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Colourblind experiential learning activity from RSVP Design


The Colourblind® game develops effective communication and team building skills and helps teams recognise problems caused with imprecise communication and language. It is a verbal problem solving experiential learning activity that is used to improve communication & listening skills, and is played in a small group.

Wearing blindfolds to ensure total dependence upon the quality of their verbal communication, a group works together to gather information that will allow them to solve a puzzle. The size of the group (ideally between 6 and 14) demands different types of skill: information and group management, effective listening and questioning, strong chairing skills, the ability to clarify and summarise and the need for feedback to ensure understanding

Colourblind® is RSVP Design's most popular experiential learning activity used internationally and among world leading brands for over 20 years, including Top 5 Executive Education suppliers such as IMD and CCL. To view a case study of an application of the Colourblind Game - CLICK HERE

Click the thumbnail to the left to view a short video about Colourblind


Availability: In stock


Key Features

    Learning Focus
  • Collaboration
  • Effective Communication
  • Knowledge Management
  • Listening
  • Problem Solving
  • Teambuilding
  • Group Size
  • Ideal: 6 - 16
  • Possible: 6 - 28
  • Duration
  • 30-90 Minutes plus review

Activity Overview

The activity itself is simple:

Teams of 6 - 16 gather knowledge to identify 2 coloured abstract shapes that are missing from a complete set of 30. The communication processes involved are much more complex and take participants through increasingly sophisticated patterns of communication until the task is achieved.

Individuals draw on their experience and descriptive skills to explain to each other abstract shapes that they can hold in their hands, whilst blindfolded. They use feedback and clarification skills to ensure that their understanding is accurate.


Colourblind® was developed in 1991 when our colleague, Dr.Geoff Cox, designed and delivered the first week of an induction training programme for Air Traffic Control cadets. Each cadet facing an intensive, demanding training programme in which teamwork and communication skills would be fundamental to success. Each, ultimately, would accept professional responsibilities which allow absolutely no margin for communication error, misunderstanding or ambiguity.

Colourblind® enabled participants to rehearse every communication skill which Air Traffic Controllers need and to highlight the problems and pitfalls which communication breakdown inevitably brings when there is no visual common ground

Since 1991 Colourblind® has been used worldwide across languages, cultures and business backgrounds, to focus on the fundamental skills of great communication.

Colourblind is also part of our Education Sector Package for those who wish to use it with students or young people in an educational setting

Click here to view a short video about Colourblind

Learning Objectives

  • • Develop effective communcation, team building, and problem solving skills
  • • Set up and manage an effective communication system that everyone understands and can use efficiently.
  • • Develop a dialogue which will lead to a common understanding of abstract concepts.
  • • Deliver a successful solution to the problem they face.
  • • To consider how to improve both communication systems and the quality of the messages which those systems support
  • • To practise effective listening and refine questioning skills
  • • To develop flexibility in communication skills, changing and adapting language to meet the needs of others
  • • To understand communication is culturally specific 
  • • Ensure we are using shared references to achieve common meaning

Activity Description

Activity Materials

20 x blindfolds (re-useable, washable)

30 plastic pieces (6x shapes in each of five colours)

Facilitator Manual

The materials supplied will enable you to work with the recommended group of up to16 people.

You will need enough working space to ensure that the large team can work together and hear each other – the ideal arrangement is probably a ‘horseshoe’ shape of chairs, so that seated and blindfolded participants can receive the plastic pieces in their hands/laps.

Package Weight: 0.75kg

Each participant is blindfolded and issued with a number of small plastic pieces. The team has to identify the colour and shape of two pieces that were removed from the complete set of plastic pieces. The participants cannot transfer or exchange their pieces with each other and are reliant upon verbal communication only to solve the problem. At the end of the exercise they must identify a single unanimous answer to the problem.

A period of between 20 - 45 minutes intense verbal information exchange and problem-solving approaches will typically be required depending on the abilities within the group.

