The Sugar Cube tower challenge is a team-building activity that focuses on trust and communication. It is quite a daunting and interesting task to partake in, cause of the kind of rules involved.
First, you get a team of two- a builder and a coach. These individuals will stand opposite each other with a table in the middle. They are provided with sugar cubes which are spread on the table, this is needed to proceed with the challenge.
Now the instructions of the game include:
- One of the team members will be a coach that can only guide and not touch any cube,
- The builder’s job is to arrange the cubes following instructions,
- The coach tells the builder where to put the cubes and arrange them to build a tower
At this point, it still looks easy right?
It gets interesting when you find out that, the builder must have their eyes closed, head up, and dominant hand placed at their back while the coach, on the other hand, is not allowed to touch the builders’ hands to guide. This is probably the only time sugar cubes will probably make you cry.
With the stakes raised so high and all odds against your favor, the success of your tower rests completely on the trust you have for your coach, how good your coach can communicate and how good you can listen.
After a Monday meeting in our office, we tried out the challenge with 3 teams “A” “B” “C” with 2 members each and 5 minutes to build their towers. It started with teams trying clumsily to figure out ways to construct their towers and failing.
Team “A” was fast and disoriented with poor communication.
Team “B” was steady but lacked a proper foundation.
while Team “C” was a bit slow but very steady and made solid progress with clean communication and cooperation to build the tallest and most steady tower because they shared good communication.
With the rest of the office watching and at the edge of our seats throughout the activity, we enjoyed the tense and funny moments as it went on. It ended with Team C being victorious because they had the key elements of successful teamwork in their process, which are; Communication, Trust and Cooperation.