Don’t Blow It

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Timing:
5 minutes plus 15-30 minutes for debrief

Materials:
2 balloons per 4 people
Water (Optional)

Instructions

The “goal” is for teams (of 3-5 people) to compete to blow up the largest balloon. The team with the largest (unburst & tied) balloon wins

The person blowing up the balloon will be blindfolded and will have to be guided by their team-mates when to blow and when to stop

One person should wear the blindfold and everyone else in their team should stand very close around the blindfolded member

Rules

The blower cannot open their eyes or remove the blindfold

The non-blowing team-mates may not back away from the blower

The balloon must be tied for it to be considered “done”

Learning objectives

1. Operating without trust can be scary

2. Team members having a shared interest (standing close) increases trust

3. If trust is broken (balloon pops) then (i) trust is even harder to re-establsih (the willingness of the blindfolded member to go again is reduced) and/or (ii) the team blow a smaller balloon (productivity drops)

Variations

1. A time limit of 60 seconds to blow the biggest balloon

2. The balloon can be filled with a little water

3. Have the non-blowing team-mates hold the blindfold and balloon

4. Run different variations in parallel (one team standing close, one team standing further away for example)

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