Ice Breaker Games
The Benefits and Uses of Ice Breaker Games
An ice breaker is a special-purpose ship or boat designed to move and navigate through ice-covered waters. This is why the name is used for a training game which helps to 'break the ice' when a course starts and clears the way for learning to occur by making the learners more comfortable and form as a group in a non-threatening and fun way.
Ice breaker games are an effective way of starting a training session or team building activities where people do not know each other. But they can also be used if a group of people know each other well feel but feel embarrassed because they have to tackle a difficult or new subject together.
Well-designed and well-facilitated, ice breakers help get things off to a great start. By getting to know each other, getting to know the facilitators and learning about the objectives of the event, people can become more engaged in the proceedings and so contribute more effectively towards a successful outcome.
Energisers are similar to ice breaker activities, except they are used to energise and refocus people on a training course or meeting. An energizer game is ideal to use or after a 'heavy' session or after lunch when many people find it easier to sleep than concentrate!
There are many benefits, but here are some key ones from using Elite Training games:
- They are fun and bring laughter to the process
- Get the attention and involve people quickly
- Break down barriers that exist between people
- People soon get to know one another quickly
- Ice breaker activities help clear people's minds
- Great way to ease a group into a meeting, training event, or seminar
- Help to foster the new ideas
- Get people to interact on a different level then they do in the workplace
- Open the lines of communications with relaxed manner
- Resuscitate any failing energy and stimulate the creativity
- Act as a 'springboard' to the main topic that you want to explore in detail later.
The facilitator can use ice breaker games as a quick assessment of the group to gauge how much they know about the topic, how comfortable they are in groups, what is their background, expertise and so on.
The key to a successful ice breaker is to make sure it is focused on meeting your objectives and appropriate to the group of people involved.
Do's and Dont's of Ice Breaker Games
There are many ice breaker games available in books and online, so you are spoilt for choice. However the following do's and don'ts will help you choose the right kind of icebreakers for your event.
- choose the right ice breaker activity for the right group
- allow sufficient time for icebreaker activities
- use icebreakers to create a relaxed environment
- make the icebreaker and instructions simple
- monitor the participants
- be ready to improvise if necessary
- have a back-up plan. If the icebreaker isn't working, us it.
- introduce an icebreaker activity that will make others uncomfortable
- limit icebreakers to the beginning of a meeting or training event - use them to revitalize the group at any time
- force people to participate.
Example Icebreaker Activities
There are many types of icebreakers and energisers for meetings or training, each suited to different objectives. Here are some that we recommend and the areas they cover.
|Activity Name||Areas Covered by the activity|
|Colourshapes||Communication skills, Interpersonal Skills, Problem Solving, Teamwork|
|Continuous Improvement **||Performance Management, Process Improvement, Leadership|
|Crime Squad **||Communication, Ice Breaker, Planning, Teamwork|
|Electric Fence **||Problem Solving, Planning, Safety Awareness, Teamwork|
|Helium Stick||Teamwork, Leadership, Communication, Focus on Goals|
|Minefield||Learning from Mistakes, Risk Taking, Team Support, Feedback|
|Pipeline **||Icebreaker, Customer Service, Teamwork, Setting Targets|
|Roller Coaster Ball||Communication, Co-operation, Trust, Teamwork|
|Team Shapes **||Communication, Problem Solving, Planning, Teamwork|
Expert advice to help you choose and use
With our business experience and expertise in training, we can help you choose the right icebreaker activity or business game. Advice is free and there is no obligation to buy.
To see the other companies that have bought business simulation games from us and their feedback on our services please visit our >> Customers and Feedback Page
Prefer us to run the game? No problem
Our facilitators will run a business game or ice breaker games at your management conference, seminar or training course.
Just let us know what you want to achieve from running the game and relax in the knowledge that we will make the game interesting, enjoyable and beneficial.
"The general feedback on our conference was 'one of the best yet!' I think that using starting the day with the Crime Squad really helped relax people into the day and I think they all found the Hotel exercise both challenging and rewarding and having you run the afternoon enabled us to see how the delegates actually worked together. Thanks to you and your team for helping make our conference a success.
The challenge for us is now to come up with something different for next year so any suggestions would be appreciated."C. Garrett – Selwood
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