Updated: December 01, 2023

How to Do Trust Falls: Step by Step

You have found our guide on how to do trust falls.

Trust falls are exercises where one colleague falls backward and trusts their peers to catch them on the way down. The purpose of trust falls is to teach team members they can rely on one another. By learning to trust each other outside the office, teams can feel more comfortable collaborating on work projects.

Trust falls are among the most well-known trust building activities and can be used as a team building strategy.


Here we go!

How to do trust falls

When it comes to team building exercises, trust falls are among the most classic activities. Here are the steps to complete a trust fall experience.


  1. Since folks will fall backward during a trust fall, you must choose a spacious area. Selecting a wide enough spot for colleagues to form a circle is important.
  2. If possible, add a crash mat in case the catchers accidentally drop their coworkers.
  3. As the name suggests, this fall relies on coworkers trusting each other. If any workers are uncomfortable with falling or catching, then they should be allowed to sit out.
  4. Team building activities are most effective when participants understand their purpose. Before starting, explain that the falls are meant to show teams they can rely on one another, even in scary situations.


  1. Have the participants form a semicircle or straight line facing the individual who will be falling. Catchers should stand shoulder to shoulder, leaving a comfortable gap between them.
  2. Assign a “buddy” to each individual doing the trust fall. The buddy will offer verbal encouragement and guidance during the fall.
  3. The employee falling should stand tall and cross their arms across their chest, maintaining a relaxed posture. The falling individual should have their back to the group.
  4. The catchers should keep their arms up and extended, ready to catch the falling colleague.
  5. Be sure to encourage the falling member to communicate with their buddy. The buddy can count down before falling, which offers a sense of control and predictability.
  6. As an example, ask a volunteer to demonstrate the trust fall. This individual should stand with their back to the group and arms crossed over their chest. The volunteer will fall backward, and the group will catch them.
  7. For the first few rounds, encourage the staff member falling to take small steps backward before falling into the group’s arms. This step helps build confidence and establishes trust.
  8. As the worker falls backward, the catchers should catch and guide them back to a standing position. The group should catch their coworker gently rather than stop the fall abruptly.


  1. After each worker has had a chance to do a trust fall, gather the group and discuss their experiences. Consider asking participants how they felt, what challenges they encountered, and how it felt to trust and be trusted.
  2. Be sure to encourage participants to share the lessons they learned about communication, trust, and teamwork. Then, discuss how the team can apply these lessons to real-life situations.

When to use trust falls

Trust falls are a great addition to many types of team building events.

Here are some examples:

You can include this quick activity in nearly any workplace-related activity.

Why use trust falls

Teams can enjoy a wide variety of benefits from incorporating trust falls into their routines.

Here are some reasons why folks may like to use trust falls:

  • Trust falls aim to cultivate trust among participants. Teams might want to do a trust fall to practice mutual trust, which can contribute to more positive and open relationships.
  • Trust is the foundation of a strong team, so trust falls are a great addition to a team building agenda. This exercise can foster a sense of unity and cooperation.
  • Trust falls require effective communication between the individual falling and the group catching. Folks seeking to improve their coordination skills may opt for trust falls as a hands-on exercise.
  • For some folks, falling backward can be anxiety-inducing. Participating in a trust fall can serve as a way to overcome personal fears and build self-confidence and resilience.
  • Trust falls encourage vulnerability and openness. This process can help break down emotional barriers and create a more inclusive and supportive environment.
  • Leaders who want to lead by example might choose to participate in trust falls to demonstrate their willingness to trust and be trusted. This experience will set a positive tone for the team.
  • Participating in a trust fall can be a confidence booster. This activity will remind individuals of their abilities and foster a positive self-image.
  • Trust falls can be used to address conflicts, helping individuals build trust and overcome personal issues.
  • Trust falls encourage participants to pay attention to their own emotions as well as the feelings of others.
  • Participants can apply the skills learned through trust falls to real-life situations. Trust, communication, and cooperation can assist during personal and professional scenarios.

Alongside all these benefits, trust falls are a great activity because they are so easy to incorporate into any event.


Regularly hosting team building activities with colleagues is a great way to boost morale, create connections, and improve communication. Trust falls are an excellent addition to your team building rotation. By participating in trust falls, your team can learn what it feels like to trust one another outside the office. Then, folks can translate that trust into effective workplace collaboration. The best part about this exercise is it requires little prep and materials.

Next up, check out our lists on team building exercises, improv games, and books on building trust.

FAQ: How to do trust falls

Here are answers to common questions about how to do trust falls.

What are trust falls?

Trust falls are a simple team building exercise where one colleague falls backward and their whole team catches them.

How do you do trust falls safely?

Trust falls are relatively safe, but you can take steps to improve the activity’s security further.

To do trust falls safely, there are a few elements to consider:

  1. Choose a large enough space.
  2. Have enough team members to catch.
  3. Include a crash mat in case any participant slips.
  4. Give each falling member a buddy.
  5. Focus on clear and consistent communication.

By following these guidelines, teams can do as many trust falls as they would like safely.

Why do people do trust falls?

People do trust falls because they require little preparation and minimal materials. Plus, these falls make for a quick team building experience that folks can incorporate into almost any workplace event.

Should you do trust falls with your team?

You should do trust falls with your team if you are looking to improve communication, boost team relationships, and create a strong dynamic. Additionally, trust falls can act as a great icebreaker activity for teams who do not know each other well yet.

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People & Culture Director at teambuilding.com.
Grace is the Director of People & Culture at TeamBuilding. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.

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