We’ve all been through team building experiences. You know what I’m talking about. Trust exercises, bowling, golf, obstacle courses, paintball or laser tag competitions, or work contests have all had their day. They all had their good points but seldom hit on the things that make a team great. A successful team is one that works as a unified, cohesive unit. Most of the things listed above still relay partially on individual effort separate from the group. In the last couple of years an experience has arisen that requires a team effort: Escape rooms.
Escape rooms engage on more than one level. They involve the intellectual as well as the physical. The way they work is that a group of people are locked in a room and must solve several puzzles in order to escape. Oh yes, you only have 60 minutes. It makes no difference where you are in the company hierarchy: manager, intern, CEO, or worker, once that door closes everyone is equal. There are so many clues to be found and puzzles to be solved that everyone needs to work and also build on the work of the others in the room. Frequently, two seemingly unrelated things will prove vital to one particular puzzle.
That means you have to utilize one of the prime tools of a successful team: communication. Employees can’t be afraid to speak up if they have an idea, even if they think it’s a dumb one. In escape rooms no idea is stupid. Bosses have to be willing to listen to constructive feedback about the idea they have because, again, in escape rooms no idea is stupid. If either fails to listen or speak up, the team won’t win.
Escape rooms take everyone involved out of their comfort zones into something they have never experienced. They put you into a situation where you have to think in new ways and stretch your brain. You have to figure out how to apply the information available, solicit suggestions and ideas from others in the room, and then try things in different ways to see what works
Only about 20% of teams are successful. The ones most likely to win are the ones that bring the most diverse ideas to the table. Critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and out-the-box thinking are essential to a successful escape. They also are essential to a successful team in your business.