Think about what “ice” you need to break when planning ice breaks.
The “ice” that you create when you bring together like-minded people may just be a reflection of the fact that they haven’t yet met.
For an open discussion between people from different levels and grades of your organization, it may be the differences in status that create the “ice.”
The “ice” in a community that brings together people from different cultures, backgrounds, and outlooks to work together may be found in the perceptions of people.
These differences will require you to be sensitive. Focus only on the most critical aspects of your event. You want to create a buzz around your event and not reveal the entire iceberg. As you design and facilitate the event, it is essential to remember to look at similarities rather than differences.
These factors can help you determine what type of “ice” is in your environment:
1. The size of the crew
Some icebreakers work better in large groups of 20 people or more. Others are more effective for smaller groups of 5 to 10. Split the group into smaller groups and have the icebreakers run simultaneously if you have too many participants.
The size of your venue is another important consideration. If there’s any running or walking, it is a good idea to allow participants twice the space.
2. Knowing Your Crew (Participants).
The audience is an obvious consideration. Consider the following:
A) Age (which has an impact on the mental and physical energy levels)
B) Backgrounds (Familiarity among participants, culture, personality types, etc.
3. Planning Your Course (Purpose).
The icebreaker sets the tone for the rest of the event. What do you do after the icebreaker?
Do you have any new ideas, or are you just starting to brainstorm?
What are the year’s end results?
How do you start a new project?
Is teaching a vital lesson important?
How can you build a team?
Match the mood for the meeting to the air in the icebreaker. Based on the tone set by the icebreaker, participants might immediately make a decision about the direction of the meeting.
Ask yourself this question: What is the icebreaker?
Increase understanding of other people
Build group cohesion
Get your mental juices flowing
Just be silly
Increase the energy level of the group during the middle of a meeting
In any event, group members must be able to take something from the activity that will benefit the rest of the session.
4. Preparation for the Journey (Preparation).
Practice your explanations of how to play ahead, and be sure to carefully select your words and instructions.
It is a good idea to go through it together with facilitators and leaders.
Before you lead the icebreaker, make sure to take note of any supplies that might be needed.
Be mindful of the safety and well-being of all participants. (Dangerous activities, furniture, etc.)
5. ETA (Time)
You must be realistic about how much time you have to do the meeting icebreaker.
To boost your energy levels, choose a quick, punchy icebreaker.
If you need more disclosure, choose longer icebreakers
Icebreakers take longer than we expect.
6. Full Speed ahead (Take it to the Next Level).
When choosing an icebreaker, it is essential to decide whether or not there will be any severe messages. Icebreakers can have hidden messages, regardless of whether learning is the main focus.
Icebreakers with significant learning points are always preferred. They can provide powerful teaching opportunities without making it seem like we’re lecturing students.
7. Disembarking (Debrief)
After the icebreaker is over, it is essential that participants take some time to reflect on the activities. Participants may feel like they are playing a game if the effort isn’t taken to put it all together.
Talk about the purpose of the activity and what they learned. Discuss how this can be applied to their lives. Make the discussion interactive. Participating in the discussion, as opposed to being lectured to, will help participants take away more from the debriefing.
This is the basic structure of a standard debrief we use after icebreakers and activities.
“What happened?” What was the actual outcome of the activity? What were your actions?
“Why?” “Why?” What factors contributed to your success
“What changed?” How did you approach it differently? What were the changes you made to your strategy? What made it more effective the second time?
“So what?” What does this mean for us? What can we learn from this?
“Now what?” This activity will change your life. What would it be? How would this activity have an impact on your life?
Ensure that participants have the chance to ask questions during the activity. Dialog is the best way to learn. Participants are encouraged to share what they have learned with one another and to consider the meaning of the activity. It may surprise you how much depth and insight participants have.