Team activity — Mistake meetings

This team-building activity can help develop a sense of openness and trust amongst the team.

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Time required

Approximately 30 minutes, depending on the group size.


In a workplace where mistakes are concealed for fear of reprisal, hidden problems can become dangerous or costly. The goal of this activity is to imagine and work toward a workplace where mistakes are seen as part of learning, and solutions are shared among team members to prevent the same mistake from being repeated.

As a leader, you can set the tone by sharing one or more mistakes that you’ve made since the last meeting. Follow up by sharing how you corrected the mistake, or use this opportunity to ask for ideas to problem solve the situation.

If you think your team or workplace will react strongly to the word “mistake”, you can ask them to share a “challenge” instead; the intent would be the same.

Ask the participants to be sure to have at least one mistake to share for this meeting. They can either share what they did to correct it or ask for help to solve a problem. Set the ground rules up front by stating that it’s not the intention to belittle or ridicule anyone for the mistake they choose to share. 

Suggested wording

In any organization where continual improvement and innovation are expected, we’ll make mistakes. The goal is to learn from our mistakes. One way that we can do this is by sharing our experiences and either sharing how we corrected the mistake or asking the team for help to solve the problem. 

I’m going to go first, and at subsequent meetings, you’ll each be expected to bring something to the meeting that you can share but a challenge you’ve encountered or a mistake that you’ve made. 

Here’s a mistake that I made recently […] 


In some workplaces, team members may be reluctant at first, but if you can be forthcoming in sharing your mistakes, over time this process can encourage people to be open about mistakes rather than trying to hide them. It also provides an opportunity for the team to help each other improve the quality of their work. 

Find more activities like this at Team building activities.

Contributors include.articlesMary Ann BayntonWorkplace Strategies team 2007-2021

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