Monday, 20 October 2014

Teach your kids how to find out EVERYTHING! Seven Brothers Game

In the world of Sales and Consulting, the 'Open Question' is king!

Open Questions, as we know, elicit a non-digital (yes/no) response. Used effectively, they can open up a world of hidden information, opinions and feelings. They're also great to use with your kids!

Closed Questions are like this:

- Do you... ?
- Are you... ?
- Can you... ?
- Have you... ?
- Will you... ?

The seven Open Questions are like this:

- Who... ?
- What... ?
- Which... ?
- When... ?
- Where... ?
- How... ?
- Why... ?

We'll call these the 'Seven Brothers'.

The 'Seven Brothers' game, which you can play with your children is simply a challenge to ask seven questions, covering each of the seven brothers, in a conversation - without being found out!

To get them into the spirit, change up your normal after-school round table of "What did you do today?" discussion, with a Seven Brothers approach. For each child, who is telling you about his/her day (the interviewee), let each other member of the family (the interviewers) ask a different open question to uncover more detail about the questionee's day. You'll be surprised how much more you learn about their day!

Once all the children (and adults) are familiar with how to phrase open Seven Brothers questions, it's time to start the game...

Whenever you are having a 1:2:1 or group discussion, when one person is speaking, the others try to ask open questions, naturally and without arousing suspicion, until all Seven Brothers have been asked!

If the interviewee recognises that Seven Brothers is being attempted, they will say something like "Enough with the Seven Brothers!", and they win.

If the interviewers manage to get all Seven Brothers questions asked without suspicion - they win, and it's high-fives all round.

Playing the game is especially fun for older children with younger siblings, because they get to practise on an unsuspecting and less aware individual. Although the game creates winners, the losers don't feel so bad, because they just got to either try to ask good open questions, or they got to explain a subject to their siblings/parents in much more depth than is usual.

Of course, the game is a distraction from the serious learning message. Children and adults do well in life if they are curious, interested in the details, and don't spend all their time talking about themselves. This wonderful little game gives them the tools to be great conversationalists, great consultants, great managers, and simply great people to be around!

I don't know of any plastic game in a carboard box which teaches such an important life skill!

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