Your team rushes into the room and the organized chaos of a thorough room turn-down ensues. A few team members solve early puzzles easily; they’re off and running. One or two people start delegating (“hey word puzzle guy, you take this one!”). Others find puzzles that seem interesting and they dig in.
After a while, the team hits a lull where they aren’t making progress. You quickly assess the room for unused clues and unsolved puzzles. You notice that some of your teammates have been working on the same puzzle for quite some time. “Ok great,” you think, “they have that one down. I’ll go onto something else.”
Stop. You’re about to make a mistake.
If your team isn’t making progress and the same two people have been stuck on something for a while, offer your fresh set of eyes. Fresh eyes means more perspectives, which increases the chances that the answer will click for someone.
The progress lull doesn’t mean that your teammates aren’t smart. Your teammates may have different types of intelligence. They may be trying to solve a puzzle based on faulty assumptions or bad information. You bring the outsider’s point of view they may need.
Never underestimate your teammates, but don’t overestimate them either. Everyone has blind spots and everyone makes bad assumptions from time to time.
A room escape is no place for ego. If your teammates are stuck, trust that they won’t get pissed off at you for offering to help. If you’re the one who’s stuck, ask for help.
There will be plenty of time for ego-stroking at the post-game celebration when you win.