The all tied up activity is a common team-building exercise used in workshops to promote collaboration, communication, problem-solving, and leadership skills.
The purpose of this activity is to have team members work together interdependently to accomplish a goal. It requires participants to strategize, assign roles, and cooperate effectively.
To complete the all tied up activity, you will need:
- A rope or cord long enough for all participants to hold onto with both hands. Allow about 12-18 inches per person.
- A facilitator to explain the activity, enforce the rules, and debrief afterwards.
The facilitator will have all participants stand in a circle and grasp the rope with both hands, spaced evenly apart. The rope should not have any slack. The facilitator will then tie knots randomly throughout the rope, binding the group together.
The challenge is for the team to untie themselves without letting go of the rope. They must communicate and problem-solve to strategize the untying. The facilitator should set a time limit, usually 10-15 minutes.
The only cost for this activity is purchasing enough rope for the number of participants. Cotton or nylon rope is inexpensive, usually $10-$20 depending on length.
10-15 minutes for the untying challenge, plus additional time for the facilitator to tie knots and debrief afterwards. Plan for 20-30 minutes total.
Number of Participants
Optimally 8-15 participants. The activity can be done with smaller or larger groups, adjusting the rope length accordingly.
Best Suited For
The all tied up activity works well for any team-building setting with adults. It is best for intact teams who already work together and need to improve collaboration. Can also be used with cross-functional groups.
The facilitator will tie knots in the rope, time the activity, enforce rules like no letting go, and lead a debrief discussion afterwards. They may offer gentle guidance but should not solve the problem for the team.
Participants must communicate, strategize, and problem-solve together to untie the knots. They should assign roles like leaders, knot spotters, etc. Everyone must keep holding the rope at all times.
After completing the activity, the facilitator can debrief with questions like:
- How did you communicate and work together? What strategies were effective?
- What challenges did you encounter? How did you overcome them?
- What roles emerged? How were leadership responsibilities handled?
- What lessons about teamwork can be applied to your real work?
The all tied up activity is an engaging and insightful team-building challenge. It requires collaboration, communication, strategic thinking, and leadership to untie the knots. The activity provides an experiential metaphor for what effective teamwork looks like. The debrief discussion allows teams to reflect on their dynamics and apply lessons to improving their real-world teamwork.