Powerful team building activity for corporate training : Tower of Babel

Name: The Tower of Babel

Shared by: Albert Verster

Materials required: Spaghetti & Marshmallows

Time: 30 min including debrief

No of participants: 20-25

Process: Teams of five or six are requested to build a tower with spaghetti and marshmallows by sticking the spaghetti pieces into marshmallows. Very little is given in terms of the set goal. Are they aiming at building the highest tower, the most beautiful tower or the strongest tower? Teams are not allowed to talk during the exercise. This leads to a lot of confusion and often conflict.

Debrief:

The debriefing can then include several topics and issues such as:

  • What did it feel like not to be able to talk?
  • How frustrated were you?
  • What was the effect of the limited communication?
  • Who implemented alternative communication strategies such as written communication?
  • How did you decide on the structure?
  • How did you know what the goal was?
  • Who took on the leadership role? How? Why?
  • Who were the followers and why?

Variations:

Shared by Jenni Wright: Build a bridge out of newspaper and masking tape. The bridge must hold itself up and also the weight of something (relatively light) in the middle.

Shared by Naresh Byra: Construct the tower with straws, masking tape, thermocol blocks (small blocks of 1 inch). Instruct the teams that they need to discuss and come up with a sketch and then they can build the structure as per the sketch. Instruct that the structure should be able to take weight of an apple for at least 20 seconds.

Shared by Anika Agarwal: Each team will choose one representative. The materials and instructions for completing the activity would be provided only to the representative. This really helps people to see the importance of communication.

Curated by Lovely Kumar, LarksLearning Pvt. Ltd.

Contact us for team building and other workshops at 91-9899108659.

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