Ice breakers are great activities for a team building day and for meetings and training sessions. Ice breakers are good to help the members of a group feel comfortable communicating with other members and it can also strengthen their relationships.
Team building ice breakers are a strong way to unite a group, expand strengths and lessen weaknesses. However, you probably will not achieve a successful team building ice breaker if don’t strategically accomplish it. The most important thing in team building ice breaker session is the planning. You must first analyse what situation your group’s facing. Take your time to think what their strengths and weaknesses are. Then after figuring that out, you can now choose from the different types and kinds of ice breakers that are appropriate and effective for your group.
There are hundreds of ice breaker activities for a team building. Each activity will help your group solve their issues and improve in a certain area. Here are some common issues that can help your group. WorkRFun has a comprehensive database of ice-breaker activities with detailed instructions on how to facilitate these ice-breakers, as well as step by step debriefing advice.
Here is some introductory information on ice-breaker activities. To improve communication, you can do a Back-to-Back Drawing activity. In order to do this, have each member a partner and let them sit back to back. The facilitator shall give one person in each pair a picture and give pencil and paper to the other person. The person who is holding the picture should mention some directions on how to draw what’s on the picture without telling the other person what the picture is. After they have finished the drawing, they should compare the original picture to the drawing. This activity will help the pairs to have a good communication and teamwork.
Another activity where you can improve your communication is to do the Survival Scenario. In order to do this, the group must communicate very well and decide what is important. The facilitator must tell a story that the group’s airplane had crashed the ocean and there is a nearby deserted island. On that island, there is a lifeboat and 12 items they need in order to survive. Let the members of the group choose what they want and need to take.
To build trust and independence, you can do Mine Field activity. This is a good activity if you have some open space to place some chairs, balls, small tables or any other object that can be an used as an obstacle. The facilitator can then group each person into a pair. It would be a good idea to pair up people that usually do not talk to each other, or even those who have issues with each other. This is a great opportunity to let them communicate and strengthen their teamwork. Before you start, you can allow the pairs to plan for a minute on how they will try and win this activity. After the planning, you let the pairs blindfold each other in turn. The non-blindfolded person then gives verbal instructions to help their partner reach the other side without tripping on and avoiding the obstacles.
Ice Breakers for Meetings
The use of icebreakers for meetings can help make everything run smoothly. There are many times that co-workers in companies have never met or might only know each other in passing. Meeting leaders need a way to bring the group together and help them interact with each other.
Meeting ice breakers are like pre-dinner cocktails when friends get together for dinner. They help relax people and make them feel comfortable enough to talk with each other. It is also a perfect time to set some of the groundwork for the meeting.
One of the great aspects about running icebreakers during meetings, is that participants do not even have to know that they are engaged in an ice breaker or activity. A well-designed meeting that is run by a talented facilitator can be a seamless event. It is easy to build meeting ice breakers that continue forward progress among the participants. The question always must be; What will the participants have learned when they have finished the icebreaker?
Don’t run yourself into a wall of ice
There are times that a team must learn how to collaborate on a project that will challenge preconceived ideas. In this situation, all members of the team must learn how to challenge each other without being confrontational. Team members who would normally be non-challenging or just allow other people to have their way, would have to learn how to assert their own ideas. These are excellent opportunities to use ice breakers that address different issues that must be addressed for a team to function properly.
Trainers want their meetings to be powerful and the attendees to walk away with information that is beneficial. Ice breakers can help them achieve that goal. The icebreakers allow workers to experience knowledge and ideas in a way that they might not have previously thought of. A well thought out meeting might even present a way for people to network with each other while solving a problem on a grand scale. The tone of a meeting can be more easily controlled by how the trainers structure the flow of the icebreakers.
Icebreakers that require a lot of physical movement could be scheduled for the beginning of the meeting. A little physical activity can help the blood flow and get the brain revved up for what is to come. If they get involved in the beginning, they might not drop out in the middle or toward the end. People are less likely to turn away from an established community. If conversations are going well and everybody knows each other’s name, the group becomes closer and makes the trainer’s job much easier.
The M&M’s Game
First up in our meeting ice breakers is the M&M’s game. This is an easy way for people to introduce themselves and share some fun facts. Here’s how it works:
- Pour a bag of M&M’s into a bowl – plain or peanut, your choice!
- Pass the bowl around and have each person select 3-5 pieces.
- After the group has their M&M’s, have them go around the room and answer a question based on the color of the candies they selected. For instance, the question for a red M&M might be “What is your favorite movie?” A blue candy could be “What is your favorite hobby?” Go around the room, with each person answering a single question, and continue until each person has gone through all their colors.
Be creative with your questions and tailor them to the people in your group. And for bonus points, you can eat the M&M’s when you are finished!
Finish the Story
Finish the Story is a fun and creative way to get your group talking. Here’s how it works:
- The facilitator starts the exercise by beginning a story. An example of this could be, “This morning after waking up, I looked outside, and I couldn’t believe my eyes!”
- Next go around the room and have each person add on to the story. The example for the next person speaking may be “My lawn was covered in rats, and they were all orange!”
As the game progresses, watch how crazy your story turns out!
The Name Game
Last on our list of icebreakers for meetings is The Name Game. The Name Game is an interesting exercise that lets people reveal a bit of their character. Here’s the setup:
- Start by asking each person to write down the first letter of their first and last name. If your name is Joe Smith, you would write down the letter “J” and the letter “S”.
- Next ask everyone in the group to describe themselves using adjectives that start with the letters that they wrote down. For Joe Smith, the adjectives might be “jovial” and “skinny”.
- Go around the room and have the group share their results.
The Name Game is always entertaining, usually funny and sometimes insightful.
Facilitating a meeting or hosting a large group of people can be a challenge; you can set the tone from the beginning by using one of these icebreakers for meetings. Make sure your next meeting gets off to a great start by using one of these sure-fire meeting ice breakers.