iStock_target-manSmall1Tone/Attitude Words

Purpose: To build management and team leader awareness to recognize important emotional signals. This is a good prelude to emotional intelligence training.

Time: 5 – 15 minutes

Resources: Pens, quiz paper

Process: Divide participants into teams of 2-4 members. The bigger the group – the longer it takes.

Give each team a quiz page. The goal of the team is to match up an attitude/tone word with the correct definition.

Construct your quiz page using the words from the answer key below and scramble the definitions.
Have team members draw a line between the word and the appropriate definition.  Use all the words and definitions.

Time the event.

At the end of the game, hand out an answer key to each table and have the team members self correct.



game graph















A game variation would be to build two sets of cards.  One set with a tone/attitude word on each card. The other with a definition.  Give a set to each team and have the team members match the word with a definition.  At the end of the game, hand out the answer key so the teams can self correct.

Answer Key

  1. accusatory-charging of wrong doing
  2. apathetic-indifferent due to lack of energy or concern
  3. awe-solemn wonder
  4. bitter-exhibiting strong animosity as a result of pain or grief
  5. cynical-questions the basic sincerity and goodness of people
  6. condescension; condescending-a feeling of superiority
  7. callous-unfeeling, insensitive to feelings of others
  8. contemplative-studying, thinking, reflecting on an issue
  9. critical-finding fault
  10. choleric-hot-tempered, easily angered
  11. contemptuous-showing or feeling that something is worthless or lacks respect
  12. caustic-intense use of sarcasm; stinging, biting
  13. conventional-lacking spontaneity, originality, and individuality
  14. disdainful-scornful
  15. didactic-author attempts to educate or instruct the reader
  16. derisive-ridiculing, mocking
  17. earnest-intense, a sincere state of mind
  18. erudite-learned, polished, scholarly
  19. fanciful-using the imagination
  20. forthright-directly frank without hesitation
  21. gloomy-darkness, sadness, rejection
  22. haughty-proud and vain to the point of arrogance
  23. indignant-marked by anger aroused by injustice
  24. intimate-very familiar
  25. judgmental-authoritative and often having critical opinions
  26. jovial-happy
  27. lyrical-expressing a poet’s inner feelings; emotional; full of images; song-like
  28. matter-of-fact–accepting of conditions; not fanciful or emotional
  29. mocking-treating with contempt or ridicule
  30. morose-gloomy, sullen, surly, despondent
  31. malicious-purposely hurtful
  32. objective-an unbiased view-able to leave personal judgments aside
  33. optimistic-hopeful, cheerful
  34. obsequious-polite and obedient in order to gain something
  35. patronizing-air of condescension
  36. pessimistic-seeing the worst side of things; no hope
  37. quizzical-odd, eccentric, amusing
  38. ribald-offensive in speech or gesture
  39. reverent-treating a subject with honor and respect
  40. ridiculing-slightly contemptuous banter; making fun of
  41. reflective-illustrating innermost thoughts and emotions
  42. sarcastic-sneering, caustic
  43. sardonic-scornfully and bitterly sarcastic
  44. satiric-ridiculing to show weakness in order to make a point, teach
  45. sincere-without deceit or pretense; genuine
  46. solemn-deeply earnest, tending toward sad reflection
  47. sanguineous -optimistic, cheerful
  48. whimsical-odd, strange, fantastic; fun

Word list source: Associated Press