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frustration free training game

Frustration – Free Training Game

Duration: 30 minutes

Intended for:

This free training game is useful to emphasise how frustrating it can be to keep getting things wrong. It helps participants to identify that when they keep doing the same thing and getting no positive results, perhaps it is time to reconsider their approach.

Training course contents:

A  set of instructions for the training game, ‘Frustration’ can be downloaded for free from the link at the bottom of this page. You can also see the full game below.


A pack of playing cards.

Set up

Sort the playing cards so that, although there are a variety of cards of each house (clubs, hearts, diamonds, spades), there are no pairs in the pack at all (e.g. there is a King of spades, but no King of hearts, diamonds or clubs. There is a four of hearts, but no four of spades, clubs or diamonds).


  1. Spread the altered cards face down on the table so that the back of the cards is showing.


  1. Ask for a volunteer to come to the front of the room and explain that they are going to play a shortened version of the card game ‘concentration’.


  1. In this game, the volunteer will turn a card over. Once they have established what this card is (and shown it to the group), they should try and find a pair for it from the other cards (they won’t be able to).


  1. When they fail, they should return each card back to where they originally found it.


  1. The volunteer should keep trying with different cards, while you encourage the group to shout words of encouragement and advice.


  1. Continue the game until the frustration builds and the anger begins to show.


  1. Once the point is made (and no cards have been paired), bring the game to a close.


  1. Review the session by asking the volunteer how they felt about the game. Discuss their feelings and what this meant. Ask how the encouragement from everyone around them made them feel, particularly when they were unable to achieve their aim.


  1. Next, discuss the feelings of the rest of the group. How did they feel as observers? What was frustrating for them?


  1. Link the game and feelings created back to the key learning points of your session. How does it feel when we keep getting the same negative results in the workplace? What can we do to change this? How do we break a negative cycle?



Use this sales training game to explore frustrations and to help participants realise that sometimes doing the same thing and getting the same results over and over again is not constructive.

Frustration – Free Training Game


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