Last updated June 23, 2024

If you are looking for trust building activities for workplace training then here are 15 games and activities that you can choose to use. Use these as you wish if you are a training facilitator or corporate trainer.

Trust Building Activities for Teams

1. Birthday Line-Up

Trust Building Activities for Teams

Number of People: You will need a minimum of 4 people to do this activity although the more the better. If you have more than 16 people though, consider breaking them down into two groups.

Time Needed: You can adapt this activity according to available time but I would recommend a minimum of 5 minutes. An ideal time though is 15 minutes.

Intention: This is a wonderful activity for building trust, but can also be used as an icebreaker or as a teambuilding exercise if needed. It teaches participants to communicate and to learn to work together.

How to Run the Activity

Explain to the participants that the aim of this activity is to organise themselves in a line from left to right, in order of age (if they are born in the same month and year then they must work out what day they were born on).

The thing is though that they are NOT allowed to talk so all communication might be through non-verbal communication.

This activity is both fun and great for building trust as employees learn to work together.

Items Needed

  • No special items needed

2. Blind Trail

Blind trail activity

Number of People: This activity works well with small groups of 4 – 6 people. If you have a lot of participants just break them down into a couple of groups.

Time Needed: I would recommend allowing 30 minutes for this activity given that you will have to set up the course beforehand.

It is also an activity that is best to run outdoors, so you will want to make it worthwhile timewise.

Intention: This is one of my favourite trust building activities, as it is easy to run and is always enjoyed by participants. It is about making participants (i.e. employees) work together in such a way that they must trust each other in order to complete the trail.

How to Run the Activity

Set up a small trail with some obstacles that the employees must navigate.

Get people to make teams of 4 – 6 people (try and mix up teams so that they do not just choose their friends or close colleagues).

Then ask the team to take hold of one long piece of rope that they will all hold and then to put on their blindfolds.

They now need to navigate a fairly simple (but still challenging) mini trail (such as through cones) together, communicating and talking to each other to guide each other.

This activity works best outdoors such as on a field and with soft obstacles to avoid injury.

Items Needed

  • Long rope
  • Blindfolds
  • Cones or other items to create a mini trail

3. Egg Drop Challenge Activity

Egg drop activity

Number of People: Anything from 2 people or more in a group but try to keep each group to a maximum of 5.

Time Needed: 15 to 20 minutes is an ideal timeframe for this activity.

Intention: Work colleagues have to work together in this activity and trust each other’s instincts.

How to Run the Activity

This is another of those trust building team activities that is easy to organise and generates a lot of laughs for participants.

Start by handing out a different coloured egg to each group.

Next, give the groups a range of materials and office supplies, such as cardboard and other items that are around the office and that can be used.

To succeed in this activity challenge, each group is required to drop the egg from a certain height (I suggest 1 meter) onto the structure the group has made.

The egg has to land without the egg breaking.

Items Needed

  • Some eggs (painted in different colours)
  • Various materials that are available to use

4. The Eye Contact Activity

Eye contact activity

The next of our recommended trust building activities is one that works no matter how few or many participants you have.

Number of People: As long as you have 2 or more people you can very easily run this activity.

Time Needed: Each round lasts one minute but you can rotate people so that they try the activity with a couple of different people.

Intention: This activity builds trust and an emotional connection although it can also make people vulnerable.

How to Run the Activity

Match people up into random pairs and then ask them to directly face each other.

Then set a stopwatch and time them for one minute, during which they need to stare into each other’s eyes.

They might find it hard because a minute can be difficult given that staring at someone is quite intense.

Adapting it for Online Teaching: This activity can be adapted to be used for online teaching. Just match people up and put them in pairs into breakout rooms.

They will have to time themselves for one minute.

Whilst they wait to be called back into the main online meeting room, they can discuss the experience of trying the eye game.

Items Needed:

  • No items needed

5. Human Pinball

Human pinball activity

Number of People: Ideally you will have 8 to 10 people in each group.

Time Needed: You can run this activity a couple of times so that 3 or 4 people get to experience being in the middle, so allow 20 minutes for this activity.

Intention: To get the person in the middle who is blindfolded, to put their trust in their colleagues.

How to Run the Activity

Ask participants to form a circle of 8 people but you can make groups of 8 or 10 as needed. The circle should not be too big.

One person will go into the middle of the circle and put a blindfold on.

This person will then walk toward any edge of the circle, where they will then be very gently pushed back in another direction.

As they reach the edge of the circle again they will continue to be pushed (gently) in another direction.

The person in the middle cannot see and relies on and needs to trust the people in the circle to guide them.

Items Needed

  • One blindfold

6. Positive and Negative Thoughts

Positive and negative thoughts

Number of People: Pair participants up into twos.

Time Needed: 10 minutes is an ideal time for this activity.

