For many years I have used the following exercise in trainings and workshops on conflict resolution, communication, and negotiation. Known as “The Cash Register Exercise”, it is adapted from “The Uncritical Inference Test” created by William V. Haney, Communication and Organizational Behavior: Text and Cases.
To complete the exercise, read the following story. Below it are 12 statements about the story. After you read the story, determine whether each of the 12 statements is
Allow yourself no more than 5 minutes to complete the exercise. On Monday, October 13, I’ll reveal the correct answers. (In the meantime, please try to resist the temptation to google them ahead of time.)
Ready? Here goes:
A businessman had just turned off the lights in the store when a man appeared and demanded money. The owner opened a cash register. The contents of the cash register were scooped up, and the man sped away. A member of the police force was notified promptly.
12 Statements about the Story
To pique your interest further, I should warn you that in all the times I have used this exercise, only twice has anyone gotten all the answers right. If you’d like to print out a copy so that you can write your responses down, click here to download a PDF version.
Good luck, and check back on Monday, October 13, for the answers.
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