No Image Available

Seb Anthony

Read more from Seb Anthony

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Icebreaker for Telephone Training


Thank you.
Caroline Groom

4 Responses

  1. Icebreaker
    Hi Caroline

    An icebreaker I like to use as an introduction to a listening skills module I deliver is to get one group to sing bah bah black sheep, another then to sing twinkle twinkle little star and then another group to sing the abc alphabet song. Than ask the group how many times they’ve heard these nursery rhymes, then ask how many people realised it was the same tune, you’ll normally get a very surprised reaction.

    I have this excecise as a word document which I can send you if you email me, details on website.

    Damian Burcher
    Vision Sales Services

  2. Icebreakers
    This is a good one: divide them into pairs and give each person a set of cards (some prep needed!) with a list of unrelated words on, such as ‘Window’, ‘Jump’ etc. Sit them back to back and ask them to take turns in describing the words on the card to their partners without actually saying any of the words.

    This is good practice in communicating concisely and accurately over the phone, and is good fun. Give each person 1 minute to guess as many as possible and then add up the total score per pair.

    Another great icebreaker(in case you get odd numbers) is Bingo. For a copy of this please email me on [email protected]

    Have fun!

    Colette Johnson

  3. Drawing Closer?
    three people sitting thus:
    Flipchart a<) b(> c<)

    i.e. ‘a’ and ‘c’ are facing the flipchart.

    You have prepared the flipchart by drawing something abstract, e.g. a combination of geometric shapes or, say, the word ‘listening’ done in block letters in such a way that it is not obvious wehat it is. You can be as creative as you like with this, but make it complex enough for it to be difficult to describe easily, and frustrating enough to draw.

    You can cover the whole flipchart, or use section(s) of it.
    The image, of course, is not revealed until all three people have been instructed and are in position.

    ‘a’ and ‘c’ are both facing the flip chart.

    At no time are ‘a’ or ‘b’ to turn around – ‘c’ only speaks if ‘a’ or ‘b’ try to see the original or the attempted copy.

    ‘a’ describes to ‘b’ what is on the flip chart and ‘b’ attempts to draw what is being described.

    Obviously, you need to arrange, as best possible, so that triads aren’t too close to see or hear what others are doing (although, if space and logistics impose proximity, it may more realistically represent a busy work place).

    You can restrict the time or allow time enough for all – or most – to finish. In the latter case, I end it while there are at least two triads still working; it reduces the potential humiliation of being last past the post – or slow on the draw? (Boom! Boom!).

    Then swap so that the triads are working on a new drawing (which, of course, you prepared earlier).
    Forming new triads can also help the group bonding process if this exercise is done early on.

    Processing Questions:
    How did it feel to be ‘a’? / ‘b’? / ‘c’?

    What hindered?

    What would have helped?

    What information was missing? e.g. being able to see the other person’s lips?

    What, if anything, was surprising?

    How does this apply to the work-place?

    What was 1 key Learning Point (from each person) that will be useful?

    Variation 1: ‘b’ and ‘c’ can either stay silent or ‘b’ is permitted to ask questions.

    Variation 2: You can process between turns and notive whether people have already learnt something and are applying their learning.

    Variation 3: It work with pairs of course .

    Variation 4: It can also work as ‘chinese whispers’ [why chinese, I wonder?]. In that case, ‘c’s wait outside the room while ‘a’ and ‘b’ work.
    The flip chart drawing is hidden and ‘c’ returns.

    ‘b’ and ‘c’ sit back to back and ‘c’ attempts to draw as ‘b’ describes hir own efforts.
    ‘a’ can sit facing ‘c’ as the latter draws, which may be a source of jollity, which is always an added value during training sessions.

    Hope this is useful


  4. Asking for a date!
    Dear Caroline

    This is just an idea, I haven’t tried it (yet). I think people don’t like using the phone sometimes because they worry about embarrassing things happening like forgetting what to say, or coping with rejection.

    The best way to get rid of embarrassment is to face it head on when you will laugh or get very hot and then be much less worried next time!

    So how about pairing people up back to back and imagining the other person is someone you really fancy or someone famous you admire and are a bit in awe of and would like to meet.

    You have thirty seconds to phone this person up, (make “bring bring” noises), and to chat him or her up for a date or meeting. Then you reverse roles.

    I think this might cause much laughter and thus break the ice – and might even make a nice party game. If you try it, please let me know how you get on!


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!