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John Tomlinson

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Learning and Development Consultant

Read more from John Tomlinson

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Why bother with icebreakers?


I am fairly skeptical about the use of icebreakers, not because I don't think there a place for them, but because most of them are rubbish or cringeworthy, or they're formulaic and boring

I spoke to Paul Tizzard for the Trainer Tools podcast about this - Paul is equally skeptical, but has written 3 books on icebreakers, so I was interested in his view

We had a really interesting conversation about the subject, and he had some useful advice.

5 Responses

  1. Linkedin Comment
    “If chosen and executed well, they can help make the day putting people in a positive frame of mind. Without good ones, particularly after lunch, then you have an uphill struggle on your hands. If the facilitator is not into it, I agree, then there’ll be a whole lotta cringing going on, in which case better to refrain.”

  2. LinkedIn comment
    “I like the risk & energy when selecting the right ice breaker and the link to transactional analysis, I will definitely have a think the next time I choose an ice breaker.”

  3. LinkedIn comment
    “I agree with all the points made and definitely think that short, interactive slots, that have been creatively planned and are well facilitated can really add to the value and learning of an event. The generic term “icebreaker” is a misnomer as they can also be energisers, attention switchers or review tools.”

  4. Hi Shonette, thanks for your

    Hi Shonette, thanks for your answers and sorry not to have replied sooner (I thought it would email me!) – and thanks for the link to the LinkedIn discussion

Author Profile Picture
John Tomlinson

Learning and Development Consultant

Read more from John Tomlinson

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