My 4 Favourite Icebreakers!

"4 of My All Time Favourite Ice Breakers"

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NATO Meetings Ice Breaker

Topical Ice Breaker on NATO for a Meeting this week

NATO Meetings Ice Breaker Game

NATO Meetings Ice Breaker Game

Such an important gathering of world leaders is taking place at the moment  in South Wales where I live. It is the largest gathering of international leaders ever to take place in the UK.

More than 60 world leaders are attending including US President Barack Obama and British PM David Cameron. Thousands more of their entourages will also be at the event, including representatives from each of the 28 Nato member countries.

Nearly 10,000 police officers from forces across England and Wales have mounted a major security operation. Right now they will be talking about Ukraine, Iraq and Afghanistan

It is such a serious debate at a time of real importance, however if you are holding a meeting today you could introduce a  hot topic  ice breaker along the lines of:

List as many of the 28 NATO countries as you can, work in pairs or small groups

Answers with joining dates:

ALBANIA (2009)
BELGIUM (1949)
BULGARIA (2004)
CANADA (1949)
CROATIA (2009)
CZECH REPUBLIC (1999)
DENMARK (1949)
ESTONIA (2004)
FRANCE (1949)
GERMANY (1955)
GREECE (1952)
HUNGARY (1999)
ICELAND (1949)
ITALY (1949)
LATVIA (2004) 


LITHUANIA (2004)
LUXEMBOURG (1949)
NETHERLANDS (1949)
NORWAY (1949)
POLAND (1999)
PORTUGAL (1949)
ROMANIA (2004)
SLOVAKIA (2004)
SLOVENIA (2004)
SPAIN (1982)
TURKEY (1952)
THE UNITED KINGDOM (1949)
THE UNITED STATES (1949)

You could also ask:

  • list as many of the leaders of the 28 countries as you can (tricky as there are presidents, prime ministers, chancellors etc)
  • Flags of the NATO countries match to country

For more brilliant  topical and leadership ice breakers for your meetings visit the ice breaker ideas website

 

 

Ships Ahoy Conference Ice Breaker

Fun Conference Ice Breaker for Large Groups

I came across this conference ice breaker yesterday quite by accident. It's a bit slow in getting going but stick with it and the group looks they are having a lot of fun!

More great conference ice breakers and ideas can be found on the Incredible Ice Breaker Ideas web-site ice-breaker-ideas.com

 

Meetings Ice Breaker

Just come back from my action learning set and we had another great ice breaker game to start us off on our meeting. You will need a rope sling or loop,  big enough to slip over the heads and bodies of your colleagues.

  • Ask everyone to form a circle and hold hands.
  • Place the loop between 2 people (need to break hands for a moment) and then instruct the participants to pass the loop all the way around the group without letting it fall to the floor and without breaking hands or stepping out of the loop
  • Participants will need to wriggle away and help each other get the loop around the circle. It's good fun and breaks the ice! Once they have done it once you can time it and see how fast they can do it.

Check-out more fantastic meetings ice breaker games to get your meetings off to a brilliant start at the ice breaker ideas web-site

Christmas Conference

Got a Christmas conference this week or next. Looking for a last minute idea to have a bit of festive fun with your audience? Look no further we have the perfect sit in your seat Christmas conference ice breaker. It's so easy - we don't know why we didn't think of it before!

If your delegates are seated in rows its tricky to do an ice breaker or some kind of break out session to get people involved, keep them engaged and stop then falling asleep.

Ready for Pass the Parcel?

Ready for Pass the Parcel?

So what about the traditional Christmas party game of "Pass the Parcel"?

In advance you will need to make up loads of pretty, wrapped and exciting looking parcels with lots of layers.

When the music starts (yes you will need piped music of some sort) feed the presents in at the start of row A and get them to pass along the row. When they get to the end they pass it onto the person behind them on the next row and they pass it down their row and so on until it reaches the end of the rows. When the parcel gets to the end of all the rows have some one on hand to take it back to the start of row A and feed it in again.

At random times begin to feed more parcels in at the start so you might have 20 parcels being passed around the rows at a time. Of course the exciting bit is when the music stops and the lucky people holding the parcel get take off a layer. At this point it could be a layer of wrapping or it could include some small gift, a corporate message or a daft item to wear eg. paper hat, plastic glasses etc. Be careful not to make this too ridiculous or to set out to embarrass people - the spirit of Christmas should always be kept in mind.

