Breaking the Ice

I’ve been offering the workshop “Fabulous Facilitation” for over 10 years now. When I talk about the importance of icebreakers and energizers, I often hear polite groans within the group. And I get it. People are reluctant to step out of their comfort zones and that is exactly what icebreakers ask them to do. But icebreakers and group warm ups are essential in workshops, conferences, and staff meetings because they:

·        Prime a group at the beginning of a meeting

·        Increase participants’ comfort levels immediately

·        Shift both social and power dynamics within groups who regularly work together 

·        Reduce learning overload and increase retention

·        Raise energy and set the tone for fun!

When the icebreaker/energizer segment is finished, the same people who resisted the idea are now smiling and chatty. The energy in the room is higher and more connected. There is a palpable team spirit and participants are ready to get some good work done together.

Icebreakers can be used nearly any time a new group gathers or to help an established group move forward with building effective rapport. Energizers are also used to stimulate, challenge, and motivate participants.

For an icebreaker to be effective, it has to be appropriate to the group as well as efficiently timed.  Knowing when it’s time for an icebreaker requires sensitivity, the ability to read a room, creativity, and the confidence and agility to work with any resistance. Icebreakers can be used for the duration a group is together, from beginning to end, depending on the dynamics that day.

Want to learn more? Join me at my next Fabulous Facilitation workshop Oct 17th in Victoria – more information can be found here