When All Else Fails…

…Read the Instructions.

This very enlightening communication exercise goes along with the communication series for the last week-ish. You will need a piece of paper and a writing implement to begin.

Pick a Team

You and a partner (Mate, teenager, business partner, employee, best friend) need to go to the kitchen. Choose who will give the instructions and who will take them.


Neither of you will be able to talk to the other during this exercise. No cheating. The best results come when the “communicator” writes the instructions and the “listener” with the sense of humor (sarcasm, smart-aleckness, attitude) is the receiver.

Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter


On a piece of paper, write the instructions for making a peanut butter sandwich. Not a PB&J. Not a peanut butter and banana. Not peanut butter, onion and baloney. Just peanut butter.

Do not let your partner see the instructions or help you write them. Write the directions the way you want them followed. When you are done, hand the paper to your partner without saying a word. Watch in silence.


Take the instructions and follow them to the letter as they are written. When you are done, present the sandwich to the Giver.

Would you eat that?”

Try the exercise, and tell me what your results were. I am very interested in your responses. Tonight’s 2000 (GMT -5) post will reveal the results.

Have fun!

Seriously, go get a partner and try this!

When you are finished, check out our results!


© Red Dwyer 2011
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  1. James Parsons

     /  November 30, 2011

    I was going to try this tonight, but didn’t because I got laughing to hard. But this does sound as if it will work. I can just imagine the look on people’s faces when they do do it. To funny Red.

  2. as a technical writer, these types of things were actually exercises in my diploma program. I remember my first test was to write the instructions for turning on a light switch – miss one step and you fail – i passed, but over 80% of the class failed!

    • We fall into the trap of believing our readers will at least know something about what we are doing. This goes back the assumption…Thanks for sharing! Red.

  3. I will try this with my wife as both of us agree that neither listens to the other and to top it she can’t spell so it should be an interesting bit of fun.;-)

  1. I will NOT eat that. | Momma's Money Matters

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