Archive for the ‘Corporate Icebreakers’ Category
Ask participants to sit in a circle and choose one person to go out of the room. This person is the detective.
Appoint a leader and have everyone follow the leader. The leader might start with a hand clap, and everyone joins in in unison. The leader might then stamp feet or snap fingers or choose a different rhythm of clapping. The goal is to follow the leader seamlessly so the detective when they come into the room does not know who the leader is and their job is to work out who it is.
The team can get really good at this with practise. The key is for everyone to follow the leader without giving the game away and by staring directly at the leader. The team could wait for a ripple effect instead.. so waiting for their neighbours to change action before they do. The leader should also change movements slowly so as not to give the game away, and make movement changes when the detective is looking elsewhere.
A more advanced variation can include a change of leader by an agreed signal eg. a wink at another person.
The detective has 1 guess only. Once they have guessed another person takes on the role of detective.
You can review this exercise by:
- Examining what made the game successful or unsucessful.
- What qualities of a leader were needed to make it happen?
Leadership icebreakers are a fun and novel 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 work, play, parties, meetings, groups and clubs. A quick ice breaker at the start of a meeting or event helps people relax, injects a sense of fun into gatherings, speed up that getting to know you stage and gets people ready to face the rest of the event with high energy and expectation.
Introduce the exercise "We're all meeting for the first time. Most of us don't know each other at all. It's easier to get to know each other and make connections with people when you find something in common. This is the main purpose of an ice breaker game. In some cases you might have a lot in common with an individual but often you have to discover what it is first. This game will give you a helping hand"
Ask everyone to sit or stand in a circle. Starting with yourself, say "My name is Sharon" and start to talk about yourself. "I have 3 sisters. I live in Wales. I walk to work. I work at...etc. etc." By this time hopefully you might find someone else in the group with 3 sisters or even a sister and they then shout "CONNECT!" when they have found something to connect with you. Holding onto the tail-end of the ball of string you throw the ball to them. They then introduce themselves and continue saying something about themselves until someone else connects with them. They then hold onto the string and throw the ball to that person. And on it goes.
Ensure everyone has a go at connecting with someone else in the group; you might want to add this as a rule until everyone has had a go. Continue connecting until you have had enough. You will surely now be in a mess with strands of wool or string going all over the circle.
End the ice breaker game by explaining that we all have things in common with other people, but they are often hidden. Look at all the ways we are interconnected with each other... look at all the strands of string. Building relationships and rapport can be speeded up by finding and sharing similarities.
Sharon Naylor is passionate about ice breaker games for work, play, parties, meetings, groups and clubs. In fact anywhere people are connecting to others whether it be for the first time or even when familiar with each other. Ice breaker games inject a sense of fun into proceedings, speed up that getting to know you stage and gets people ready to face the rest of the event with energy and enthusiasm. For more brilliant ice breaker ideas that you can use with your own groups and teams visit the ice breaker ideas web-site.
Many trainers, group leaders, teachers, charity workers, committee leaders, church, youth and team leaders to professional consultants and managers employ ice breakers to break down barriers and accelerate the getting to know you phase of learning and engagement.
This ice breaker game is ideal for newish teams and ideal group size is 7 -15.
- So, give each person an envelope and enough strips of paper for every person in the group. So, if there are 12 people in the group give each person an envelope and 12 strips of paper.
- Get everyone to write their name on the envelop and then pass the envelope to the person on their left.
- Instruct every receiver of the envelope to write a positive first impression about the person with their name on the envelope they hold. Then place the strip of paper in the enveope and pass to the left again. Repeat the process for every person in the group.
Eventually the envelope will return to the owner and will contain 12 strips of paper, each with a positive first impression. Ask each person in turn to dip into their envelope and read aloud a positive attribute.
How powerful is this! Each person will have an envelope full of positive messages and will feel warm towards the group, even though they barely know each other. This is a fantastic platform to build on!
Here's a great game I recently came across though it is more for an established group than a new group.
Split your group into teams - you will need at least 2 teams. Allocate every team to another team and than ask each team to write a story about the other team using their talents and positive attributes.
- First, get teams to make a list of the team members they are portraying as characters for their story.
- Make sure teams can't hear each other during the writing.
- Allow about 20 minutes to write the story.
- When everyone is ready get each team in turn to read out the story.
Ask groups for feedback and question what it was like to hear themselves being described as part of a story.
Were people surprised at their chosen attributes and talents ? Do they see themselves as others do?
You can use this game as a corporate ice breaker or a group game for teams that know each other fairly well
Check-out the Incredible Ice Breaker Games and Ideas web-site for more group games and ice breaker ideas.
Here's a great seasonal quick ice breaker game for you to try. It's so simple and easy!
- Get everyone to sit in a circle and give everyone a pen and a sheet of paper.
- Ask people to write an interesting thing about themselves on the paper.