The design of the Colourblind® activity and the complexity of the pieces can lead to confusion, ambiguity and uncertainty. To avoid this, precise descriptive language and careful feedback and checking skills must be applied. The use of verbal communication only mimics the amount of time we typically spend on email, telephone or other communications media when we don’t share the same visual frame of reference, and the resulting misunderstanding and even conflict that can develop when a truly shared meaning is not developed.


Power in pieces..Review by Sarah
Quality of Learning Design
Value for Money
Having used Colourblind previously, I was keen to introduce it into my new Company. It's a great tool we use in our Leadership Workshops that demonstrates the power of communication and helps identify leadership skills. (Posted on 05/01/2018)
Great ActivityReview by Geraint Richards
Quality of Learning Design
Value for Money
We are developing Team Build Days through an experiential session involving different types of Disability Tennis (Deaf Tennis, Visually Impaired Tennis, and Wheelchair Tennis). After experiencing each form of disability tennis the delegates then do a team build based on a theme closely related to the experience they have just had e.g. Deaf tennis leads into a team build exercise on Communication; VI tennis leads onto the Colour Blind exercise etc.
We held a session with a law firm last week using the Colourblind exercise and it went down extremely well!! (Posted on 25/09/2017)
Great product!Review by Anonymous
Quality of Learning Design
Value for Money
I’m very happy with Colorblind, and have used it successfully in the past. I like to use Colourblind to highlight different styles of communication within a team and how to flex your own style, how to work and communicate effectively in a virtual team, how to maximize team strengths by leveraging the strengths each team member brings, and to improve creative problem solving skills.
(Posted on 27/07/2017)
Fun for all!Review by Anonymous
Quality of Learning Design
Value for Money
We used Colourblind as part of our two day customer service Regional Training programme. It works perfectly for us to help emphasise clear communication and is a lot of fun for all of the participants. (Posted on 20/07/2017)
Really engagingReview by anon
Quality of Learning Design
Value for Money
The colourblind exercise was so much fun, frustrating from an assessors point of view watching the candidates try work it out. We used this yesterday in a Recruitment Assessment Day, the candidates were really engaged and it really demonstrates some of the key competencies we look for from the candidates. Overall, very pleased with the exercise. Thank you so much for the quick turnaround in getting this sent to us. (Posted on 08/02/2017)
Great Learning ToolReview by Vicki
Quality of Learning Design
Value for Money
I've used this tool a few times now with different teams who are geographically dispersed. It's a great catalyst for discussion and really helps people see how the same thing can be communicated or interpreted in numerous different ways. (Posted on 19/10/2016)
Great results Review by Rachael Barker
Quality of Learning Design
Value for Money
I have used Colourblind with a couple of teams at work and have had great results thank you. The manual I downloaded was very informative and I've shared it with the rest of my team. I've been really impressed with the free downloads, newsletters, value for money and customer service from you and your company so hope to be able to purchase further equipment from you in the future.

Rachael Barker, Learning & Development Team Leader
(Posted on 18/08/2016)
Thunderous Applause!Review by Lawrence
Quality of Learning Design
Value for Money
As an aside, we did Challenging Assumptions, Colourblind, and Workstations over the past several days to thunderous applause. (Posted on 18/07/2016)
Wow - simple, effective, powerfulReview by IanF
Quality of Learning Design
Value for Money
I've used Colourblind with team leaders in engineering, exec teams in finance and new recruits in a call centre and many more.

Simple to set up, fun to do, easy to facilitate and powerful to feedback. It's a trainers dream.

