"Form a Square" Leadership Ice Breaker

by Durba Bhattacharya

Group Size: Small (5) but large group can split into small groups of 5

Group Abilities: Some physical activity
Icebreaker purpose: Communication and teamwork
Materials: Rope or string at least 16 metres long, plus 4 blindfolds
Time: 20 minutes


Split your group into small groups of five people. Ask each group to decide who will be their leader. Once a leader is chosen, give them rope and ask the rest of the group to blindfold themselves, perhaps with handkerchiefs.

Goal: The group has to make a perfect square under the verbal guidance of their leader.

Trick of the game: When they are about to start, ask a few onlookers to twist the group members around so that they are puzzled with their positions.

Most likely, the group will blunder and be unable to form a square. Once they have succeeded, given up, or run out of time, remove the blindfolds and ask each participant what good and bad qualities of the leader made the game a blunder or a victory. Was the leader decisive? A clear communicator? Did she or he explain directions in an easy-to-understand way?

Jot down all the positive and negative points the group thinks a leader should or should not have and use those to start your discussion.

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