- Ask them to screw up the paper and throw the “snowball” into the middle
- Mix all the snowballs up and ask each person to take a snowball
- Taking turns, each person introduces themselves and then reads out what is contained in the snowball.
- They then have 3 guesses to try and work out who the owner is.
- Continue round the circle until all snowballs have been matched to owners.
It's a really simple way of finding out a bit more about each other.
For a more advanced and riskier version ask participants to write down the most interesting thing about themselves!
How often do you interrupt, talk over people and avoid looking at that person in the eye? How many people conduct a one way conversation, talking at you without giving you the opportunity to take part in the conversation? For me this is an instant switch off!
Here's a neat little communication activity to try with your training programs or with your groups. It's called "Sparkling Moment"
2 people pair up to take part in this communications game: A and B.
A has 2 minutes to narrate their "sparkling moment" to B. This could be an achievement or something really fantastic that happened to them. Whilst A is telling the story, B must keep still and expressionless and cannot speak.
After A has finished telling the story B gives A feedback on how A came across - body language, facial expressions, enthusiasm, smiles etc. A must listen only and not interrupt.
Then allow 5 minutes to reflect on the experience.
How did A feel when they were telling the story? How did they feel at the end of the story. How easy was it to tell a story without receiving gestures. How easy was it to receive feedback without being able to clarify or interrupt? How useful was the feedback?
How did B feel unable to speak and expressionless? How easy was it to listen and concentrate? How easy was it to give feedback effectively?
Then swop over roles and repeat.
Here's one of my favourite communication games that's easy to set-up and use straight away.
Write on a piece of paper a number from one to ten, place in a hat and ask students to draw a number.
Without speaking, writing or showing their number to anyone else and not holding their up fingers, ask them line up in numerical order from 1-10.
People will probably stand around looking confused, so after a while you could give a few hints by tapping your foot or fingers, blinking, jumping up and down, snapping fingers etc.
When the activity finishes, ask:
- how difficult it was with out being able to speak or write?
- Could they think of other ways we might communicate?
- Make a list of things people do to communicate with others eg. sign language, body language, facial expressions, body movement, written language, pictures & drawings, text etc.
Then ask the group to consider what it must be like for people to communicate if they have a disability which might make it difficult to share thoughts and feelings.
As we speak my colleagues are in a forest with a group tackling a team building event very much influenced by "I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!". Just in case you've never heard of the reality TV programme it was first produced here in the UK by Granada television and has gone on to become a worldwide phenomenon.
Well our version is slightly different: "I'm a Team Player get Me Out of Here!" And we don't have jungle but we do have forests. So our version is set within a forest and has bushcraft challenges as well as creepy crawly activities with snakes, spiders, birds etc. Strikes me that the creepy crawly bit could be an outrageous party, group or conference icebreaker in itself. Imagine coming into a large room and having some of your worst nightmares confronted right in front of you!
Themes could be:
- Confronting your fears
- Managing danger!
- Overcoming obstacles
- Trying something new!
- Facing up to things
- Tackling new challenges
I'm kind of half joking here! But what do you think??? Tons of great ice breaker games and ideas for parties, conferences, team building training etc on our ice breaker ideas web-site
Yesterday I attended the Induction day of a program at the local university for small businesses. It's all about sharing ideas and best practise and growing your business. Hopefully we will be awash with ideas and inspiration soon.
I was pleased to see that this programme had 3 icebreakers on the agenda. Everyone took part and soon the atmosphere went from stifled to relaxed and everyone was joining in and having fun. So the icebreaker games did their job!
The icebreakers were all easy: "Show and Tell" which I mentioned in a previous blog - everyone was asked to bring along something which represented their company. Everyone was asked to do use the object and had 2 minutes to say why it represented their company and a bit of explanation about their company. A few people brought brochures but their were many creative and humorous contributions too! - light bulbs, books, sheep wool, parasitic worms in formaldahyde, and condoms to name just a few!!
Rather less problematic for the squeamish "Human Bingo" followed:
It's easy - just get a load of interesting facts together - about 12 for a group of 20 would be ideal. Things like:
- I was born outside the UK
- I love chocolate
- I've been on TV
- I have brown eyes
- I have children
- I drove more than 20 miles to get here
- I enjoy going to the cinema
- I can speak another language
- I have a pet
- I am left handed
Make up a bingo sheet - basically a piece of paper with squares and write the question in each square, then give a sheet to each person and instruct them to go around the room and get a signature or name for each square. The first person to have all squares covered shouts BINGO and is the winner. N.B. don't forget to introduce yourself as you go along as this is the whole point!
The next ice breaker game was "Shields", a really nice way to find out a bit more about people. This time the shield was divided into 4 sections: work, where I'm from, hopes and dreams and hobbies. It's such a simple but very effective exercise. This ice breaker is described more in-depth in our downloadable corporate icebreakers collection along with "Human Bingo".