Start with Gratitude
Leading Team Building Games -- Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

Team Building Game: Inhuman Knot

Here is a great team building game that uses simple props, is easy to transport (in your pocket) and is fun and challenging.  You need at least 12 people (two groups of 6) to play this game.

It's the perfect teamwork activity to help teams explore problem solving, creating messes, and cleaning up after others.




Would you like to lead this teambuilding game with your group?

When you become a member of the International Association of Teamwork Facilitators (details here) you'll receive immediate access to the growing online archive of IATF teambuilding games.  Write-ups of the teambuilding games include:

  • Setup & Preparation directions
  • Rules
  • Comments and insights about the teambuilding game
  • Debriefing suggestions
  • Variations
  • Detailed "how to make it" if props are involved
  • Video clips and photos

CLICK HERE for a sample teambuilding game write-up.

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Mike Cardus

I use this activity often with the corporate groups I work with, I also learned this activity from Sam Sikes. I call it Knotty Business just for a fun pun on words. I raise the issues of cleaning up others messes, in the vein of shift changes in companies, or the pass it along syndrome. Allowing them to reflect upon the process of messing up and then having the other team in essence unravel their mess. I also have found some good analagies to communication and process untanglement. Then I refer the process of using time to make a mess when through a reflection of the structure (Lean Management) groups can utilize their time and resources properly allocating time and resources to where they are most needed in a process.

Denise Owens

Following are questions I thought may be helpful in debriefing this exercise. I'm leading it for the first time this evening, so I'll let you know how it worked out!

Debrief questions:
1. What are the challenges in inheriting someone else’s knot or tangled problem? Was your team successful in untangling the knot? Was it easy or hard to untangle the knot? What skills did your group use to find success? What skills could you have used to be more successful? Would it have been easier to untangle your team's knot? Why is it difficult to untangle someone else’s knot?

Thanks for sharing this activity.


This looks like a great activity. Can you share how long each rope should be and what kind of rope to buy? Thank you!

Hi Ann -- You can find complete lead-it-yourself instructions at the IATF online teambuilding games archive here: Learn about all the IATF member benefits here:

Lebogang Mogale

Great teambuilding activity. Thank you very much
-upcoming facilitator South Africa-

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