A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of sitting in on the Faculty Training Institute’s team building event at Lanzerac Hotel and Spa in Stellenbosch. It was raining on the day, and our team building facilitator did an excellent job at creatively utilizing the indoor space that was allocated to the team. One of the team building exercises that I enjoyed observing was the Blindfolded Minefield.
In the Blindfolded Minefield activity, participants have to navigate through a minefield of objects while they are blindfolded. To get through the minefield, they have to listen to the instructions of their team members who have to guide them around the obstacles. To make it even more challenging, two teams competing against each other, start at the same time from opposite sides of the course. The blindfolded team member has to listen closely and make sure he/she is following the instructions of their own team and not of the other team. The further the blindfolded team member moves in the course, the further away from the team members he/she moves. Hearing their own team members becomes more difficult, but the voices of the opposing team become more prominent.
Once one of the team members crosses over to the other side, they can start giving instructions from that side as well. This should make it easier for the rest of the team to cross the minefield while at the same time interfering with the instructions given by the opposite team. If the blindfolded team member steps on one of the obstacles they have to go back to the beginning and another team member can take their place.
The Blindfolded Minefield exercise is about team work and communication. Participants learn to recognize and follow the instructions of their team members. They have to focus on the voices of their own team and tune out the other voices. If they follow the wrong voice they end up standing on a landmine.