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Trust your team… it’s blindingly obvious

November 25, 2013

Trust is a two way street, and developing trust within your team can be a key strategy to driving the business forward. 

Our blindfolded 4x4 driving course is a great trust exercise

We recently re-discovered this piece from the Times (March 3, 2005) about our blindfolded 4×4 driving course.  A perfect event for demonstrating and developing trust… and a lot of fun to boot.

“Make tracks for a blinding ride

Whoever came up with the idea of the 4×4 driving course run by Fresh Tracks had a mischievous sense of humour.  “It’s a cross between a development took and a communications exercise” says Dan Collins, the managing director.  “And a lot of fun, too.”

The fun starts when work colleagues are split into teams of four and ushered towards their vehicle.  The first nominated driver sits behind the wheel while the others pile in the back.  The driver then surveys the course in front – before being blindfolded.

“The rest of the team have to act as the driver’s eyes,” says Collins. “Generally, what happens on the first attempt is that more than one person will shout directions and some will do it with more than a touch of irritation in their voice, they’ll scream, ‘Go left, left, LEFT!’”  Another good one, apparently, is to shout, “Over there,” which isn’t a great help when the driver can’t see.

After this first lap of the course, a second person will take over the driving, usually finding things slightly easier, with improved, calmer, instructions.  To stop it getting dull on round three, the words “left”, “right”, and “straight on” are banned.  “To be honest, they come up with all kinds of strange things.  The driver has to decode all this, so it provides a bit of entertainment.  Then, by the time driver four has a go, we ban speech.”

Sarah Todd, a senior secretary, sampled the course recently as part of a departmental team-building exercise for Atisreal, the chartered surveyors.  “It was absolutely amazing,” she recalls.  “When they banned speech we used ‘moo’ for straight on, ‘baa’ for left and ‘oink’ for right.  So you’re blindfolded, driving a four-wheel drive vehicle, and your boss is in the back seat, screaming “Baaaaa, BAAAA!”

But is there a serious side to all this? “Of course,” Collins says.  “It shows people how verbal communication can be effective or ineffective – and what aspects help you to get your message across.  Also, some people find it quite unnerving to trust their colleagues in this way.  They’re in control as the driver, but reliant on their team for vital information at the same time.””

Steve Smethurst, Times Online, March 3 2005

If you fancy having a go at this challenge, contact us for availability at mail@varndev.co.uk

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