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Ice Breakers required


Hi, please can you suggest some good ice breakers to use in a workshop with a mixed group of people (from all hierarchies) where they al they already know each other? I'm running a workshop on Assertive Communication Skills, so anything which leads to the underlying message of the session would be great. Thanks.

10 Responses

  1. Ice breaker
    Hi Khushboo

    Just a thought, considering the topic is assertive comms how about chinese whispers as an ice breaker? Sit your group round in a circle (if poss) and start off with something relevant to your session…

    Good luck!

    Samantha Oggelsby
    GSA Business Development Ltd
    0845 658 8192

    This is a useful tool to start ‘timed’ discussion on virtually any topic. No ‘Chairman’ – but a number of basic rules which can prevent some people from monopolising the discussion which can be as important as not saying anything. Don’t worry about reference to 6 weeks… I’ve seen real product in hours. See :

  3. Ice Breakers
    Hi Khushboo,

    I run assertiveness workshops and I find the most simple but effective ice breaker is to get delegates to come to the front of the room and then pair off, introduce themselves based on what they want to get out of the session and telling the other person one thing about them that nobody knows. After 30-45 seconds you ask the pairs to change and then repeat. A rule to introduce is that as they meet a new partner, they have to tell them something new about them that they have not revealed before. It always starts off quietly and politely but as people struggle to think of new things to reveal about themselves, the energy levels rise as it becomes quite funny and they do actually start to try and help each other out through questioning and listening.

    If there is an odd number, you simply join in. An optional follow on is to, in a circle, get people to feedback one point about another person. This helps to reinforce the value of questioning, listening and being able to summarise back as well as it shows that once relaxed, they can communicate very effectively. It’s simply getting over the first few moments.

    Good luck,


  4. icebreakers
    I use this one with teams that know each other: find out how many things they have in common with each person in the room (that has nothing to do with the workplace, gender or family and depending upon the audience you might add ‘ethical and legal’.). They have 1 minute to discuss in pairs before moving on to next person. Given that they do know each other this is a gentle non-threatening activity.

    This exercise can be referred to later for discussing rapport building, trust, questioning and listening skills, assumptions, body language etc. It’s a light weight energiser and usually fun for the participants.

    Debrief by asking if any surprises, highest numbers of commonalities, examples….what did they focus on to find these commonalities – dress, education, language, sports, leisure etc.

    I am sure whatever you choose to do it will be a success!

  5. Thanks
    Thank you everyone!! I like all your ideas and will zero down to the one that I think suits my group the best..

    Thank you again for your help.

  6. Ice Breakers
    This is something I call the Great Name Tent Exchange:
    1. Prepare a flipchart or PPT with 3 questions for participants to answer about themselves. Ex. a)What is your favorite restaurant in the area? b) What is your favorite movie? c) What is your favorite color?
    2. Ask each participant to make a name tent.
    3. Ask participants to introduce themselves to someone in the room, answering the three questions.
    4. Both people now exchange name tents and they are that other person.
    5. Repeat twice more for a total of three times.
    6. Participants must remember the information; they cannot write it down.
    7. Participants may not receive a tent they have already had (that includes their own)
    8. Ask someone to begin by returning the name tent to the proper person and introducing them with their answer to the 3 questions.
    9. If they are incorrect, the person should supply the correct answers.
    10. The person just introduced will then return the name tent they had and introduce the next person.
    11. Repeat #10 until all are introduced. If the chain breaks, ask for another volunteer.
    12. Chances are, many people will get the information wrong which points up how rarely we listen and how stress may affect our ability to listen and remember.
    13. Remark that this exercise will help them know who to go to lunch with!

  7. Assertive ice breaker
    Hi Khushboo
    I have often used some simple role plays that take a few minutes, raise a smile but also create discussion issues about how to say no tactfully to people e.g. a colleague wants to borrow a small amount of money. There is a set of 3 role plays at – just scroll down to ‘Skill Practice – Simple role plays’. Feel free to use/adapt.
    Hope that helps
    Happy Days!

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