What is A Trust Fall?
A Trust Fall is a team building activity where one member of the team stands on a raised platform.
They then fall backwards standing upright in a rigid position usually with their eyes closed relying on the support of their other team members to catch them.
It requires the person falling to trust their other team members to catch them before they hit the ground.
Why Use A Trust Fall?
This quick team building activity is all about support and trust and is a great tool to use when in the forming stage of team development.
In addition, the Harvard Business Review shared “People at high-trust companies compared to low-trust companies report:
- 74% less stress
- 106% more energy at work
- 50% higher productivity
- 13% fewer sick days
- 76% more engagement
- 29% more satisfaction with their lives
- 40% less burnout”
How to Conduct a Simple Trust Fall
Equipment Required: Raised platform (elevation around 1-2 meters is ideal but can be done from Ground level)
Space Required: Minimal. Delivered either indoors or outdoors.
Group Size: 10 to 15 ideally.
Total Time: 20 mins
- 5 minutes brief and set up
- 10 minutes for everyone to try the challenge
- 5 minutes Review
Activity Brief Instructions
- One person is selected (or volunteers) to try the challenge first. They stand on the raised platform, waiting for their teammates. The rest of the group should form 2 vertical lines facing each other on ground level.
- The volunteer (faller) should stand with their back to the rest of the team, with their arms crossed.
- A stable landing area should be provided by the rest of the team using their arms to protect the faller.
- Once everyone is ready and in position, the volunteer should freely fall in the direction of the catchers.
- The aim of the catchers is to catch the faller, so they may need to adjust themselves to ensure the volunteer lands safely in the landing area.
- Once you have completed the first fall. Take time to discuss it with the group. Asking them how they found it? Allow all members of the team to take turns as the faller.
Suggested Learning Outcomes
- Increased Teamwork
- Greater Support and Trust
- Improved Comfort Zone with Team
Suggested Review Questions
- Did you have any hesitation before falling?
- How did you feel having to rely on others to support you?
- How did you manage the safety of the person falling?
- What did you do to protect them?
- Can you relate this challenge to a time when you have had to rely on others?
- Is there anything that stops you from trusting others around you in the workplace or classroom?
More Trust Building Activities
For more trust-building activities, please check out our Team Building Activity Books, which include printable instructions for the Trust Walk (Activity Book 1) and Trust Circle (Book 2). Click here to take a look…
- The Neuroscience of Trust, Harvard Business Review https://hbr.org/2017/01/the-neuroscience-of-trust
- Trust in teams: A taxonomy of perceived trustworthiness factors and risk-taking behaviors in face-to-face and virtual teams, https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0018726718818721#_i12
- The relationship between trust and team performance, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/235300959_The_relationship_between_trust_and_team_performance