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The Big List of Effective Icebreaker Questions

The Big List of Effective Icebreaker Questions
Exercises, Icebreakers, Team Building, Personal Impact, Interview Skills

Article Rating:::: 34 Ratings :::: Monday, May 2, 2016

Suppose you have a group of people that don’t know each other very well and you want to get them feel more comfortable with one another. If you put this group of people in a room together, they will eventually mingle but the process is often inefficient. Most often the talkative or extrovert types dominate the conversations while others simply listen. People receive a lot of information about a few loud people and start to feel frustrated that they couldn’t get a word in. Alternatively, some may simply feel shy and not so comfortable to suddenly talk about themselves among a group of strangers.

In such cases, a structured approach to break the ice is useful. One simple way to do this is to divide the delegates into smaller groups and provide them with a set of questions that encourages them to talk about specific topics. This exercise and its variations help you achieve this.

Note that the questions listed here are designed to excite and encourage the delegates to talk. They go beyond the usual questions often suggested such as, “What is your hobby?”, or “What country do you like to travel to?” The aim is to ask deeper and more meaningful questions that touch the heart and make the person really excited to talk about themselves. In fact, these questions can make the person learn something about themselves which makes the exercise much more useful.

Often it will take much more than a few minutes to answer some of the questions listed here, but this is fine for the purpose of this exercise because the aim is to simply make people talk excitedly about themselves.

The collection of questions presented here can also be used to interview people or when you simply want to get a person talk about themselves. They can be rather effective in making an emotional connection.

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Creativity Exercise: Make a Monster

Creativity Exercise: Make a Monster
Games, Exercises, Team Building, Creativity, Exercises for Kids, Resource Management, Art, Design

Article Rating:::: 255 Ratings :::: Monday, November 23, 2015

This is a template for a creativity exercise centred on making monsters. It can be used for kids and adults depending on how you bias it and setup the exercise.

You can consider assigning the task to groups for an exercise on teamwork, teambuilding and management or run it individually for focus on creativity.

Ideally, you should run this exercise as a competition between participants to keep it fun and focused.

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Positive Appreciation, Affirmation and Praise

Positive Appreciation, Affirmation and Praise
Exercises, Team Building, Motivation, Self-esteem

Article Rating:::: 16 Ratings :::: Monday, August 24, 2015

In this activity, a group of people get to acknowledge each other’s actions and appreciate the impact of such actions on their own lives. People tend to avoid praising despite the fact that it is incredibly motivating. In addition, people also tend to shrug off praise as a way of being humble or they may feel they need to be polite rather than boasting about their actions. Both of these lead to a missed opportunity on boosting a person’s self-esteem. This activity provides an opportunity to do this systematically and in a safe environment.

It is ideal for a team of people who have been working together, know each other well and have gone through shared experiences so they can comment on each other’s actions.

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Teamwork Exercise: Broadcast News

Teamwork Exercise: Broadcast News
Leadership, Exercises, Team Building, Presentation Skills, Storytelling, Creative Writing

Article Rating:::: 239 Ratings :::: Monday, July 20, 2015

This is an entertaining and educational activity designed to test a group of people on their creativity as well as teamwork. The task involves producing a video. However, the video production is only an excuse to see how a team goes about a common task where several distinct roles are involved. There is a strict deadline, limited resources and a sense of competition with other teams.

The activity can be used to explore many subjects on interpersonal skills such as leadership, resource management, conflict management, coordination, teamwork, reaching deadlines, accepting limited resources and a focused approach to producing results. It is also ideal for courses on public speaking and presentation skills.

 

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Team Building Exercise: Sort the Cards

Team Building Exercise: Sort the Cards
Leadership, Games, Exercises, Team Building, Exercises for Kids, Problem Solving

Article Rating:::: 24 Ratings :::: Monday, October 13, 2014

In this team building exercise teams work together on a common problem. The problem is intentionally designed to be simple to understand though when several people are involved it may not be as obvious as on how to go through it. The exercise will highlight weaknesses and strengths. To succeed a team must work cooperatively and with foresight.

This exercise is also ideal to examine how a group of people self-organise, assign a leader or approach a problem solving task under pressure.

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Team Building Exercise: More of, Less of and the Same

Team Building Exercise: More of, Less of and the Same
Leadership, Exercises, Team Building, Goal Setting, Giving Feedback

Article Rating:::: 60 Ratings :::: Monday, September 1, 2014

You can use this teambuilding exercise to help delegates discover the strengths and weaknesses of their team. The exercise encourages individual thinking without pressure while at the same time helps the team to work together to address potential issues. The exercise focuses on both positive and negative aspects of the team so it is well-balanced. It also allows the team to see if any particular area is considered problematic by many team members which then indicates the scale of the issue. This in turn can lead the team to address the issue with high priority.

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Team Building Exercise: Pass the Tyre

Team Building Exercise: Pass the Tyre
Leadership, Games, Exercises, Team Building, Exercises for Kids, Large Group

Article Rating:::: 33 Ratings :::: Monday, August 25, 2014

This is a great teambuilding exercise that helps to cover several areas on leadership, teamwork and problem solving. You can run it like a competitive game for a large group. Allow the delegates go through the exercise several times to see if they can become better at the task. In the process they can learn how to work as a team towards a common objective.

The task is also fun to perform so it can be used as an energiser or even as a fun exercise to run during seminars and conferences. It provides a shared experience and an opportunity for people to have a laugh while also being able to address subjects related to teams and task completion.

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Icebreaker: Who is That

Icebreaker: Who is That
Games, Exercises, Team Building, Exercises for Kids, Diversity, Personal Impact

Article Rating:::: 10 Ratings :::: Monday, August 18, 2014

Use this icebreaker to help delegates get to know each other better. You can also use the training exercises as a test to see who knows most about others. It is fairly easy to run. You can customise the exercise by changing the questions provided in the “About Me Form”. For example, you can increase the number of work-related or project-related questions to bias the exercise towards a specific direction.

If you run this exercise for people who don’t know each other at all, it would work like a test on stereotyping and first impressions. In other words, the person who identifies most people’s qualities correctly, when he has never met them before, must have a sharp eye in paying attention to detail and a good judgment in placing people in society with respect to their interests. This can be a fascinating training topic to explore at the end of the exercise.

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Team Building Exercise: What Makes a Team Succeed or Fail

Team Building Exercise: What Makes a Team Succeed or Fail
Leadership, Exercises, Team Building, Goal Setting

Article Rating:::: 17 Ratings :::: Monday, June 30, 2014

This exercise helps delegates examine their teamwork and what makes it succeed or fail. It is powerful because rather than telling a team how they should behave you can ask them to evaluate their own success. Since they come up with the qualities themselves, they are more likely to be aware of these qualities and remember them in the future, which in turn will increase the chances of success for their teams.

You can run this exercise for delegates from the same team or those who have different teams.

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Teamwork Exercise: Tell a Story about Your Past

Teamwork Exercise: Tell a Story about Your Past
Leadership, Exercises, Team Building

Article Rating:::: 35 Ratings :::: Monday, June 9, 2014

This exercise provides a structure which allows delegates to share their views, experiences and values regarding teamwork and leadership with others. This exercise works for both newly formed teams and more established ones. You can also run the exercise for delegates from different backgrounds as well as it helps to share experiences across industries and can be quite inspiring.

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