Last night we all decided to go to an escape room in the mall. I was excited because I’ve heard about them but have never actually gone myself.
The 15 of us split up into 3 groups of 5. My group (Myself, Keith, Josh, Abbey, and Michelle) did the “Do not disturb” room, where we had to find clues, solve problems, and unlock compartments to ultimately find a code and escape the motel room in under one hour. We were the only group to finish and did so with 1 minute 20 seconds left and used only 1 clue!
Since we were the only group to finish and escape before time ran out, I believe the members of our group and their strengths worked well together. I felt that we had a strong level of communication which helped us tremendously. Since we were randomly assigned groups right before playing, we had no time to strategize beforehand. We had to adapt to the situation at the moment and work together without any planning.
Looking back on the experience, at comparing our strengths can help explain our success. My strengths in order are Harmony, Discipline, Restorative, Consistency, Relator. I believe Harmony translated well to this activity because, from the start, I did my best to make sure every group member was on the same page before we continued. In order to make progress, everyone had to be in agreement and tackle one problem at a time. I believe my ability to help reach a consensus and prevent negative conflict within the group helped us effectively problem solve.
The other two strengths of mine that helped were Discipline and Restorative. I used Restorative when I was actively trying to connect clues in my head and make connections to clues we may have seen earlier. I also used Discipline because I enjoyed organizing the clues either mentally or physically so that they weren’t forgotten. I encouraged us to lay out clues to better visualize what was going on and make more of a systematic, routine approach to cracking each code.
The special thing about the escape room is that it takes a range of strengths to tackle a variety of puzzles. I believe my other group member’s different strengths are what created a diverse group and lead to our success. Keith’s main skills were Strategic and Analytical, both were helpful when we were trying to open locks and dealing with numbers and morse code. Josh’s were Woo and Positivity, both helping keep a positive and productive atmosphere, not letting us get discouraged. Michelle and I had similar skills, Restorative and Discipline which helped us keep order and focus on details. Abbey’s skill was Belief, which helped generate out of the box ideas (laying down on blanket) which helped us find a clue.
Looking back on it, I didn’t really feel that any of us took a “leadership” role. I think this had to do with the limited time and resources we had. We split up the work and thought as individuals and converged our ideas rather than taking directions from one individual. Overall, I had a fun time and feel like I learned about how my skills were put to use in this problem-solving simulation. I now have a better understanding of how my skills can be put to use for projects in the future and also what type of skills I work well with.