16 Apr 2010

Is your message a lion?

I remember a game called “telephone”, where we’d sit in a ring and a person would whisper a phrase to the person beside them. They’d in turn whisper to the person beside them and so on until the last person would say out loud what they thought the phrase was. The result was invariably peals of laughter and rolling on the floor.

Imagine someone essentially whispering a description of an animal to someone, then asking them to construct or recreate that animal. This is what happened to a Swedish taxidermist in the 1700s when he received the skin and bones of a lion and was asked to recreate the animal based on his extensive knowledge of lions – without the benefit of Google images.

And the result…

Photo: Hans Thorwid/Nationalmuseum

You can see more creative takes on this on the lion’s own Facebook page.

And the communication lesson is: be sure you give – or get – clear instructions, guidelines, requests, whatever, (best to give/get it in writing) or you might have your audience rolling on the floor laughing.

Listen to Gabriella Ahlström tell about the lion at Gripsholm Castle on the radio program Spanarna.

Kris Walmsley

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