On a recent LinkedIN Conversation in the Effective and Fun Training Techniques group, Jason Hughes asked for some recommended icebreakers, energizers, tips or tools for the face-to-face training of his small team, who generally already know each other. Often, he trains just a couple people at a time. Below is a synthesis of the conversation and recommendations.
Make it worthwhile!
As usual, whenever the topic of icebreakers is raised, a debate ensues about the utility or futility of such activities. The consensus seems to be that it should always have a purpose and be tied to your content. Here are a couple of reasons that might make it worth the time (you can read more on this topic here):
- Allow participants to express their expectations
- Introduce participants to one another
- Build a sense of community
- Introduce the content
- Set the tone for the session
- Help get conversations going
- Help people remember names
- Get people on their feet and get the blood flowing
- Engage participants in the learning process and set the tone for participation
- Give participants a sense of ownership over the learning
- Break down barriers between the trainer and the participants
- Encourage participants to think differently
- Understand the knowledge and experience of participants
- Enable participants to network with each other so they can use one another as a resource after the training has ended
Bearing in mind that having a purpose is important, some of the most-liked tips include:
6 Thinking Hats- ask the group if they have workplace issues they want to address
This team activity focuses on problem solving. I divide the group into teams and provide each team with a dice that has a colored hat on each side (representing De Bono’s 6 Thinking Hats). Team members roll the dice and have to approach the problem I give them from whatever color turns up on the dice. The next person then has to address the previous person’s comment as well as make their own comment based on the color that they roll. Info about 6 Thinking Hats can be found at Mind Tools. Mary Grace
Have partners write a letter, out loud/verbally, one word at a time. They each add a word and punctuation to build complete thoughts. It begins with “Dear, Name” and ends with “Sincerely, Name.” This shared activity connects the two to each other and can be catered to any topic. Regarding customer service, have partners role play a customer and a provider. Give them 2minutes, then 1minute, then 30 seconds, then 15 seconds, then 5 seconds to provide service. Compare and contrast how time affects their relationship with each other. ROI … Richard O Improv
2 Truths and a Lie
Ask or Brainstorm: What would you like to learn?
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