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Ice breaker on communication and innovation, change



I have been asked to deliver an icebreaker of 1 hour to help a team develop the strategy for next year.

The team comprise of very technical individuals who sometimes get misunderstood by non technical people because they use terms too technical and the communication breaks down.

Does anybody out there as any ideas for an icebreaker?

Thanks in advance to all.
Adriana Ferguson

6 Responses

  1. innovation introduction
    Hi Adriana

    As jargon seems to be the key challenge here what about splitting the group into two – tech & non tech, and drawing up a list of jargon each group uses, then pass the lists to the other group to come up with alternative language.

    These can then be put on flipcharts and used as references throughout the remainder of the event.

    You can close by highlighting that jargon is like languages – say English & French. Both work well in their own environments – but together they cause confusion.


  2. Game
    Hi Adriana –

    How many people are we talking about here? A game like ‘ColourBlind’ where the delegates are blindfolded and have to describe things in language that everybody ‘gets’ might be a possibility? I bought my copy some years ago but believe that it’s still available.

    best wishes


  3. Long ice breaker
    If you are looking to do something for an hour, it sounds more like a standard task rather than an ice breaker.

    In fact, I tend to use ice-breakers that are only very loosely related to the actual course content. To me, that is the point: to get the delegates thinking in a different way and not about “work”.

  4. Activities…

    There are several ready made kits available that might be appropriate. More than happy to email writeups for you – the number of people taking part would be useful beforehand.
    t: 01884 821870
    [email protected]

  5. Change the communication medium
    Hi Adriana
    How about making the communication for technical and non technical individuals the same by delivering an ice breaker in the medium of music or paint.
    We have successfully used the medium of paint for strategy planning in the past.

  6. behind the mask
    Hi Adrianna

    It sounds like an exciting project you’ve got on your hands!

    How about laying out a load of masks at the back of the room (eg, a pretty lady, a stern old man, a crocodile, a pig, a clown, etc) and asking all delegates to choose one of the masks that they feel most closely represents how others might perceive them to communicate. Then ask them all to explain why they have chosen that mask.

    This will get them to think differently about how they communicate and how others might perceive them – especially if they didn’t get in there quick enough, and are having to explain how their communication could lead to them being perceived as a clown, for example ūüėČ

    You could also then lead into a discussion about how our communication can actually create a barrier, just as a mask does, and similarly, how it can create a representation of ourselves that we don’t necessarily want to create.

    Best of luck!



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