Intention: To allow trust to build through sharing experiences.

How to Run the Activity

This is another of the simplest trust building activities which you can run.

Put people into pairs (try and mix up the pairs so that people are paired with someone they do not know so well).

Then ask them to spend 10 minutes telling each other about one negative experience and one positive experience.

They then discuss their experiences together.

Whilst an extremely simple training activity, this nonetheless can be a very powerful one as it gives participants a chance to get to know each other (it acts as an icebreaker), in addition to helping to build trust between each pair.

Items Needed

  • No items needed

7. Human Words

Human words activity

Number of People: 8 to 16 people is ideal for this activity.

Time Needed: I suggest allowing 15 minutes although you can use 10 – 20 minutes to suit the available time.

Intention: This is a handy trust activity that can also be used as a decision-making activity for employees if you wish. If you are looking also for team building activities that build trust, this is great fun, especially for employees in the workplace.

How to Run the Activity

This trust game is simple. Participants must choose a word, using their bodies together to form the word.

If you have a large group, you can have one participant act as a photographer to photograph the word that is created through the bodies.

Items Needed

  • No items needed

8. Perfect Square

Number of People: Groups of 2 – 6

Time Needed: 5 minutes

Intention: This is great both as an activity for getting employees to work together and building trust, as it does to improve their communication skills.

How to Run the Activity

Put participants together into groups (4 in a group is ideal) and give each person a blindfold and each group one long piece of rope.

Each group, when they have their blindfolds on, must try to form a perfect square, with their piece of rope.

To do this they will need to communicate well with each other.

Items Needed

  • One long string of rope
  • Blindfold for each person
Builing Trust Training Course Materials
>> See the Building Trust Training Course Materials

9. Snakes

This activity is a lot of fun and expect to hear lots of laughter during the activity. You might need a room which has some space.

Number of People: Teams of 5 to 8 ideally.

Time Needed: Allow 10 to 15 minutes. You can extend this to 20 minutes though if you wish to mix up teams and give them more than one chance to try this activity.

Intention: Most participants are blindfolded so they must communicate and work by trusting the signaller in the activity.

Snake activity

How to Run the Activity:

Split everyone into groups of 5 to 8 and then hand blindfolds out to everyone in each group except for one person in each group.

Get participants in each group to line up like a snake, i.e. each person is in a single file and they put their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them.

The person at the back of the snake will not wear a blindfold. All others will wear one.

Now place different objects around the room in random places and then start the activity.

The idea now is that each team (snake) is guided by the person at the back who can see where they are going.

The person at the back will tap the person in front of them either on the left or right shoulder to signify that the team (snake) needs to move left or right.

Each person taps the person in front of them and the intention is that the snake will be able to navigate toward one of the objects placed in the room.

If the room is fairly small, then you will only realistically have space for one snake.

In a large space such as a sports hall, you could have 4 or 5 snakes at the same time.

Items Needed

  • Lots of blindfolds

10. Trust Fall

Trust Fall activity

Number of People

This activity is ideal for any sized groups given that participants will be put into pairs.

Time Needed

I recommend allowing between 15 to 30 minutes for the Trust Fall activity, allowing time for setup, instructions, and for a general team conversation about how the activity went at the end.

Intention

The intention of this activity is to build trust between participants. This activity involves allowing oneself to be vulnerable and to rely on others so it’s one of the best trust building activities for workshops on trust.

How to Run the Activity

Start dividing groups into pairs or small groups.

Next, instruct one person in each pair to stand with their back to their partner or group.

Their partners will need to form a supportive stance, ready to catch the falling person.

The person falling should keep their body straight, arms crossed over their chest, and fall backward, trusting their partner(s) to catch them.

Ensure that everyone gets a chance to both fall and catch and if needed, rotate pairs if time allows, so participants experience trusting different team members.

At the end of the activity, it can be worthwhile holding a group discussion on what participants feel they learned and how they feel about the experience.

Items Needed

  • A clear, open space
  • Comfortable clothing for participants
Trust teaching materials
>> See the Building Trust Training Course Materials

11. Blindfolded Obstacle Course

Number of People: Ideal for any number of people as participants will work in pairs.

Time Needed: This is an outdoor activity that can be allocated 30 minutes but depending on the number of participants, you can allow up to 45 minutes for this activity.

Intention: The aim is to build trust by having blindfolded teammates guiding others through an obstacle course.

How to Run the Activity

Start by creating a fairly simple obstacle course using chairs, cones, or other objects.

Do though make it a safe area free of dangerous hazards (i.e. no stairs). This activity in fact is one that works best outdoors such as in a nearby field or park.

With everyone working in pairs, one person will put on a blindfold.

The other will guide them through the course using verbal instructions only.

Each pair takes turns navigating the course by rotating roles so everyone experiences both guiding and being guided.

