Icebreakers and team building exercises make interesting meetings productive

2019-06-02 Business No comment

How many meetings you have been to is the same old thing – a boring party makes you can't wait to leave. Most conferences are poorly managed and inefficient.

For more than two decades, I have been a teacher, management consultant and conference facilitator. In the hundreds of courses and seminars I have taught, I learned a truth – if you mix a little bit of fun, people can get more from your meetings.

By using team building exercises and icebreakers, you can energize and have fun for your next meeting, course or team building event.

It is wise to consider some basic elements before choosing a team building exercise or meeting icebreaker.

Ownership – First, icebreakers tend to perform best when participants master the activities chosen by the facilitator. You must place five key elements.

1. Explain the activity.


2. Provide the goal of the event.


3. Outline the structure of the event.


4. Set aside time to ask questions.


5. Allow them to participate at a comfortable level.

In many cases, the last element is crucial. Announcements are made at the beginning of the exercise to ensure participants understand that they are not “constrained” to participate in the event or team meeting.

For those who opt out, they may be made "observers" to see if they are willing to provide a report at the end of the event. Give them some constructive things during the workout. When given voluntary choices, people will be more involved.

Setting the climate – Icebreakers set the climate for the event. Based on this understanding, it makes sense to choose an icebreaker that meets the climate of the conference. Icebreaking or team building exercises may send an error message. Unexpected messages may send a meeting in a different direction. Therefore, it makes sense to spend time choosing the right meeting icebreaker.

Learning Objectives – Some trainers and team coordinators prefer to use meeting icebreakers or team building exercises to focus on learning objectives related to meetings, training programs, or group goals. Others prefer to use irrelevant sports to break the deadlock. However, each icebreaker is dynamic and has both intentional and unexpected consequences. Consider this before the event begins so you can maximize your experience and build a cohesive meeting.

Security – The first rule is not to take any chances of injuring your participants.

One of my favorite team building activities is called "Terrorist Toxic Popcorn Situation." For adults and teenagers, this is a simple team activity. The goal is to eliminate a can of "toxic" popcorn that is secretly placed in the room by "terrorists." Your team must quickly develop an action plan; assemble tools and equipment to transfer materials to “safe” containers before “toxic” substances explode. This is a great game to identify the planners, implementers and thinkers in your group. It also shows the importance of developing a good plan.

Sample team building exercises and icebreaker

A good day for hats!

Each participant was given a circular felt or other material approximately 18 inches in diameter. Tell the participants to form a hat with the material. Participants should have enough time to make a hat. At the end of the team practice, everyone is allowed to explain the hat they created. You can also get people to join the team and have some friendly competition between the teams, who can come up with the most creative hats.

Letter and name

Give everyone some time to think of an adjective, starting with the first letter of his or her name [eg "Great Greg"]. First model yourself. Then ask the group around the group to name their name/adjective combination. At each stage or at the end of the exercise, volunteers are reminded to remember and repeat each name and adjective that has been voluntarily provided so far. Offer prizes to those who do the best.

Napkin game

Participants are required to form groups of the same size. Give each group a napkin and let them fold the napkin as small as possible. However, it must be large enough for team members to place their toes on a sanitary napkin.

Paper tearing practice

It takes about 5 minutes to break the ice boat at this meeting.

Give each person a piece of 8 1/2" x 11" paper. Tell them the following: "We will do something and show us some important things about communication. Pick up your paper and put it in front of you. Close your eyes, follow my instructions – don't peek – you can't ask questions."

Then tell them the following. "Fold your paper in half. Now tear off the upper right corner. Then fold it in half and peel off the top left corner of the paper.

Then fold it in half. Now peel off the bottom right corner of the sheets. "

After the tear is complete, please say "Now open your eyes, let us see what you have. If I have communicated well, you have followed up with me and all your sheets look the same!"

Pick up your sheets and let them see. Any form is unlikely to match your form exactly.

Ask the group why no one's paper matches yours. You may receive a reply "You have not asked us to ask a question!" Or "Your instructions can be explained in different ways." Then, guide them to discuss the need for effective communication.

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