Team Trust Building Exercises

by Tamara Runzel

Team trust building exercises are important in any organization, group or business. Trust building exercises help build rapport among the team, stimulate communication and encourage teamwork and motivation. Most team trust building exercises work best in smaller groups, although the size varies from activity to activity.

Icebreaker Activities

It is best to start off any team trust building activity with an icebreaker. This helps team members get to know each other just a bit before playing games that foster even more connections. Icebreakers normally don't take much time and work with any group size. One icebreaker that works well is the Coin Logo icebreaker. Divide the team into evenly numbered groups. Have them empty out their purses and pockets of any coins. Have each person in the group design a logo that represents them using these items. After everyone has designed a logo, have them explain to the group how it embodies them. They can use other items they have such as pens and make-up. Another icebreaker is the One Question game. You can divide the team into groups or just keep it as one large group. Pick a few situations to talk about. Some ideas include marriage, running a business or babysitting. Go around the circle and have each person ask the one, most important question he would ask regarding each situation to the rest of the group. Do one situation at a time, but fit in however many situations you have time for. This helps the rest of the group see what is most important to each team member.

Connection Activities

The Trust Lean, a common team trust building exercise.

After you have completed a few icebreakers, and it seems like everyone is comfortable with each other, you can move onto activities that involve more trust. One of the most common team trust building exercises is the Trust Lean. Have everyone find a partner of similar build and height. If it gets too complicated, you can just divide people up. Designate a person as the faller and the other person as the catcher. Have the faller stand up straight with hands crossed over her chest. Have the catcher stand with one leg in front of the other for more sturdiness. Start with just a small space between the two and have the faller fall back into the catcher. As the two become more comfortable with each other, you can increase the space between the two or even have them fall from a chair or a couple steps up. Another trust building activity is called Minefield. This activity also requires people to pick a partner. Before the start of the activity, have a location set up with various "mines" around the area. The mines can be balls, cones or toys. If you're outside, trees and rocks can also be used as mines. Blindfold the first team member. The second team member has to direct them around the mines without entering the minefield or touching the person. Once the first person has gone through, have the second person take her turn but rearrange the obstacles first.