The Most ...

This activity encourages the participants to process 10 trust-building guidelines according to different criteria. Ultimately, it enables the participants to select the best guideline to increase trust among team members.


To analyze different trust-building guidelines from different points of view.


Minimum: 4

Maximum: Any number

Best: 12 to 30


10 to 30 minutes


List of 10 guidelines for building trust. Make a copy of the handout for each participant.


  • Timer
  • Whistle

Room Setup

Tables with chairs around them to permit teamwork


Distribute the list of guidelines. Briefly introduce the topic of building trust. Give a copy of the handout with the list of 10 guidelines. Ask the participants to skim through the guidelines.

Individual selection. Ask the participants to work independently. Ask each person to review the 10 guidelines and select the most important one.

Team selection. Organize the participants to into two to ten teams, each with two to seven members. Ask the participants to share their personal selections with the other members of the team and jointly select the most important guideline.

Team presentations. After a suitable pause, invite one of the teams to read the guideline it selected. Then, ask the team to explain why it thinks this guideline is the most important one. Later, ask different teams to present and justify their selections.

Repeat the procedure with a different criterion. Ask the participants to repeat the same procedure (individual selection, sharing in teams, team selection, and presentation) to identify the most useful guideline from the list. After a suitable pause, invite a team to present and explain its selection. Then invite the other teams to present alternative selections.

Repeat the procedure with other criteria. Repeat the procedure as many rounds as time permits. During each round, use a different criterion to specify the type of guideline to be identified. Here are some suggested criteria:

  • The most radical point
  • The most logical point
  • The most complex point
  • The most surprising point
  • The most counter-intuitive point
  • The most interesting point
  • The most humorous point
  • The most disturbing point


Not enough time? You can speed up the activity by conducting only one round.

Ample time? You can play several rounds of the activity. You can also divide the participants into larger numbers of teams.


You can ask the participants (and teams) to select the top two guidelines related to each criterion.

Adapting this Activity

This particular activity explores the trust-building process. You can use the structure of the activity as a template for exploring other soft skills. All you need to do is to create list of about 10 guidelines related to your training topic. Here are some sample topics that lend themselves to The Most … template:

  • Conflict Resolution
  • Networking
  • Conversational Skills
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Management


Building Trust

A proven fact: The higher your trust level, the more engaged, productive, and creative you become. Here are some pieces of advice for increasing your trustworthiness.

  1. Authenticity builds trust: Be spontaneous. Don’t follow a script. Don't play a role. Don’t spin. Don’t wear a mask.
  2. Build trust through selflessness: Don’t hoard your skills to make others dependent on you. Share your skills with colleagues and teammates.
  3. Demonstrate that you have the other person's interest at heart. Find out what this person wants and provide it.
  4. Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know”. Then, rapidly close the gaps in your knowledge.
  5. Generally, differences are easy to spot and similarities are difficult to discover. Invest the time to discover and celebrate similarities.
  6. Genuinely care for others. Listen to their grievances, problems, hardships, and complaints. Do something to help and support them.
  7. Predictability builds trust: Do what you are hired to do and expected to do. Acquire a reputation for producing consistent results.
  8. Selflessness builds trust: Be a speaker for inarticulate people. Champion the cause of the less fortunate.
  9. Similarities build trust: Discover and discuss similarities between your family life and that of the other person.
  10. Win trust by consoling your friend when he or she shares bad news. Also by celebrating with your friend when he or she shares good news.