Ian (Posted on 19/05/2016)
Help PleaseReview by Sipa
Quality of Learning Design
Value for Money
I bought the game and have no doubt it will be of perfect fit to the objective in mind. I need one help though: i plan to use the game with a team of 5 people and i am afraid using the full set (the 30 pieces) may be too much. Any ideas and / or suggestions? Any experience with teams of 5 people? MANY THANKS (Posted on 06/11/2015)
Hi Sipa - yes. My advice is to remove two full sets of coloured pieces, say the red and the green, (leaving just 18). Take 2 pieces out and distribute the remainder (16) between the 5 people. Each person now has only three or four pieces in their hands to describe. The exercise time will now probably be shorter! (Posted on 06/11/2015)
Great tool!Review by Tom - Uponor
Quality of Learning Design
Value for Money
What a great exercise!
We recently had a group of our salespeople together for a conference and were looking for a team building exercise. Since I was recently exposed to Colourblind at an event I attended in France, it seemed like a natural fit.
The guys loved it! It demonstrated in real-time, the need for accurate information, collaboration and leadership. Great tool!
(Posted on 02/11/2015)
Simple but powerfulReview by Helen
Quality of Learning Design
Value for Money
I used Colourblind yesterday for the first time with an executive top team.

It was excellent! It stimulated a huge amount of debate and the themes that emerged were re-visited during the entire day.

Such a simple idea (and a bit too expensive to be honest!) but a very powerful tool that I will be using again in a number of settings.
(Posted on 09/10/2015)
One of the most interesting games for groups!Review by Aditi
Quality of Learning Design
Value for Money
Colorblind has been by far one of the most interesting and apt team games for groups.

It helps cover group dynamics in terms of communication, leadership, conflict areas, objective thinking , process, attitude etc :-)
(Posted on 02/06/2015)
Using with childrenReview by Keith Milmer
Quality of Learning Design
Value for Money
Colourblind has been designed for use in adult teams, but as a school governor, I was keen to explore its potential with young children.
Although the youngest group of children (7 year olds) had lots of fun exploring the shapes in a tactile way, the task was beyond them.

However, with a lively group of 10 and 11 year olds, the exercise was both achievable and fun – so long as a little extra coaching was offered by the facilitator up front to help the youngsters think about how they would manage and organise the plastic pieces on the table in front of them while blindfolded, and to ensure that they focused on identifying one particular shape at a time.

In the Year 6 group with which I worked (eight children), there was a strong tendency for the slightly boisterous young lads to overwhelm the more reticent girls, but this may have more to do with the particular personalities round the table rather than stereotypical gender-based behaviours per se. Something for school teachers/facilitators to watch out for though!
On balance, a very useful exercise for bright young children (minimum age 10 or 11) and not just for adults
(Posted on 22/05/2015)
Great gameReview by Søren Seindal Agner
Quality of Learning Design
Value for Money
We are using it for training Stewardesses in effective communication and situation awareness during Initial training.

We try to create an environment as close to the real environment as possible. This means that they could be without vision, but the content will be very different. There could also be smoke or warning sounds and so on. We are training their skills in procedures and situation awareness aimed at emergency situations.

As a communication game in general, I would rate it 5 stars.

Delegates will learn
• to listen
• to use structure
• discipline
• to express themselves clearly and simple

