Team Building – Worksheets

The following activity promotes team building and is used by many managers to establish a strong bond of communication between members of a team, who just got acquainted with one another, as in the case of a new team. This activity also helps them in acquiring problem-solving skills as a team. The team members are made to analyze information, negotiate conditions and cooperate. The manager will need to book a big, largely furniture-free room for this.

The participants are given a scenario, most commonly a shipwreck incident. The members of the team are told to pretend that they are all sailors and they have been shipwrecked. They only have a lifeboat, in which each of them is currently seated, after being rescued off the sinking ship.


The team has salvaged a few random items from the ship just before the ship sank. The team members must now arrange these items in an ascending order of importance. Members must agree which items are most important for their survival.

The list of items salvaged is given in the following worksheet in the first column. The second column is where the teammates are supposed to fill up their own order of priorities. In the third column, they are supposed to get a team ranking. This is where they need to discuss with their team and arrange the objects in priority.

The manager should give them plenty of time to brainstorm and clash ideas to get to the final priority list. This will give the team ample time to counter reason with reason and will give the manager an acute idea of the different perspectives of problem solving.

Objects Salvaged Round-1 Round-2
Your Ranking Team’s Ranking
Mosquito Net
Fuel Canister
Water Bottle
Shaving Razor
Emergency Food
Sea Map
Floating Cushion
Waterproof Blanket
Fishing Rod
Bottle of Rum

In some cases, the team may have an aggressive member who would try and trivialize all items and push them down the order. In that case, the manager can provide the rest of the team a counter-argument, which they can use against him. A list of such counter-arguments is given below −

Objects Salvaged Functional Counter-arguments
Mosquito Net Needed to keep insects from biting and spreading diseases
Fuel Canister Needed to form fire signal
Water Bottle Needed to store water
Matchsticks Needed to light fuel on fire
Compass Needed to determine direction
Emergency Food Needed to sustain energy
Sea Map Needed to find nearest land site
Floating Cushion Needed to keep a person falling aboard by accident afloat
Rope Needed to tie the floating cushion as a troll behind the boat
Watch Needed to keep track of time
Waterproof Blanket Can be used to collect rainwater, or protection against rain
Fishing Rod Needed to catch fish and feed
Harpoon Needed to stave off attacks from predatory sea creatures.
Bottle of Rum Needed as disinfectant on wounds