Leadership Inspirations Activities

Knot So Easy

Tie a knot in your team’s rope

Duration

20-30 minutes

Team Stage

Storming, Norming, Performing

Type Of Activity

Experiential Activity

Materials

Five short ropes (6-10 ft long) per small group

 

SUMMARY

 

In this activity, participants must find a way to tie a knot in the middle of their rope without letting go. This activity is surprisingly tricky and participants must carefully coordinate their efforts to achieve the task. 

 

SET UP

  • Break your group up into smaller groups of six people each. 
  • Give each small group five of the short ropes. 

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Have participants stand in one line with the ropes connecting each of them together. The participants on the end will only be holding one end of the rope.
  • Tell them that they now represent one long rope. 
  • Their objective is to tie a knot in the center of their rope.
  • They cannot let go of the rope at any point in time.
  • If anyone lets go of the rope, they group must reset in their line and start over.

VARIATIONS

  • Facilitators may also pre-tie a knot in one of the ropes and challenge groups to untie the knot as quickly as possible without letting go of the rope.  
  • In this variation, participants must untangle a Human Knot.

SAMPLE DEBRIEFING QUESTIONS

What?
  • What was the goal of this activity?
  • Did your group do well? What could have improved?
  • How did your group make decisions? Was it effective or ineffective?
  • How did your group manage conflict that arose?
So What?

Feedback

  • Why is feedback important? What kind of feedback is important?
  • What does constructive/effective feedback look like?
  • How did positive/negative/or no feedback affect your success?

Group Dynamics

  • What are the traits that make someone successful on this team? What are the traits that make someone unsuccessful on this team?
  • What motivates our group?
  • How does our group dynamic affect the way we get work done? 
Now What?
  • What does this activity tell you about the strengths of your group? The areas for improvement?
  • What’s one commitment each person can make?
  • What are three lessons the group has learned that they can continue to work on?
  • How can we implement these lessons in our school/organization?
  • What can you do differently moving forward?