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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.