Teambuilding Exercise for Building Trust: Navigating the Mine Field

by Melany Gallant | Posted | Engagement

Teambuilding Exercise for Building Trust: Navigating the Mine Field

Want to have a winning work team?

In our final post in a three-part series on creative teambuilding exercises the focus is on an exercise you can try with your staff to strengthen employee connections and enhance cohesion and interaction between departments.

If you haven’t done so already, I invite you to read about the other two teambuilding exercises you can use to develop conflict resolution skills and problem-solving skills.

Navigating the Mine Field

For people to trust one another, they must first develop a bond. The Mine Field is a game that quickly builds that bond between people.

This exercise is about putting people in a situation where they will have to trust their partner to navigate a “mine field”.

Goals of the Exercise:

  • Develop communication skills
  • Create trust between team members
  • Have fun

Number of Participants per Group: 2

Time:

  • Setup: 15 minutes
  • Introduce Activity /Form Teams: 10-15 minutes
  • Team Prep: 5 minutes (individual teams can briefly discuss strategies before game)
  • Activity: 15-30 minutes
  • Debrief: 5 -30 minutes

Equipment:

  • Objects to serve as “mines” (e.g. balls, bean bags, blocks, etc.)
  • Blindfolds
  • Markers to indicate mine field boundaries

Exercise Description: You can play Mine Field indoors or outdoors (preferably outdoors). Scatter your “mines” throughout the playing field. You can use cones or rubber balls as mines, or to add “danger” to the game, water balloons so that they explode when people step on them.

Once the field is ready, one team member is blindfolded and not allowed to talk. The other member can see and talk but has to lead their partner from a distance, without entering the field or touching them. The goal is for the blindfolded person to get from one side of the field to the other without touching any mines. If a person touches a mine, they must go back to the start and try again. Ideally, every person should have the opportunity to both walk the mine field, and serve as a guide.

Possible debrief questions
(courtesy: http://cpd.yolasite.com/resources/Communication and Trust Building – Worksheet.pdf)

  • How much did you trust your partner (out of 10) at the start?
  • How much did you trust your partner (out of 10) at the end?
  • What is the difference between going alone and being guided by another?
  • What ingredients are needed when trusting and working with someone else?
  • What did your partner do to help you feel safe and secure?
  • What could your partner have done to help make you feel more safe/secure?
  • What communication strategies worked best?

Do you have any great teambuilding activities to share with us? Have you tried this exercise with your team? What were the results?

You can read about the other two team-building exercises shared in this series here and here.




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