The most exciting bit is when the final layer is taken off the present and the person who does that gets to keep the present.

As there are lots of parcels on the way round and with different number of layers - keep going until the last present is opened. This could be an extra special parcel - the last parcel to be opened with more layers of wrapping than the others could be the best!

Good luck - you are sure to have fun with this festive Christmas conference game

For shed loads more brilliant ice breaker games and ideas for Christmas, conferences and team building, check out the ice breaker ideas web-site NOW! If you like this game please press the LIKE button. If you think you can use this conference ice breaker leave me a comment!

Leadership Ice Breaker

Barack ObamaAn interesting way to start a leadership program with delegates who don't know each other would be to run an ice breaker game to help people get to know each other quickly and spark a few discussions. Try to find an ice breaker that has a leadership theme as a lead-in to the topic of the day. The following leadership ice breaker idea would serve to generate enthusiasm and opinions about the topic:

You will need to prepare beforehand a set of speeches from world class leaders. This can be easily done on the internet. You will need a speech and the name of the famous leader.

When your group have assembled give each one a few lines of the speech and another the name of the leader. Ask people to mingle and find the person with whom the speech matches. Once they have paired up famous leader and famous speech they should spend a few minutes sharing a bit about themselves to each other and their thoughts on this particular leader.

When everyone has paired up ask the group to come back together and then ask pairs to introduce each other. Ask them to read out a few lines of the speech and see if anyone else can guess who the leader is. Once the leader is identifed by the rest of the group the pair can then share a few thoughts on the leadership style of the leader. Carry on around the circle.

  • This exercise can be quite difficult unless well know leaders and speeches are picked.
  • The ice breaker can be quite lengthy with discussions of various leaders. With this in mind it's a great lead-in to leadership styles. However if this is not required at this moment in time you can omit this stage or keep it brief.
Here's a few leaders and lines of speeches you can use:
Martin Luther King
"I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood."
Queen Elizabeth I
"I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman; butI have the heart and stomach of a king"
George Washington
"A passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils."
Charles de Gaulle
"The flame of French resistance must not and shall not die"
John F Kennedy
"Ask not what your country can do  for you; ask what you can do for your country"
Nelson Mandela
"I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which i hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is aAn ideal for which I am prepared to die"
Ronald Reagan
"Mr Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall"
Barack Obama
"America is a place where all things are possible"
If you like this ice breaker please hit the like button and leave me a comment. For more fantastic leadership ice breakers, games and ideas to make your training programs and conferences sizzle visit the ice breaker ideas web-site and get instant downloads NOW!

 

Quick Ice Breaker

An easy and really quick ice breaker for new groups of 8 upwards is called "Pairs". You will need a set of 8 or more objects (one for each person) that can be paired together or prepare a printed version with pictures. For example you could use:

  • knife and fork
  • cat and mouse
  • paper and pen
  • candle and match
  • nut and nutcracker
  • dustpan and brush
  • stamp and letter
  • salt and pepper
  • shoe and sock
  • padlock and key
  • brush and comb

Distribute the items and ask people to find their partner. If you can place the objects in a bag or cover, it acts as a bit more of a surprise. Once people have found their partners allow a few minutes for each person to introduce themselves to the other. Bring everyone back to the circle and then ask each partner to introduce the other person to the group.

Sharon Naylor is passionate about ice breaker games for elevating meetings, training and events; turning "boring" into "extraordinary" and really getting people mixing and having fun. Check-out her web-site for more fabulous ice breaker games and ideas to instantly download.

Team Building Activity

 Start off your meeting or training session with a fun, experiential team activity and your team will be firing on all cylinders right from the word "go"! Dynamic and participative, we strongly believe in the experiential element of getting teams to have a go together at something fun together. They can be used for:

  • Breaking the ice at the start of a session
  • Breaking down barriers between individuals
  • Creative problem-solving
  • Illustrating a training point
  • Creating team dynamics
  • Providing an opportunity to review the way teams work
  • To give feedback on team roles
  • Low-cost exercises for when budgets are tight
  • Ice breakers for conferences and both small and large events
  • Kids love them too!

However you use these fun team activities you will find that they can have a real impact on your event. We have used them on all our team building events for over 20 years. In tough times they are also extrememly economical; you can run these team activites yourself without having to employ expensive outsiders! Check out the ice breaker ideas web-site for more on the sticky rope team activity and for ice breaker and training ideas to sky rocket your events!

