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Simulation Exercise, Exercise, Group Division, Group Building Activity

The Labyrinth – Leadership, communication and innovation, all in one game

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Participants go through a maze encountering obstacles that prevent them from reaching the exit point. Team building, leadership, communication and innovation - all in one.

Aims of the tool

This game develops leadership skills (some participants will take a leading role in organising the group to get the job done), communication skills (the group needs to develop a solution together) and innovation / problem solving skills (the solution part).

Description of the tool

Note that you have all the materials in the attachments including the rules.

o Draw on the floor 9×16 squares. You can use tape (or chalk)
o Give the participants the instructions:
o Every person goes in The Labyrinth alone, takes a step and waits for you to tell them what’s in the new square.
o Any mistakes they make (e.g. if they hit a wall), they need to go back following the exact path they came.
o If it’s not a wall, they take another step.
o The objective is to reach the exit on the opposite side.
o And the rules: (5′)
o No notes or recordings of any type. The Labyrinth is not about visual memory.
o You can’t talk while there’s someone inside the Labyrinth.
o You can’t signal the person inside The Labyrinth.
o There is a birthday spot inside (put an empty chair there to signal it and some noise-making tools). The person in the birthday spot will make a lot of noise and they can be rescued if anyone else arrives in their square. Rescue the princess!
o Every 5th mistake the participants make (as a group), the unlucky guy or girl goes to the birthday spot (replacing the one inside).
o Start the game. It gets clearer once the people get inside the labyrinth.

Here are some photos with students playing the game: and .


I’m using The Active Reviewing methodology for the reviewing section:


o Find out what happened using Action Replay (ART).
o What happened?
o What were the difficulties?
o How did you solve them?


o Draw a “morale map” using Storyline (ART).
o Did anyone think it was not possible? Did you feel discouraged?
o Who felt nobody was listening to them? Why?
o Who was the leader? Does everyone agree? Where they chosen or self proclaimed?
o Was the leader the loudest?
o Did the leaders empower the people with solutions?


o Use Horseshoe (ART) for questioning.
o If you’d repeat The Labyrinth without knowing the solution, what would happen?
o How can you empower the people that have good solutions when so many solutions are presented?


o Use Missing Person.
o Can we create Jimmy, the person with all the abilities that we lack and the qualities that we desire? Let’s draw him and/or interview him. Is he the perfect leader or the perfect problem solver?
o What metaphor can you derive from this game? How can you apply it to your life? (E.g. The game is like starting a business, at first you think it’s impossible because everything is unknown and there are dangers at each step but you can reach the end if you take it one step at a time.)

Alternative instructions

o You can separate the middle of the labyrinth with a tape of a different color. It’s easier to visually remember The Labyrinth. (But do you want to make it easier?)
o Give the participants the challenge to draw the labyrinth and time them. Keep the timings of different categories of groups and create friendly competition. (E.g. architecture students are faster than math students).
o The birthday spot can hold multiple people.
o Do it in groups: European, Chinese, mixed.
o Set a square (or put a sofa) where the trainer sits comfortably


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SALTO cannot be held responsible for the inappropriate use of these training tools. Always adapt training tools to your aims, context, target group and to your own skills! These tools have been used in a variety of formats and situations. Please notify SALTO should you know about the origin of or copyright on this tool.

Tool overview

The Labyrinth – Leadership, communication and innovation, all in one game

This tool addresses

Group Dynamics, Project Management, Personal Development, Conflict Management, Organisational Management

It is recommended for use in:

Youth Exchanges
Training and Networking

Materials needed:

Tape (enough for 9×16 squares representing half a square metre each (775 inches)).
An empty chair for the birthday spot.
Noise-making tools. (You can find them in any supermarket’s birthdays section).
The printed version of the maze (you’ll need it to correlate where the participants are to the challenges in the maze).


1 hour for a group of 12 people.

Behind the tool

The tool was created by

Bogdan Vaida (derived from a basic maze from Ralph Kolen at Experiential Educators Europe)

The tool has been experimented in

an intercontinental training in China, and in other trainings around the world

The tool was published to the Toolbox by

Bogdan Vaida (on 2 September 2017)

and last modified

13 July 2017

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