Items Needed

  • Blindfolds
  • Cones to create an obstacle course

12. Trust Listening Circle

Trust listening circle activity

The Trust Listening Circle is one of the team building activities that builds trust without the need for any props or complicated set-up.

This is a great simple practice that fosters trust and aids respect between those in the trust listening circle.

Number of People: Between 5 and 8 people is the circle. Have more than one trust circle if you have a lot of participants in the session or workshop.

Time Needed: Allow 30 to 45 minutes for this activity so that everyone in the group has a chance to be a speaker.

Intention: The Trust Listening Circle is where one participant at a time shares a personal story or experience while others listen attentively without interrupting.

This activity is about creating a safe space for open communication where participants can build trust and build connections.

This trust-building activity helps:

  • Build trust among team members
  • Enhance active listening skills
  • Foster empathy and understanding
  • Encourage open and honest communication

How to Run the Activity:

It can be a good idea to set ground rules at the start of this activity and these ground rules I suggest can include:

  • You are not allowed to interrupt when someone is speaking.
  • Show respect and empathy towards others.

Each participant will take their turn sharing a story or experience.

It does NOT need to be anything too personal but ideally an interesting personal story.

After each story is shared, the other participants are encouraged to reflect on what they heard.

This can be done silently or through a brief sharing of thoughts and feelings.

The goal is to acknowledge the speaker’s experience and show appreciation for their openness.

Each person is given a chance to speak. The easiest way is to go around the circle.

Items Needed

  • No items except for a circle of chairs is needed.

13. Emotional Check-In

Emotions discussion

Number of People: This trust-building activity will work for any number of participants.

Time Needed: Typically this will be a 10-minute activity at the start of the training.

Intention: To foster a joint sense of support and trust from the start of the training.

How to Run the Activity

Towards the start of the session, sit participants down and go around the circle asking each person to share how they feel emotionally.

You can start this simply by asking, “How are you feeling emotionally today?”

Some participants may talk for a few minutes and others might speak for only a short time.

As the facilitator you might want first to share your own feelings to get the activity started.

Items Needed

  • Nothing more than a set of chairs set up in a circle.

14. Back-to-Back Drawing

Back-to-Back drawing activity

Number of People: You will place people into pairs so any number of people is suitable for this activity.

Time Needed: 20 minutes

Intention: The Back-to-Back Drawing activity is designed to improve communication, listening skills, and trust between participants.

This activity emphasizes the importance of clear, concise instructions and the ability to trust and follow guidance.

How to Run the Activity

Group participants into pairs and provide one person in each pair (the “describer”) with a simple image or pattern.

Do not use anything obvious such as the face of a cat as otherwise it might be too easy for the describer to say to draw the face of a cat!

Then give the other person (the “drawer”) a blank piece of paper and a pen or pencil.

Next, the describer needs to verbally communicate the details of the image to the drawer, who must draw the image based solely on the description.

The describer should give detailed and precise instructions without showing the image.

The drawer needs to listen carefully and ask clarifying questions if necessary, but they cannot look at the image.

At the end of the activity, the participants can compare the original image with what they have drawn.

Afterwards, have the group discuss what was challenging about the exercise, what communication techniques were effective, and how the activity made them feel about trust and reliance on clear instructions.

Items Needed

  • Simple images or patterns
  • Blank paper and pen/pencil
  • Chairs arranged back-to-back for each pair

15. Icebreakers

Icebreakers to build trust

Number of People: No set number but pair people up (and rotate them from each question).

Time Needed: 10 minutes

Intention: Icebreakers are great to use near the start of a training session as they help participants become more familiar with each other and they can in turn help develop trust as a result.

How to Run the Activity:

Choose a couple of questions and allocate every pair a question (they can discuss the same question between each pair).

Then rotate pairs and give them another question.

Some example questions are:

  • What is one thing that you might be surprised to know about me?
  • What is the thing you must enjoy to unwind away from work?
  • What famous person have you met or would like to one day meet?

Items Needed

  • A set of icebreaker questions prepared.

Benefits of Using Trust Building Activities in the Workplace

Trust-building activities help to promote open and honest communication, which in turn helps employees feel more comfortable sharing ideas and feedback, thus minimizing misunderstandings and enabling efficient problem-solving.

In a workplace where trust levels are high, innovation and creativity tend to be higher

This leads to greater innovation and more effective decision-making processes. Trust-building activities also support personal and professional growth by encouraging self-reflection and feedback.

Leaders who actively participate in and support these activities demonstrate their commitment to the team’s well-being, strengthening their relationships with employees and enhancing their leadership effectiveness.

You can find a range of other free training activities that can also be suitable for using in trust building workshops, as some activities do double up to be useful for various soft skills.

Make sure also to take a look at all of our other free training activities!

Training course materials
Dr Valeria Lo Iacono
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