Communications Ice Breaker

Communications exerciseIf you're looking for a fun way to demonstrate communication skills here's a neat little communications exercise that will throw up lots for discussion on the accuracy of communication.

You will need a group size of at least 2 teams; a small lego model and an extra set of lego materials per team.

 Split the group into teams of 4-6 people and give each team a set of lego materials. Place the lego model away from the team’s view but make sure it is of equal distance from each team. Ask one member from each team to come forward to view the model for 20 seconds.

Send this person back to their team, when they should then instruct the rest of the team on how to build the model. They are not allowed to touch the model themselves. After one minute ring a bell or ask the teams to send another person to view for 5 seconds. This continues until the first team declare that they have the perfectly replicated model. The model is checked and if they are correct, they win, if not the exercise continues. The exercise can continue until all teams have finished.

This simple communications game should throw up plenty for discussion:

  • How accurate were the instructions?
  •  How hard is it to re-create something without being able to see?
  • How difficult is it to view but not build?
  • How pressured were individuals?

If you enjoyed this communication ice breaker you will find many more fantastic games and icebreakers to enhance your training programs and events on the ice breaker ideas web-site. Sharon Naylor is passionate about ice breaker games and team building activities to get people joining in and having fun. "When people are switched on and engaged they are more disposed to learning and taking in the main messages of the day." Games and icebreakers are suitable for any type of group and activity whether it be for young people or adults; work training or functions or social events, meetings and clubs.

Communication Icebreakers

communications icebreakerHere's a great little communications exercise, ice breaker or warm-up suitable for any kind of group training or team building session. There is no limit on size of group and it takes only 10 to 15 minutes.

Use random objects to create a minefield such as pieces of paper, clothing or file folders. Give the team members the “mines” and have them disperse them over a field or gym floor. After the mines are all set up, separate the team into pairs of people. Provide a blindfold for one of the people and allow the other person to have sight. Instruct the pairs that the person with sight has to successfully guide their team mate through the minefield using just words. Allow all the pairs to go at the same time so that each blindfolded person has to listen closely for their leader.

Review the exercise by asking participants to name the skills needed to successfully complete the task

  • How easy or difficult was it to hear instructions?
  • Were the instructions accurate enough to be able to complete the task?
  • How did it feel to be blindfolded?

This useful communication icebreaker illustrates leadership, communication and listening skills, building trust, giving and receiving accurate instructions.

For tons more amazing communications activities, ice breakers and games to use with your groups visit the ice breaker ideas web-site. Instant downloads available NOW

Leadership Icebreakers 2

Famous Quotes

At some point during your leaderhip training programme you will no doubt be discussing famous leaders; their traits and personalities. Why not turn this into an interesting leadership icebreaker game or energizer?

Make a list of famous leaders and their quotes. Print 2 lists; 1 is your master copy and the other is cut up into strips giving each person a quote or the name of a famous leader. Their job is to match the quote to the leader and hopefully have some meaningful discussions about leadership along the way.

Here's a list of quotes you might like to use:

  • Steve Jobs  "Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower."
  • Peter F. Drucker   "Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things."
  • Theodore Roosevelt   "The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it." 
  • Kenneth Blanchard     "The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority."
  • "Eleanor Roosevelt     "A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader, a great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves"
  • Nelson Mandela      "When you let your own light shine, you unconsciously give others permission to do the same."  
  • Winston Churchill     "Those who can win a war well can rarely make a good peace and those who could make a good peace would never have won the war."
  • Thomas Jefferson   "I'm a great believer in luck, and I find that the harder I work, the more I have of it." 

This could be quite a difficult task unless you choose famous quotes, but can be a great lead-in to a discussion and reflection on famous leadership styles. Once the game is over take time to really try and understand the meaning behind the words.

Leadership icebreakers are a brilliant way to start your leadership programs. They can be used as energizers too to break up the session and engage your participants.

Sharon Naylor is passionate about ice breaker games for training, meetings, away days, team building and conferences.  A quick ice breaker at the start of a meeting or event helps people relax,  injects a sense of fun into gatherings and speeds up that getting to know you stage, and ready to face the rest of the event with high energy and expectation. 

Tons more fantastic leadership icebreakers for warming-up groups  can be found on the ice-breaker-ideas web-site.