Every now and then we are mesmerized by some incredible training game that is brought to our attention. Here are some of these that you can download and use.
Getting Started With Icebreakers
I work with so many softskills trainers and managers who really get the importance of using icebreakers in their training sessions.
They know the need for business trainers "to break the ice" and to sometimes really kick-start parts of their sessions.
The only challenge is … not knowing what icebreaker to use and when to use it.
So today I want to talk about a few aspects for anyone who is not clear how and when to use icebreakers.
Understanding why we use icebreakersSome new softskills trainers and managers can be unfamiliar at the idea of using icebreakers. But the simplest way to implement them is to think about why you are using them. Icebreakers:
•Assist Group Formation
•Introduce Topics, Concepts Or Themes
•Prepare Participants For Learning
The Group Icebreakers are generally employed at the start of a training session or at stages where new material or sessions occur (e.g., after a break or to energize a group before a new topic is covered). I find that most opening activity icebreakers should last around ten to fifteen minutes.
It is important that all participants are comfortable with the icebreaker - even though sometimes the exercise itself may challenge them.
Choosing icebreakers for training eventsThere are many issues that need to be considered when choosing an icebreaker for you training event. These include:
•Rationale/Goals It is always essential that the icebreaker chosen reflects the rationale and goals of the training event.
•Experience It is also crucial that it has been tried and tested on others and that as a trainer you are familiar with all aspects of the activity.
•Audience Consider who the audience is?
Are they there as a group or as individuals?
What are the participants ability levels?
•Challenge Have they completed the icebreaker before?
•Connection To The Training Event The trainer must also ensure that the icebreaker ‘connects’ to a point in the training event. To illustrate, an energizer activity is best used after a break period than before the break!
Structure of the activity
Here's the thing: some softskills trainers need a quick and simple way to get the session moving. How you will the structure of activity will depend on:
•The number of participants involved
•Time required - do you have enough time to complete the task?
•Place - where the activity will take place?
•Permission - participants should be allowed to choose not to participate
•Tone – What tone does the activity set with the group
•Opportunity to include learning points for the training event
•Opportunity to ask questions
Download our icebreaker guide with practical examples that can be used in your training sessions.
Posted by Kay Fitzgerald, CEO and co-founder of Oak Innovation.