Team Building Exercise: Make a Shape

Team Building Exercise: Make a Shape


This is a physical team building exercise that encourages self-organisation within a team when confronted with a challenge. You can test the group to see how quickly they can come up with a self-assigned leader who would then go on to coordinate the group’s activity to increase their efficiency.


Form a particular shape with a rope as instructed.

What You Need

  • A 12 to 18 meters rope depending on the number of your delegates and available area.
  • An empty area when people can freely move around.


  • Get the delegates to the empty area and give them the rope.
  • Explain that on your mark they should form a particular shape.
  • The choice of the shape depends on the number of delegates.
    • If you have 10 delegates or more, use a 5-point star.
    • If you have less than 10 delegates, use a hexagon or a similar challenging shape.
    • If you have a lot of delegates, say 20 or more, you can divide them to groups of 10 and get them to compete with each other.
  • Rules:
    • When participants pick up the rope, they cannot let go of it and they cannot swap places.
    • They can shift along the length of the rope.
    • They can freely move around the place.
    • There must be no rope left at either end when the shape when completed.
  • Announce the start of the exercise and state that they have 10 minutes to finish the task.
  • After 10 minutes, get delegates to observe their shape, terminate the exercise and get all back to follow with a discussion.


Explaining the Exercise: 5 minutes

Activity: 10 minutes

Group Feedback: 10 minutes


How well did you do in this exercise? Did people cooperate efficiently to achieve the task? Did you nominate a leader, or leader emerged to coordinate your activities? Do you think you would do better if you go through this task again? What would you do differently next time?

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