The purpose of this exercise is to challenge a teams belief that something is impossible.
It is also a great way to explore peoples willingness to ask for help or give help if it will benefit the whole team. In many cases, groups will NEVER ask for help because the 'rules' did not say you could. Nor will someone who has figured it out offer to help. It was not in the 'rules'.
How often does this same situation happen at work? People do not feel they can ask for help and others do not offer it. This simple exercise allows the group a safe way to explore the unwritten rules their group abides by, and allows them the opportunity to change the rules to benefit the team.
This exercise is also very simple in setup but offers a great challenge. It is great for senior executives who have difficulty getting into 'fun' mode.
This exercise can be run absolutely ANYWHERE.
Brief Outline of Team Shackles
Each participant picks a partner to be 'handcuffed' to. The two individuals must get our of their Shackles and the entire group must become unhandcuffed in 'X' minutes.
As we keep mentioning, this event shows the value of sharing information, both giving and receiving. How much better would your workplace be if everyone freely shared information? This exercise cannot do that for you but is a great place to start talking about how that can happen.
It is a great leverage point to come back to if other paradigm shifts need to happen within the group or if the group finds itself operating under rules that were simply assumed.
Paradigm shift may result, but if not, it will certainly open some minds.
Overcome challenges by ‘unlocking’ the compartments in the mind!
If people in your organization tend to work in isolation or in ‘compartments’, if information sharing or seeking a co-worker’s counsel is non-existent, then you need Team Shackles. Team Shackles can bring about a paradigm shift in attitudes toward fellow workers. The game demonstrates how the whole team can benefit if there is willingness to seek and give help. It will also build confidence within the group and disprove the notion that some things are impossible.
A glimpse into Team Shackles:
This exercise has a simple setup but offers a great challenge. Within each team participants are ‘handcuffed’ to each other. The challenge is not only in each pair untangling the Shackles but in the entire team getting disentangling within a given time limit.
In this game you will notice some stereo-typical behavior among participants. Although the game requires the entire group to untangle, pairs that have managed to un-cuff earlier than others will usually not offer their help to other team members until time is running out or sometimes not even then. It was not in the 'rules'!
The game attempts to correct this behavior and develop a more supportive and helpful attitude among participants.
Who should go for Team Shackles?
At the outset, this game can help your group to be more analytical and systematic in their approach to solving problems. If you want to create confidence in people to face challenges then Team Shackles is the game that can establish a sense that anything is possible.
However, another far reaching influence of this game is in the area of people-to-people interactions. It will help you to explore people’s willingness to ask for help or give help. You can educate the group that unwritten rules and blinkered attitudes in the workplace can hamper team progress.
What will your group learn from Team Shackles?
The insight gained from the activity usually gets articulated by the participants in the conversation initiated by the facilitator after the exercise. It is critical to have this dialogue with the group because the thoughts vocalized after a team building exercise will ultimately drive home what the exercise sought to accomplish in the first place.
Issues for the group to ponder-on in the learning process:
What comes with the activity?
The team building activity comes in an easy-to-use storage bag and includes the following:
It includes everything you need to provide a good quality, well thought out and meaningful learning opportunity.
With each team building purchase, you also receive: