Ice Breakers: Getting Everyone to Contribute at the Start of a Successful Event
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Consider using an ice breaker when:
When designing your ice breaker, think about the "ice" that needs to be broken.
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 progresses, the team will improve its process, for example by standing closer together.
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.
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.
This gives each person the opportunity to ask key questions they hope to cover in the event or training.
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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