This is a sample of my new Team Building Booklet 8 Variations of Infinite Loops. This is 1 variations….for ALL 8 and they are very excellent you can purchase the entire Team Building Book


Team Building for innovation. Michael Cardus

8 Variations of Infinite Loops takes a fresh and creative approach to a common team building activity. Each variation can be used as a stand alone, or can be sequenced into an experiential learning and team building program. These variations all focus on creating better teams that are able to work together to solve problems and innovate solutions. To purchase all 8 variations Click Here


Partner Separation


Outcomes & Objectives:

  • Get to know others
  • Exercise in solution finding
  • Developing resiliency
  • Communicating lessons learned throughout the group


  • 1 Infinite Loop per/person. See How to make the Infinite Loop on page 7.

Group Size:

  • Ideally 6 – 20 is a good size.
  • Larger and smaller groups can accomplish this activity. With adjustments, this activity can be led for as few as two, or as many as 2000 or more.

Time Frame:

  • 20 – 45 minutes, including processing.


Ensure that you know how to complete this challenge. Practice, practice, and then practice more. Simply reading this will not prepare you for the possible challenges and the questions you will get from the group.

Go through all of your Infinite Loops and check the knots. Always have more Infinite Loops than people you are expecting.

This activity can take place while people are sitting at a table and/or standing. Make sure that there is sufficient space for people to spread out and move around as necessary.

Instructions and Facilitator Script:

This can be confusing to many people and it should be, allow for confusion and frustration.

Here is one way to introduce the activity. You may choose to modify it for your needed outcomes.

“In a moment, we are going to be involved in a process of problem solving, and working with our brains and team mates to find solutions to complex problems. When working in teams and finding solutions, it doesn’t matter to your brain whether we are separating Infinite Loops, crunching numbers on a spread-sheet, or learning something new. To your brain, solving problems is solving problems. The more we can, as a team, solve problems and then discuss how we solved problems, what was learned and how to apply that back to our lives, the better equipped we will be when these challenges arise outside of here.”

At this point, have the participants get with their partner. There are many ways you can do this, you decide what is best. If there is an odd number of participants make one team of three people, the set up is the same.

Have these guidelines written on a flipchart paper or on a slide.

  • The overall objective is to get everyone free from their partner so they can walk away.
  • One partner places their wrists in the loops. The other partner then places one of their hands in one loop, takes the other end of the rope and intertwines once with the partner’s rope before placing the other wrist in their loop. You will want to physically show people how to do this.
  • Once the partners are connected, the ropes must remain, at all times, on the wrists they started on.
  • Partners cannot switch ropes, or take their hands out of the ropes.
  • The knots must remain tied as they are and you cannot physically alter the ropes or knots or partners.


Allow a brief time for questions and clarification. Be careful not to reveal too much, this is supposed to be challenging.

As the activity progresses, walk around and observe the teams. Look for information and specific actions that can be brought up during the processing time. For example, if one team or one person knows the answer do they share and help the rest of the team or do they keep the information to themselves? The objective is for the information to spread and everyone to be free from their partner. This is when your judgment as a facilitator is needed. How much do you interfere with the team? When should you comment?

Allow the group to work on the task for about 10 minutes. Next, ask everyone to stop and gather around you.

Ask some initial questions:

  • What is your initial reaction to this activity?
  • What if anything is working so far?
  • How are you measuring progress and setbacks?
  • How might you act if you knew the solution?

“In a moment I am going to show you the solution. Following that, you are going to go back to your partner and practice for three minutes. Practice getting separated, then reconnect, then separate again. Even when you think you know it, keep practicing, we want to move your skills from rote copying to personal mastery of this process.”






Verbal Instructions this can be tricky, practice.

  • Step 1: Partner and you face each other.
  • Step 2: Grab the middle of your partner’s rope
  • Step 3: Take your partners rope and it goes from your elbow UP your palm
  • Step 4: Over your fingers
  • Step 5: Down the back of your hand
  • Step 6: A slight pull and you are separated!

Allow at least three minutes for practice and mastery. Walk around and offer tutoring and help as needed. Remind the teams to keep practicing this skill.

Following the three minutes for mastery, pull the team together for some processing.

Facilitator Notes:

As mentioned earlier, YOU MUST MASTER THIS.

Sometimes when separating, the ropes will wrap twice around each other this happened because you sent the rope to the wrong wrist. This explanation is often the most challenging to explain. Practice will make you a master at this.

Remember that this challenge is about finding solutions and developing resiliency. Let the team struggle. When you feel the energy dropping, you may supply some clues.

Potential Processing Questions:

· At what point did this activity seem impossible?

· What made you continue, even though it may have seemed impossible?

· What was the objective of this challenge?

· Did you notice that in the beginning everyone did the same thing?

· Why was that?

· On a scale of 0 – 10; with 0 being “give up easily” and 10 being “never give up” where would you place yourself?

· If you were two points higher on the same scale, how would you approach problems differently?

· Do you currently approach anything like that already, even a little bit?

· Looking at what you accomplished so far, what lessons can you take with you?

· How might you apply those lessons outside of here?


This is a sample of my new Team Building Booklet 8 Variations of Infinite Loops. This is 1 of the variations….for ALL 8 and they are very excellent you can purchase the entire Team Building Book.



michael cardus is create-learning