What are the Latest Trends in Education?
A few weeks back, a playmeo member asked me what I knew about current educational trends. That is a great question, I thought. I had…
I cringe every time I see this happen.
You’ve sat patiently in a room filled with a bunch of strangers, making idle small talk where necessary and doing your best not to engage with anyone in particular.
Finally, five minutes after the declared ‘start’ of the session, the instructor finally welcomes everyone. Apparently, there’s a lot to do, and they are excited to start. But first…
“Let’s just whip around the room and …”
You know the rest.
Let’s whip around the room and ask everyone “… to stand up, tell us who you are, what you do and how bored you are.”
When I see this – and it happens waaaay too often for my liking – I just want to scream.
And worse, I can bet that 9 times out of 10, the instructor will regard this as their icebreaker [picture head in hands.] Sadly, all too often, it is not.
Watching Chad Littlefield’s latest video this week, I was reminded of the key ingredients of a successful icebreaker. In it, he shares a really simple, yet effective partner-sharing experience that covers most if not all of the key elements that help to break the ice.
My book Serious Fun describes these elements in more detail, but here’s a quick overview for the purposes of this post:
To truly break the ice, an experience must reflect most if not all of the following five elements:
It must be:
Chad’s simple story-swapping activity ticks most if not all of these boxes, which is why it works so well to break the ice.
Take a look at your program openings. cast an eye over those parts you would describe as the ‘icebreakers.”
How do they stack up when compared to these five elements?
In my experience, why do some icebreakers fail? Having been a part of and reviewed 100s of programs all over the world, the two most common pitfalls I see with what some leaders call ‘icebreakers’ are the absence of fun and a complete disregard for the threat embedded in the experience.
For example, the number one fear most people report is a fear of public speaking. Yet, somehow we have all agreed that whipping around the room in the first 2 minutes of a program and asking everyone to introduce themselves is a good idea. Wrong!
If you’re looking for some new ice-breaking ideas, click the links below.
You can also read more about what makes an icebreaker an icebreaker here and watch a short video tutorial here.Try These Icebreakers
Best-selling book featuring 150+ fun group games & activities. Scan QR codes to access digital content including videos.
Brand new deck of cards featuring emoji images to help you inspire conversations about emotions, feelings & experiences.
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