In a group where most of the participants are wearing blindfolds, the 'blind' must find a way to move a small ball balanced on a metal ring from one wooden pedestal to another using only strings attached to the ring. The 'sighted' few in the group can direct the blind how to move their strings as a group, but they are not allowed to touch the movers, the strings or the ring, and can only use verbal instructions to lead them. It looks easy, but if the ball falls off the ring, the group must start all over -- just like real life!
How you set up the two pedestals depends on your goals and your group's capabilities. You can set them on smooth or bumpy terrain, at the same level, or at different heights (such as the floor and a desk). You can even put an obstacle such as a chair or box between the two pedestals. For a real high-stakes challenge, you can try this activity outside with a raw egg instead of a ball.
This activity is ideal for addressing manager / employee communication, leadership style, information shortages and project visualization.
When leading this activity with managers and staff at the same time, have them switch their real-life roles. Blindfold the managers, and have the employees lead them. This allows participants to step into each others' roles and see things from a fresh perspective.
Each time the ball falls, you can blindfold one of the sighted participants to teach the team about the consequences of poor communication.
Adjust the difficulty of the exercise by placing the pedestals on uneven terrain, putting one pedestal on a desk, or placing an obstacle such as a chair between the two pedestals.
Play outside with a raw egg!
SHARE THIS TOOL
Use it for coordinating actions, cooperating and sharing responsibility
Use it for giving and receiving direction, working with secondhand information, deciding in uncertain situations, and assuming responsibility
Use it for dealing with risk, managing change or giving and receiving direction and feedback
Use it for experiencing interdependencies, adapting to change and establishing balance
Use it for experiencing individuals' need to contribute to group projects, and seeing a challenge through to completion
Use it for focusing on goals, or learning and adapting to make progress
|Participants (min / optimal / max)||Time for Activity|
|5 / 9 / 12||10-45 mins|
|1 stainless steel ring, 2 beechwood pedestals, 1 plush ball (filled with pellets),|
1 wooden egg, 1 detailed instructions manual
|40 x 40 ft|
|12.2 x 8.7 x 5.5 in (31 x 22 x 14 cm)||15.8 lbs (2.6 kg)|
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