therefore, the concept you wish to impart gets imprinted on the minds of the participants of the program permanently. It also acts as an energizer.

To begin with, give to each participant of your workshop the following exercise brief and ask them to read the brief carefully and to carry out the exercise as per the instructions given in the exercise brief.

Exercise brief starts now:The story: A businessman had just turned off the lights in the store when a man appeared and demanded money. The owner opened a cash register. The contents of the cash register were scooped up and the man sped away. A member of the police force was notified promptly.

Instructions: Read the statements below about the above story. Circle the appropriate answer to show if the statement is “True (T)”, “False (F)” or “Don’t know (?)”.

1. A man appeared after the owner had turned off his store lights: T, F, ?
2. The robber was a man: T, F, ?3. The man who appeared did not demand money: T, F, ?4. The man who opened the cash register was the owner: T, F, ?5. The store owner scooped up the contents of the cash register and ran away: T, F, ?6. While the cash register contained money, the store does not state how much: T, F, ?
7. The robber demanded money of the owner: T, F, ?
8. After the man who demanded the money scooped up the contents of the cash register, he ran away: T, F, ?
9. The robber opened the cash register: T, F, ?
10. After the store lights were turned off a man approached: T, F, ?
11. The robber did not take the money with him: T, F, ?
12. The story concerns three persons: the owner of the store, a man who demanded the money and a member of the police force: T, F, ?

Exercise brief ends here.

After all the participants complete this exercise, read out each of the 12 statements one by one and ask the participants to raise their hands for answering “True (T)”, then for answering “False (F)” and after that for answering “Don’t know (?)” for that particular statement. Count the hands for “True”, “False” and “Don’t know” for each statement and also work out the percentages.

The audience will be surprised to see that participants picked up almost all the options for the answers to almost each statement meaning each one understood almost each statement in a different manner. Interesting, isn’t it?

Let the participants discuss why such a situation arose.

Share your observations and provide supplementary inputs on the topic.

Get Hold of the Related Books
You can order the following books on "management games and icebreakers" as printed books and eBooks from Amazon online:
  1. Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
  2. Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers (Volume 2)
  3. Classic Team Building Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
  4. 101 Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
Related Reading: (Repository of a large number of articles in management and leadership): and

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