Leadership Inspirations Activities

In Knots

Untie all the knots in the rope  

Duration

20-30 minutes

Team Stage

Storming, Norming, Performing

Type Of Activity

Experiential Activity

Materials

Rope

 

SUMMARY

 

In this activity, participants must find a way to untie a series of knots in a rope, the challenge is that they cannot let go of the rope with one of their hands. Participants may choose to focus on untying their own knots or turn their attention to trying to help the rest of the group, but the activity isn’t complete until every knot is untied! 

 

SET UP

  • Tie a knot in the rope for every participant in your group. Space the knots evenly apart in the rope.
  • If you are working with a large group (over 15 people), you will want to break up into smaller groups to complete this activity.

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Place the rope on the ground and tell everyone to stand by a knot. It doesn’t matter what side of the rope they are on but everyone needs their own knot. 
  • Have them pick up the rope with one hand, holding on to one side of their knot. They should not be holding onto the knot itself.  They should also have one hand free/not holding onto the rope. 
  • Tell them that from this point forward, they cannot let go of the rope. 
  • Their objective will be to untie all of the knots in the rope without letting go of the rope or moving their hands on the rope.
  • Once all of the knots are untied, the activity will be complete.

VARIATIONS

  • You can make this activity more challenging by blindfolding some participants or telling everyone that they cannot speak during the activity. 
  • Knot So Easy plays this game in reverse, challenging the group to instead tie a knot in their rope.
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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?

Accountability 

  • What are you currently accountable for as an individual and a group? Who holds you
    accountable?
  • What is effective accountability? Are our methods as a group effective?
  • What role do you play in your own accountability and the group accountability?

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?

Teambuilding

  • When has your group worked well together in the past? When have they not worked well together?
  • When has (something that happened in the activity) happened in the past with your group?
  • What habits or actions make a successful or effective team? What are your group’s opportunities for growth when working together?
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?