Monday, January 26, 2009

Team Building Activity: Gyroscope - Build trust and establish a need for planning prior to implementation


A glass of water per team of 8 - 15

Team Size:
8 - 15 people per team

Fill each cup within one inch of the top with water

Here is the teams’ task: Develop a way to lift someone in your team approximately one foot off the ground, then carefully rotate that person 360 degrees head over heals, no barrel rolls, and set them back on the ground. While you are rotating your person, they should remain stiff. Also, the person is responsible to hold a glass of water during the rotation. The water should not be spilled, consumed, or further contained during the rotation.

Take a few minutes to develop a plan for accomplishing your task. The plan should meet approval of the person being turned and approved by the facilitator before you lift anyone. The two most important parts of this whole activity are that the rotation needs to be controlled and the person off the ground needs plenty of people lifting especially when they are upside down.

If the water happens to spill, what should the team do? It should continue to keep the lifted person safe and finish the rotation.

Facilitator Notes:
Use a visual aid such as a stick or marker to describe how you want the team to pick up and rotate a person. Be sure to move the visual aid slowly to emphasize that you want the movements controlled. Usually, the team will want to rotate their person face down first; however, a backwards rotation works too as long as the person is rigid.
A team will usually pick its lightest willing member to rotate. When they are finished, you may want to challenge them to pick another person to rotate. Teams can usually rotate anyone in the team as long as they plan it out for each person.
When a person is being rotated, their mind often tells them to rotate the glass in the opposite direction than they should when they are upside down. It usually takes some good coaching and team communication to keep all the water in the glass.

Potential Discussion Questions:
How effective was your pre-rotation plan?
How did you select the person to be rotated?
What did you do to ensure your success?
What was really the hardest part of this task?
What roles did people take?

From Sam Sikes book Raptor
Photo - zorilla

-Michael Cardus is the founder of Create-Learning-Team Building, an experiential based training and development consulting organization, as well as a blogger for TeamBuilding NY. Mike specializes in team development and leadership development consulting and training, creating team-building programs that retain talented staff members, increase production and effectiveness of your team. He lives in Buffalo, NY, and travels to you to serve your team-building and leadership training needs, wherever and whenever fits your schedule.