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Icebreakers Continued

Posted on by Brandon Klein

So many icebreakers out there... when to apply what? What is relevant to the content? What sets the right pattern?

Example:

- Rain Maker Icebreaker: 1 finger clap until everyone is loud and then stop when feels right! 3 to 300 people.

- Snap Breaker. Hold hands up together in a circle. All snap together without saying a word. Helps to move elbows from 90 degrees to close to zero before snapping. 3 to 30 people

- Rock, Paper, Scissors Competition. Enough said. 4 to 4,000 people. Try this on all different sized groups. Works ~75% of the time.

- Sound for the Source. Each small group that has a topic has to represent that topic by a noise. In most collaborations, folks are trying to work together in harmony. Experiment with teams all making the noise at the same time versus in choreographer ways.

- Personal Elephant Skills: Give each person a blank piece of paper. Give everyone 60 seconds to "tear out an elephant" with their hands behind their backs. Have everyone hold them up and show off their skills. Then turn it serious and have them write down what the real elephant in the room preventing them from getting their work/project/strategy/transformation etc. done! Post them around the office.

- Culture Alphabet: Each person in the room gets a letter and they have to make sentences together in explain the corporate, personal or other culture that needs to be brought forward for the group to succeed.

- Snowflake: Give each person a piece of paper. Ask them to close their eyes. Tell them to fold the paper in half and tear off the upper right corner. Fold in half again and tear the upper left corner. Fold in half again and tear the lower left. Open the snowflake and see what people created all following the exact same instructions.

- CCC Common Characteristics Curation: Put people together in small groups based on a some common characteristic between the people in the group. Only the facilitator knows what that characteristic is, they do not. Their goal is to determine what it is that they all have in common. Almost instantly they develop a better understanding of each other.

- Bingo: Have project or personal information listed on a bingo card (e.g., someone who is afraid of snakes, or the sharepoint project guru, or first person to hit the 'like' button on Facebook or the content expert in XYZ), and have them go around and get names to fill in the boxes. Not the most uplifting exercise, but with a prize and its commonality, it gets the job done.

- 6 Word Memoir: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” by Hemingway. Hard to top, but asking participants to write either a memoir, experience, mission and more can really open minds. For inspiration, check out some others...

- Idea generation/icebreaking generation software: Put it live on the screen and try it out!