There is much more to teamwork than just working together. This is especially true when playing an escape game, as you may be well-aware of if you’ve already had the opportunity to experience one. So what exactly is teamwork if it’s not just working together? Well, after witnessing countless teams come in and play our escape games, we have compiled a list of what we believe to be the five most important elements of teamwork. Take a look!
In life and in general, communication can include a wide variety of things. In terms of escape rooms, good communication means sharing your ideas and your discovered information with your teammates. Team members must never hesitate to communicate these things with their teammates, even if they think they might sound dumb, because believe it or not, often times the “dumb” ideas are the ones that end up providing new insight. If you’re not sharing your ideas with anybody else, the team may be missing out on some vital information. All in all, the effectiveness, success, and escape of your team can be greatly compromised without strong communication.
All team members should feel comfortable thinking and acting creatively and freely, and nobody should feel embarrassed or hesitant to share these things with others, or try new things as they see fit. If everybody just thought and acted “by the book” without trying anything new, it would make for one boring game - and probably an unsuccessful one too. As we have seen in our escape rooms time and time again, teams are often not able to succeed in escaping the room without at least a little bit of creativity up their sleeves!
3. Established Roles
As discussed in our previous blog, “The 4 Different Escape Room Roles,” it is quite common to see people taking on different roles within escape rooms, which typically stems from their personalities and various personal characteristics. This is extremely beneficial, as teams that possess a wide range of skills, abilities, or competencies are usually better equipped to overcome challenges and reach goals. In addition, sometimes the task at hand requires the team to split up in order to improve their efficiency. This may be referred to as the division of labor, as divvying up the work often maximizes speed and progress, especially when there are a lot of people involved. As always, it is important for all of the roles to regroup before your time is up, in order to put all of the puzzle pieces and information back together again.
4. Mutual Respect
Since there are most likely several different personalities and roles within one escape room, and no one role is more important than any other, it is critical to be respectful towards everybody. Although you may get caught up in the stress of wanting to win the game, you must remember that it is impossible to win the game without teamwork - and the very best teamwork always includes considering other people’s feelings and being empathetic towards others when necessary. At the end of the day, empathy is what makes the difference between a friendly, fun atmosphere, and an unpleasant, toxic one.
5. An End-Goal & Checkpoints
Lastly, setting goals is an essential part of teamwork. This includes having an end-goal in mind, developing a plan to reach your end-goal, and following through with your plans to make sure your end goal is achieved. In the case of escape room, your end-goal would obviously be escaping the room successfully. With several people working towards one goal, it is a good idea to have checkpoints within your 60-minute time frame in order to make sure everybody is on the same page and things are working effectively and efficiently. Having these checkpoints will allow your team to reevaluate and work out any kinks along the way if needed. Since you only have 60 minutes in one room, you don’t need very many checkpoints - maybe one or two, just to keep everybody on track.
After reading this post, hopefully you have a little bit of a better idea about what teamwork really is, especially in terms of an escape game. Keep these five very important elements of teamwork in mind the next time you come into Room To Escape to play an escape game, and maybe… just maybe… you’ll be successful in escaping the room within 60 minutes! ;)
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