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Communicating at Work: Developing a New Product

Working in teams, participants apply their ingenuity to create “something out of nothing.” They then develop an imaginary mar- ket for their product and design advertising strategies using their knowledge of the area in which they live.

Learning Objective

  • Learners will contribute their talents and ideas to a team effort.

  • Learners will affirm each other’s strengths as they coordinate their efforts to arrive at a solution to a whimsical challenge.

Work-Based Skills EFF Skills: Interpersonal Skills: cooper- ate with others, resolve conflict and negotiate; Communication Skills: speak so others can understand; Decision Making Skills: plan; Lifelong Learning Skills: reflect and evaluate.

KSAs: Works on a team effectively; Cooperates with others; Listens for understanding; Talks with respect; Quality in the workplace.

SCANS: Basic Skills: speaking; Thinking Skills: seeing things in the mind’s eye; Interpersonal Skills: participates as a member of a team, exercises leadership; Resources: human; Personal Qualities: self-esteem, self- management.


  • Critical thinking

  • Interpersonal relationships

  • Job skills

  • Life skills,

  • Listening skills

  • Problem solving

  • Work environment

Activity Description More and more, teamwork is “how the job gets done.” Learners need to know how to work in teams and how to value the contributions that each member can make in achieving a goal or accomplishing a task. This particular activity is an opportunity for learners to use many skills including imagina- tion and the acting upon their ideas. While working together, they will learn the importance of accepting and utiliz- ing their skills together to accomplish their goal.

This is a continuation activity based on the development of teamwork con- cepts. The development of a new product can only be achieved after the team members have worked together to assign responsibilities and be famil- iar with the guidelines given. If the previous lesson in this project was completed, learners have already begun to develop some teamwork expertise. Keep the same teams for this activity unless there were serious problems with the teams in the first activity.

1. Introduce this activity by explaining that the same teams are going to use

Families First is the Tennessee program to provide training for those welfare recipients who lack basic education skills. While learners do work toward a GED, emphasis in these classes is shifting toward the knowledge, skills, and attitudes learners need to acquire and keep a good job.


Kathie Bowles Smith County Families First/ABE

Project This is the second activity of a two-part project on Com- municating at Work. The lessons could easily be com- bined into one learning activity or used separately as presented here. The lessons in the project are:

  • 1.

    Putting together a team

  • 2.

    Developing a new product

Materials and Resources

  • Items for marketing: sug- gestions include plastic cups, nail and string, piece of cardboard, by-product of some other operation, a recyclable item, etc.

  • Drawing materials includ- ing paper, pencils, crayons

  • Telephone access

  • Camera

  • Handout 1: "Team Member Responsibilities"

  • Handout 2: "Developing a New Product: Basic Steps"

Learner Level Multi-level: each learner will have the opportunity to utilize their strengths.




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