6 Icebreakers That Don’t Suck

Mar 12, 2024

In this exciting video, I’m thrilled to dive into some remarkable strategies and tools designed to energize and connect any group, regardless of their mood or personality. But before we dive in, let’s establish an essential premise: even the most engaging exercises can fall flat without the right facilitation. Stick around for some invaluable tips on how to ensure each activity resonates deeply with your participants.

How To Do “Me to We”

Our journey begins with an introvert-friendly exercise called “Me to We.” It’s a part of a new tool I’ve developed, available in the connection toolkit. This exercise respects everyone’s need for reflection, offering participants five minutes to journal their thoughts on a given prompt before sharing in a small or large group. This approach is not only respectful but deeply engaging.

To support this and the following exercises, I’ve created card decks available for free download, featuring questions designed to encourage self-reflection and meaningful conversations.

How To Do “Conversation Roulette”

In stark contrast to the reflective “Me to We,” “Conversation Roulette” is all about pace. Participants quickly share their responses to fun and light-hearted questions from the green cards of our deck, creating a dynamic and enjoyable atmosphere.

How To Do “Question Swap”

This activity involves participants swapping questions and answers, offering a mix of interaction that caters to both brief encounters and more in-depth discussions. It’s an excellent way for attendees to control their engagement level, encouraging authentic connections.

Engaging with Stories through “We! Engage Cards”

Everyone loves a good story, and our “We! Engage Cards” facilitate just that. With one side of the card featuring quotes and the other images, participants share stories triggered by the visuals. This method provides a rich tapestry of narratives, fostering a deep sense of connection.

How To Do “Visualizing Values”

Focusing on organizational values, this exercise invites participants to select an image or quote that resonates with a specific value, such as integrity. Sharing stories related to these values brings abstract concepts to life, making them memorable and impactful.

Creating Connection Before Content

Replacing the term “icebreaker” with “connection before content,” this principle is about engaging participants right from the start. Exercises like “Forging a Future” use visual prompts to encourage participants to envision and share their aspirations, creating a deeply personal and forward-looking dialogue.

Essential Tips for Facilitating Successful Exercises

To ensure these exercises truly engage and connect, here are some crucial tips:

  • Create Productive Silence: Brief moments of silence can enhance focus and deepen the quality of interactions.
  • Remind People of Their Autonomy: Emphasize that participants have complete control over what they share, ensuring a safe and comfortable environment.
  • Adapt to Your Purpose and Audience: Feel free to modify these exercises to fit the specific context and needs of your group, making them even more effective.

As a bonus, I’ve also included a QR code for free printable cards and a teaser of a connection toolkit that offers nine additional strategies for building meaningful connections.