Designing Your Ice Breaker - Deepstash
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Designing Your Ice Breaker

  • Make sure that the activity is specifically focused on meeting your objectives and appropriate to the group of people involved.
  • Clarify the specific objectives for your session.
  • Ask yourself questions about how you will meet your objectives
  • These questions can be used as a checklist once you have designed the session
  • As a further check, ask yourself how each person is likely to react to the session.

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Burning questions

This gives each person the opportunity to ask key questions they hope to cover in the event or training.

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Introductory Ice Breakers

  • The Little Known Fact: ask participants to share their name, department or role in the organization, length of service, and one little known fact about themselves.
  • True or False: ask your participants to introduce themselves and make thr...

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The Human Web Ice Breaker

The facilitator begins with a ball of yarn. Keeping one end, pass the ball to one of the participants, and the person to introduce himself and his role in the organization. 
Once this person has made their introduction, ask him to pass the ball of yarn on to...

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Ball Challenge

The facilitator arranges the group in a circle and asks each person to throw the ball across the circle, first announcing her own name, and then announcing the name of the person to whom they are throwing the ball. Time the process, then ask the group to beat that timing. As the challenge ...

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Brainstorm

Used to break the ice or as a re-energizer during an event.

If people are getting bogged down in the detail during problem-solving, for example, you can change pace easily by running a quick-fire brainstorming session. 

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Hope, Fears, and Expectations

Group people into twos or threes, and ask people to discuss their expectations for the event or work ahead, including their fears and their hopes. Gather the group's response by collating three to four hopes, fears, and expectations from each pairing or threesome.

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When to Use Icebreakers

Consider using an ice breaker when:

  • Participants come from different backgrounds.
  • People need to bond quickly so as to work towards a common goal.
  • Your team is newly formed.
  • The topics you are discussing are new or unfamiliar to many people involved...

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Word association

This helps people explore the breadth of the area under discussion. 

Generate a list of words related to the topic of your event or training. 

You can use this opportunity to introduce essential terms and discuss the scope (what's in and what's out) of your training or event.

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The "ice" that needs to be broken

When designing your ice breaker, think about the "ice" that needs to be broken.

  • If you are bringing together like-minded people, the "ice" may simply reflect the fact that people have not yet met.
  • If you are bringing together people of different backgrounds, cult...

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zayden

Dilbert cartoons and the Office are way too accurate.

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