Ice Breakers

Breaking barriers and connecting people
Contributed by

Roman Martin

Jorge Tudela

Published February 14, 2023

What Is Ice Breakers?

A simple and effective practice to break the barriers in a human group to create a safe starting point for a workshop or session. This practice focuses on building good relationships between attendees using enjoyable topics and activities.

Why Do Ice Breakers?

Anybody who ever facilitated a workshop or training with a group of people knows how important it is to start in the right way. Ice Breakers provide an effective way to start a team-building event, helping people get to know each other and break the initial barriers in a human group.

This practice is very useful when participants come from different backgrounds, skills, organizations or they just simply don't know each other. People need to bond quickly so they can work towards a common goal, creating a team from scratch.

How to do Ice Breakers?

Many different kinds of activities are a good fit for an Ice Breaker. If you have some knowledge about the context of your audience, you could try to choose wisely by adapting the ice breakers to them.

A typical pattern in any Ice Breaker is attendees introducing themselves by sharing their name and role before the main Ice Breaker activity starts.

Some easy to do Ice Breakers examples:

  • Agile Faces, people draw parts of the face of others at the same time they introduce themselves.
  • Spirit Animals, people choose an animal representing their current mood.
  • Our Superpowers, people choose the superpower they are bringing to the rest of the group.
  • World Map, people choose a favorite place they have been or aspire to go and a story about that place.

Most of these Ice Breakers can be delivered in on-site or remote workshops.

Look at Ice Breakers

Links we love

Check out these great links which can help you dive a little deeper into running the Ice Breakers practice with your team, customers or stakeholders.

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