What Is An Icebreaker?
An icebreaker is an activity that forces people in a group to interact and get to know one another.
They are used to help people to become more relaxed and comfortable with their current environment and surroundings. Icebreakers are most often used in classrooms, meetings, or other group events. So keep that in mind for your next office retreat! They can be done for people who are meeting for the first time or have known each other for a while. It really doesn't matter, as long as you have a group and want to bond, then an icebreaker will work for you! If the members of the group to know one another, icebreakers can still be beneficial if everyone is tense or the stakes are high.
Icebreaker activities are a valuable asset for any gathering because they not only ease stress and tension, but they also encourage communication and cognitive thought. Not to mention, many of them provide a lot of fun and entertainment.
Two Types Of Icebreakers
There are two main types of icebreakers and their uses vary, so it is important to choose the type that is most relevant to the atmosphere of the group so that it is consistent with your objective. The two types are Facilitating Introductions and Topic Lead-ins.
Facilitating Introduction icebreakers do exactly what the title says; they facilitate the introduction of the group members to each other. This type of icebreaker can be used in almost any situation without harm or difficulty. It is a good way for people to meet one another and ask questions about each other that they probably wouldn't otherwise ask.
Topic Lead-ins are more specific in that they should only be used when someone needs a fun and active introduction to whatever they are speaking about. That means it needs to be related to the topic of your gathering. If they are used absently of leading into something then the participants will feel that it was a waste of their time, as it did not seem to serve a relevant purpose.
Therefore, before incorporating any form of icebreaker into a group setting, it is wise to consider what you are trying to accomplish with the icebreaker. If you simply want to have fun and encourage interaction, then a Facilitating Introduction Icebreaker will work for you. However, if you want to break the ice while leading into your meeting agenda then a Topic Lead-in Icebreaker is the way to go.
The bottom line is that icebreakers are activities that get people together. They can be used in almost any group situation as long as it serves a purpose and relates to whatever is occurring in the group on that particular day. Therefore, start incorporating them in your meetings today!