Dos and donts_(1)

Ice Breakers - the dos and donts

Ice breakers are a great way to start a training program. Most of the successful trainers, usually have some form of ice breaking before hitting the main topic or theme of training. The fundamental rationale for an icebreaker is to ensure that the participants are more at ease and if possible are able to relate with one another. While the ice-breaker way of starting a training program is an excellent method, there are some fundamental Dos and Donts that one needs to take care of:
1. Have the ice breaker in such a way that it allows all the participants to join in. Any ice breaker which only involves participation of a few usually does not give the required results.
2. Whenever possible make sure that the ice breaker also involves some physical movement. This was the participants feel much more relaxed after the icebreaker.
3. Plan the ice breaker to match the theme of the program. Doing a 16 circles exercise for a creativity program would go much better than say, tell about yourself on a balloon
4. Have a fixed time for the time breaker say 10-12 min after the initial bell.
5. Keep the spirit through the icebreaking session, high. An ill managed ice breaking process leaves the participants confused and deflated.
6. If possible conclude the ice-breaker. Eg, like we now observed, when we know a few more details about a person than what we know, we tend to relate with them better etc.

1. Have an ice breaking session that is too long. In a one day training program, neither the client, nor participant (and nor you) would be happy with a 45 min ice-breaker!
2. Dont make the ice breaker too physical a tiered participant is the last thing you want when you start off a program.
3. Dont have the ice breaker where a lot of mental jogging happens eg. recall events from your past where something happened. Cooling participants off from such a huge emotional thing can have its own consequences.
4. Never have an ice breaker which may show one or more of the participants in poor light.
5. An ice breaking session which may gender insensitive.
Remember, ice breakers are meant to break ice at start of programs, not break the programs itself!


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