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Seb Anthony

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Icebreakers for changing course participants


I wonder if anyone has ever had this issue to deal with.

We run courses that have 'rolling starts', which means that as people come into the workplace to be placed on courses (not necessarily voluntarily) they are put on to the course straight away.

The affect of this is that, on a three day course we can have participants who are doing Day 1, Day 5, Day 9, Day 15 or anything in between.

Our issue is to develop or find icebreakers we can do daily to welcome new participants which do not get old for other participants who have already been participating.

We want to engender some sense of group and mutual knowledge and support within the group (many of whom are angry and negative as they do not want to take part).

Has anyone encountered this problem or found incebreakers that work in this kind of circumstance?


Rob Simo

2 Responses

  1. ideas
    Not really had to cope with this kind of set up before – it sounds very frustrating?

    Only things I can think of are getting people of the course (at their different stages) to do some kind of overview of what they have learnt so far, how things are going which will serve two purposes.

    1 – help the new starts to see what the course is all about, what’s been happening as well as getting an introduction to some of the current participants

    2 – it can serve as a “refresher” update for all the others on the course, what’s been covered etc.

    Another idea is to have an almost constantly running “game” that can be used to integrate new people for example:

    Have your group split into 2 (this only needs to be for the game but can also be used throughout the training as their standard “team”).

    Each team has to have certain “criteria” that are theirs only out of a choice of 2 common elements of a pair for example:
    Team A like:
    Eggs not Bacon
    Plain not Salt and Vinegar etc
    Team B would be the opposit
    Bacon not Eggs etc

    Anyone new joining would be asked questions around this so What do you prefer? Bacon or Eggs, Plain crips or Salt and Vinegar?

    For each answer Team A or Team B will score a point. The team that scores the most gets the new person in their Team.

    Something that can carried out and built on like that would probably work!

    Hope this at least helps you!

  2. Icebreakers
    Introduce new members, call a 10 min break to have tea/coffee if available. Tell them if they don’t talk to each other you will introduce an icebreaker! Works a treat, gets everyting off to a friendly start and as 90% of people hate icebreakers (talk to people, they do!)forgoes the need for anything structured. When students return run through the structure of the day.


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