For our second day in Charlotte, we spent an hour at an escape room called Breakout. This was my second time attempting to solve an escape room and from my prior experience, I knew what I was walking into. Escape rooms require a very cohesive team in order to communicate effectively. Communication is so important because you only have an hour and you absolutely have to work together to finish in time.
Our room was quite intense in my opinion and it began with us being blindfolded and put in handcuffs. We were told we could remove our blindfolds and a short video played explaining that we had been kidnapped after being on a hijacked airplane. We were told we needed to escape our handcuffs and figure out the hijacker’s plan and escape the room before it “blew up” in an hour. Erin, Jordan, Mike, Matt and I began searching for keys to the handcuffs individually and not saying much besides making jokes to one another. Before the first 10 minutes were through, we had to ask the employee of Breakout who was watching us over a camera for a clue. When we figured out how to find the key, we needed to help each other unlock the cuffs which I believe helped us realize that we needed to work together more than we were initially. Our first half hour was honestly spent trying to figure out little clues on our own before bringing them to the group’s attention. That first half hour was very ineffective, but once we all started to tackle the clues together we started to make a lot of progress. In the end we did not finish solving the mystery; we were only two clues away from typing in the code to unlock the door. In the second half hour of our escape room, I would say we solved a majority of the clues. We all began to communicate and put our brains together, and if we had begun like that, I think we would have found the solution and escaped the room before time was up. This was a really good team building exercise and personally I think I can take away a lot from it.
As part of the business school, each of us had to take a personality test called StrengthsFinder. This test indicated that my strongest strength is that I am competitive. The dark side of that strength is that I can tend to rely on only myself. I think our group as a whole began the escape room in the mindset, but really came together in the end. Now that I know each of my group member’s strengths, I can see how the different ones really did work together. Those who scored high in arranger and harmony did a lot to help everyone communicate and those with strengths like activator or achiever were always drawing different things to the groups attention or trying to make everyone see the clues in a different light. I’m impressed by how we came together in the end and am definitely more conscious of how I’d like to continue developing my own team work skills.