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communication

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Introduction

Today we are looking at relationships. Now there is one thing that is definitely needed in relationships. You can ask if anyone can guess what that thing is? But most likely, people won't respond above Year 9!! The answer is that communication is key to all relationships in life. This can be between friends, between couples - and at work.

Note - Exercise 2 is not for an assembly necessarily, but may be helpful for you to use in another time and place :)

Thanks to KW for some of the content of this assembly..

Game

Ask for 2-3 volunteers (and say there are free sweets for them, if the school is OK with this - ie. isn't a healthy-eating school!). Have a load of flumps or other sweets. Your object is to get as many into the volunteer's mouth as possible (being very careful for them not to choke or be sick). They are not allowed to eat the sweet, but with a mouth-full, they must try to hum a song that you give them. Then people have to guess what the song was.

Your other option is to ask for a couple of volunteers. Then you (or your assistant) stuff your face full of flumps or similar and try to do the singing. The volunteers have to guess your song. Do more than one song.

Alternative Exercise

Thanks to Vicky C for this idea. Do an obstacle course that's quite simple - such as walking around a couple of chairs, weaving in between something, going underneath a rope (get a couple of people to hold up the rope). Then ask for a volunteer and their mate to come up. One of them is blindfolded, the other has to guide the blindfolded victim around the obstacle course. It can be quite amusing. Girls generally do better at this, so ask lads if you want more of a laugh. I've seen this work brilliantly, even with Year 11s!

Development

It was hard for us to understand what song that they were singing, right? I couldn’t hear it very well and I’m sure that you found it hard as well!

(And / or talk about the obstacle course - what went right, what went wrong and why).

We need to be clear with one another when we are talking. But good communication is about listening well to what someone is saying (whether we're listening to someone sing a song, or having someone guide us round an obstacle course). And we need to be clear. In the obstacle course, we could send someone the wrong way if we're not careful, and even cause them some damage! So, we need to be able to understand one another - it's a 2-way thing. Watch what happens when we get are wires crossed!

Video Clip

Shrek clip – misinterpretation, not good communication between Shrek and Fiona. There are several times where the 2 of them are arguing, having been invited to Far Far Away to visit Fiona's parents. They also argue while they are there. Or you can use the sketch where the whole 'family' get together to eat food for the first time.

End

You can see in this clip that Shrek didn’t hear the beginning of that conversation did he – he just guessed that they were talking about them. Its really important to talk to one another – and to make sure that we are clear in what we are saying. I’m sure all of us have had misunderstandings with our friends haven’t we. Christians believe it's really important to talk as well. It is important to us because we have a relationship with God. Talking is important in relationships – so as a Christian, I talk to God, and listen to him.

One time, my mom thought God said to her, 'go and pick up your daughter from school as she'll have an accident'. She decided not to. At lunchtime, she got a call from the school saying her daughter had chipped her tooth and needed emergency dental treatment. To this day, the daughter bears the chipped front tooth. Listening to God would have stopped this tooth being chipped.

Christians believe that we can talk to God anywhere and anytime. Some people say that Christianity is a crutch. Well, if you break your leg, try walking around without crutches! But it's so much more than that. It's amazing, like having a personal friend with us 24/7. And one who always listens and guides us really clearly.

Exercise 2

We have to make sure that we listen well, and say things well. Otherwise, this harms our communication.

Part 1 - The way you speak

With 2 of you up the front, have one of you say this phrase to the other one:

"Do you want me to go?" (asking gently, to be helpful)

"Do you want me to go?" (gutted that you have to go, drag yourself to go)

"Do you want me to go?" (angrily, you're not going!)

Of course, depending on how we say things, we communicate different messages.

Part 2 - The way you look

Again with the 2 of you up the front, have one of you say this phrase to the other one:

"No, I don't know who you're talking about" (head down, no eye contact, nervous, fidgeting)

"No, I don't know who you're talking about" (constant eye contact, slightly arrogant, like a politician)

"No, I don't know who you're talking about" (clear and honest voice, steady, regular eye contact)

And depending on how we look as we say something, we communicate different things.

Part 3 - The way you receive / think

They say that hurt people, hurt people. If you are feeling hurt, you are more likely to lash out at someone else. But, depending on how you think, you will receive a message in a different way.

For example, 2 girls are talking, saying the 2 lines (below) to each other. This phrase can be done 3 times in 3 different styles, to illustrate different ways of thinking..

Girl 1 - "I love your new top."
Girl 2 - "Thanks!"

First time - The girls are mates and get on well. Therefore, the compliment is given genuinely and received genuinely.

Second time - Girl 1 is a nice down to earth girl. Girl 2 is very spiteful and nasty - she acts and thinks like this. Girl 1 is genuine in this 'scene' but Girl 2 says thanks, thinking that Girl 1 is being sarcastic and spiteful. Girl 2 thinks Girl 1 is being bitchy, simply because of the way that Girl 2 thinks, not because Girl 1 is bitchy.

Third time - Girl 1 is very spiteful and nasty - she acts and thinks like this. Girl 2 is a nice down to earth girl. Girl 1 hates Girl 2's new top and is being spiteful and deceptive by pretending she likes Girl 2's top. Girl 2 takes the compliment, but hesitantly as she's aware the comment is not genuine.

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