The ancient adage, ‘together we stand and divided we fall’, holds an important lesson for all of us. Working together as a team, is a skill developed with the help of trust building activities. They build and foster the integral ingredient of success, called ‘trust’, if played with team spirit.
Maria Edgeworth said, ‘the human heart, at whatever age, opens to the heart that opens in return’. The same holds true while building a relationship with trust. In order to lead or to be led, you have to open both, your heart and your mind, to trust your colleagues. The rate of success is directly proportional to the levels of trust you share with your subordinates.
Incorporating a few trust building activities helps in building mutual trust, respect, empathy, and understanding towards each other. They break down cultural and social barriers amongst people in the organization by making them work together. Here are some trust building activities and team building activities that will help your organization to nurture the asset of trust to revel in its cumulative appreciation.
Trust Building Activities
This game involves trusting your partner by opening up lines of communication. Amongst most trust building exercises, mine field can be played by persons of all ages. To play this game, make pairs of two and scatter the things all around the place. Blindfold one person and let the other person guide him/her to pick up a list of scattered items. Among the scattered items, place a few ‘mines’, which the blindfolded person must avoid, while picking up the list of items. This game is an excellent example of building trust through teamwork.
When we say ‘I trust you’, we also mean, that we feel safe when we are with that person. Amongst most of the trust building activities, wall crash is designed in such a way that it helps in building that ‘secure’ feeling. Have the whole group line up in front of a wall (obviously a few meters away from the wall). Make two of the members stand next to the wall with a net in their hands. Blindfold everyone standing in the line. One by one, let each person walk into the wall. The other two, standing next to the wall with a net are supposed to grab the persons before they hit the wall. Let people walk into the wall in the first round. As you increase the number of rounds, increase the speed of walking too, till members are running fast.
While trusting a person, we are sure of the fact that no matter what, the person will be there. In other words, there is a guarantee that the person is responsible and accountable for us. Playing conveyor belt will teach the members to be responsible towards each other. To play this game, make two lines of the members and make them stand in front of each other, facing one another. Preferably, have people with equal height stand in front of each other. Make one person lie down and let the first pair lift the person and pass him/her along the line, as though a parcel being passed through the human conveyor belt. At the end of this, place the person down. To get the most out of the game, ask the person to close his eyes.
In this trust building game, the members get to choose their own partners. To play this game, pick a known environment for better implementation. Create an obstacle course within the room or wherever you are playing the game. Out of the pairs formed, blindfold one person, while the other person shows the way through the instructions. In between the obstacle course, let the other person put on the blindfold. Quickly rearrange the items and continue the game with a role reversal. At the end of the game, review the feelings of the participants and analyze them to know the levels of trust.
This game is a little dangerous and a bigger challenge as compared to the aforementioned. Gather all the participants on one side of a busy road. Pair them up and blindfold one of them. The sighted buddy, must assist his partner to cross the road safely. This game requires utmost trust and confidence among partners. Playing this game and passing it with flying colors is clearing the ultimate test of trust.
Although most of these exercises require the person to be blindfolded; it does not mean one must trust the other blindly! The reason governing the blindfold is to permit the other senses to judge the obvious and to see the person beyond his superficial projection. The hearing, feeling, and listening to the other person, go a long way in building trust and strengthening relationships. As the aforementioned quote goes, trust building is really about listening with your open heart.