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Team Building Exercise: Make it Square

Team Building Exercise: Make it Square


Purpose

This is a physical exercise with an aim to encourage team work and collective problem solving. Use the variations to adjust the difficulty. It also highlights the importance of self-organisation and the necessity for leadership when confronted with challenging tasks.

Objective

Make a square with a rope while been blindfolded.

What You Need

  • A rope about 12 meters long. Tie both ends together to make it into a circle.
  • One blindfold for each participant.
  • A safe empty area.

Setup

  • Give the blindfold to the delegates.
  • Explain that you will give them a circular rope.
  • While blindfolded, they must make this rope into a square. They must all be holding part of the rope to qualify for success.
  • Emphasise that it should not be a diamond or a rectangle. Only a square is accepted.
  • Allocate 10 minutes for this activity.
  • After the allocated time, ask them to take off their blindfold and observe the shape they have created.
  • Bring everyone back and follow with a discussion.

Timing

Explaining the Exercise: 5 minutes

Activity: 15 minutes

Group Feedback: 10 minutes

Discussion

How successful were you? How did you go about the task? Was there good communication among the team? What was good about your approach? If you have to do this task again, what would you do differently? Did you nominate a leader? Was the leader effective in organising everyone?

Variations

  • You can make this exercise easier by dividing the delegates to groups of 4 and asking them to go through the exercise each with a separate rope. This way each person in the group will end up as a corner, so it is only a matter of making the rope into a square.
  • You can make this exercise more difficult by giving the rope initially in a twisted or crossed form.
  • You can make this exercise very challenging by using a stretchable rope, though to teach the lessons in this exercise, you probably won’t need to make it this difficult.