The Trust Line Exercise
Trust Line is a powerful trust-building physical exercise to promote empathy and collaboration in the group.
Form one straight line, with one half of the group facing the other half of the group. Invite a volunteer (the faller) to stand between the the two people facing each other in the middle of the line.
The two people directly facing the ‘faller’ will assume a spotter’s stance, ie one foot forward, hands up, eyes straight ahead. The volunteer assumes a comfortable ‘faller’ position, ie arms crossed on chest, feet together, body firm.
Upon issuing a series of ‘Are you ready?’ calls, the faller will choose to lean forwards or backwards into the waiting arms of one of the two spotters. This spotter will absorb the weight of the faller, and then gently return them to their starting position.
With a little momentum, this gentle push will allow the the faller to lean gently into the arms of the other spotter. After each spotter has returned the faller to their starting position, they will immediately step out of the line to their left and join the end of the line they were facing.
Immediately, the next person in line steps forward and prepares to ‘spot’ the faller when they next lean towards their direction. The faller aims to rock back and forth many times, supported by a series of new individual spotters with each lean.
Spotters constantly change their position relative to the faller, as much as the line in which they are standing. Allow this gentle rocking process to continue for 15 to 30 seconds, then stop.
Invite a new volunteer to become the next faller. Continue until everyone has been given the opportunity to be a faller.
Moment of Reflection
- How did it feel to be the faller? Why?
- As a faller, what helped you feel comfortable or uncomfortable?
- As a spotter, what did you observe or feel?
- What skills do you think this exercise developed within the group?
- What might our experience in this exercise teach us about how to look after one another?