Looking for the best group icebreaker, conversation starter, or end-of-the-day debrief conversation? Our current favorite conversational exercise is breaking off into smaller groups to share Highlights, Lowlights, and Insights. From the day, the week, or even the year. You can change the framing to match your context and goal.
Breakout into groups of three to share for 10-15 minutes. Then come back together as a large group to quickly popcorn out a bunch of responses to the question: what struck you about those conversations? This step is really important because when people share what they heard, they are automatically reflective listening and making their partners feel seen, heard and understood. When we feel seen, heard, and understood, we are more likely to feel a sense of belonging. And when we belong, we contribute.
Three Ingredients for a Meaningful Conversation
- Sharing highlights infuses joy into the conversation, boosts team morale, and can spark laughter which does all sorts of positive things for the brain. Offering a highlight is also a low-risk “icebreaker” to kick things off.
- Unpacking lowlights creates a chance for authenticity and vulnerability which is an essential ingredient for psychological safety. Looking at lowlights also casts a light on what is not currently working which makes space for improvements
- Reflecting on insights increases personal “ahas,” fosters a culture of learning across your group, cross-pollinates ideas and institutional wisdom, and promotes informal peer mentoring. When people have a chance to share their insights, it ensures that each team member feels like their perspective is valuable and that they have something to offer—no matter what their rank or title.
If you love this idea, share it. Ideas don’t care who they belong to, but the good ones are meant to be spread!
If you like this exercise, and want quick access to 100+ group exercises with video tutorials, descriptions, and variations to adapt to your team, group and classroom or organization, consider purchasing our Connection Toolkit.