Build trust; get to know each other; appreciate diversity; explore the area in a new way . .
Blindfolds - enough for half of the participants at a time.
If any participants are blind or otherwise sight-challenged, this should be taken into consideration. This may be an excellent activity to help others on the team understand that perspective. If any participants are using wheelchairs or have other mobility challenges, this must be taken into consideration when determining the course and when leading them or them being the leader.
Identify an area or several areas where the walk can happen. it is good to explore an area new to the participants, but if it is one they are familiar with, that gives a chance to experience it in a new way. This is better outside: forest paths, city streets, around a park. If inside, it may be best to be in a building with various rooms and hallways. Make sure each pair won't run into or interfere with each other - they can begin at different points along a loop, or go on different paths. Scout the area ahead of time to eliminate or avoid possible dangers - overhead, underfoot, to the sides. Have people divide into pairs, designating an "A" and a "B" in each. Discuss safety and respect as priorities. The blindfold can be taken off any time someone becomes truly uncomfortable or afraid, emotionally or physically. Those leading need to stay quite aware of the obstacles overhead, underfoot, and too the sides. Take into consideration the person's height, strength, and balancing abilities.
Each A puts on a blindfold and closes his eyes to assure "no peeking." B takes A's hand, if both parties are comfortable with that.(Alternatives: A holds the sleeve of B; B leads by vocal instructions only . . .) B leads A slowly along a pre-determined course. B keeps in constant communication with A, assuring of safety, and warning of what to avoid, giving instructions such as "duck down here" or "make your next step really wide." A can ask questions. A should use all senses but sight - be aware of sounds, smells, textures of the ground, feel of the air, etc. A and B can then switch roles. This walk may be best on a different path.
What was the experience like for you - as A? As B? What did you learn from it that could apply to the team's regular situations? What insights did you gain about each other's communication styles?
Specify "tasks" to accomplish or items to gather along the way, without B giving too much help in doing so. E.g., collect a rock; touch something wet; hug a tree; identify an animal by its sound . . . (or if inside: point to a clock; collect a pen; touch an art object . . . )
Facilitator Notes about Trust Activities
- Safety Check: All Trust Activities require the facilitator to pay extra close attention to physical and emotional safety. Introduce and assure safety before starting any activities in this category.
- The concept of Challenge by Choice is especially important for Trust Activities: Each participant has the right to decide his or her own level of participation. It is recommended that you introduce and agree on Challenge by Choice before starting any Trust Activities.