and taking their vision away will enhance others senses and force them to be clear and precise
(Posted on 29/04/2015)
We all learn differently Review by Student at Bahrain Polytechnic
Quality of Learning Design
Value for Money
Don't judge a book by its cover. The Colourblind exercise showed me how we all communicated differently and come with our own judgments and perspectives. (Posted on 16/01/2015)
great for team building and communicationReview by Helen Charlesworth - University of Greenwich
Quality of Learning Design
Value for Money
We mainly use Colourblind for school activities, however we also use Colourblind as part of our Student Ambassador training (undergraduates and post-graduates) as a team building exercise, as it enhances communication skills and reflective practice. It also works really well as an ice-breaker if the group are unfamiliar with each other. (Posted on 16/01/2015)
Best value for money!Review by Helen (Director) Really Responsible Training
Quality of Learning Design
Value for Money
I first heard about RSVP when I worked at another training centre between 2006-2010 and was introduced to Colourblind. They bought their set from you about a hundred years ago!
You still have the best value for money training equipment on the market (for experiential tools) so whenever I need something I check if you have it first. I always recommend you as a high quality supplier. (Posted on 16/01/2015)
Positive feedback from clientsReview by David W.
Quality of Learning Design
Value for Money
I can confirm that we use your training tools regularly and they form an invaluable part of some of our workshop deliveries. We use Colourblind, Simbols and the Sequencer (Planks) kits quite often and have received positive feedback from our clients! (Posted on 16/01/2015)
Success when used around languages & cultureReview by Harry MacDivitt (Director)Axia Value Solutions Ltd
Quality of Learning Design
Value for Money
I used ColourBlind for a three day event on strategy for a medical devices company in Berlin. This was targeted at a range of 15 country managers from all over Europe and a couple from US. So something like 10 different languages and cultures.The game was a resounding success and contributed greatly to the effectiveness and overall success of the event. As a result I think we will be doing a roll-out to the next level down. (Posted on 16/01/2015)
effective communication with PhD studentsReview by Daniela - UCL
Quality of Learning Design
Value for Money
I have used the Colourblind activity on a few workshops with PhD students and the activity worked very well. It brings to surface some of the most important elements that make communication effective. The materials provided were easy to use, engaging and excellent for any team exercises. I highly recommend them. (Posted on 16/01/2015)
Most used tool!Review by Rachel - Ashridge
Quality of Learning Design
Value for Money
We certainly still use plenty of the different RSVP exercises and Colourblind is probably one of the most used exercises we have. We have been using a selection of RSVP design products at Ashridge for some time now. They are all easy to set up and run with groups so your focus can always be on the learning and not worrying about whether the task will work. (Posted on 16/01/2015)
Good for thinking about how we develop languageReview by Libby - Stephen Perse Sixth Form College
Quality of Learning Design
Value for Money
We used it when we had a group of Finnish students visiting us, as it was a good way of getting everyone cooperating on a problem solving activity when we didn't know much about their prior knowledge and experience. I'm planning on using it with classes of around fourteen students as a discussion stimulus, thinking about how different subject disciplines develop their own jargon, as well as thinking about how, when we develop language, there's a context and a reason for needing new terms. (Posted on 16/01/2015)
Good results & a lot of energy!Review by Rabbe - Uppsala University
Quality of Learning Design
Value for Money
Colourblind is a very good tool and is always successful in leading to insights and learning.  We use it in our leadership programmes as part of the communication, instruction, style and general leadership parts.  Sometimes also just as an energizer.  People who have participated in our programmes do want to borrow the kits for their own group development activities as well.  It's a very good and valuable part of our toolkit and one that always delivers good results and a lot of energy. (Posted on 16/01/2015)
Very beneficial!Review by Becki
Quality of Learning Design
Value for Money
Colourblind has already been used with a group of mine (college students from Blackpool) and it proved a hugely beneficial activity which prompted some very powerful reviewing. It will mostly be used over the summer months with our NCS groups but I will be taking every opportunity to use it before then, and I will be encouraging my colleagues to do the same. (Posted on 16/01/2015)
Colourblind was a resounding success and contributed greatly to the effectiveness and overall success of the event. Review by Harry
Quality of Learning Design
I used Colourblind for a three day event on strategy for a medical devices company in Berlin. This was targeted at a range of 15 country managers from all over Europe and a couple from US. So something like 10 different languages and cultures.The game was a resounding success and contributed greatly to the effectiveness and overall success of the event. As a result I think we will be doing a roll-out to the next level down. (Posted on 12/01/2015)

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Product Downloads

Click the links below for more information about Colourblind. We also have 'Education Specific' notes for those who plan to use Colourblind with students or young people in an educational setting.


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We provide a 12 month unconditional guarantee. If you have any problems with our materials, we will replace any defective parts, or you can return the product for a refund.

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