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Breaking the Ice
If you've ever walked into a crowded room or attended a training session where you didn't know anyone you would be able to attest to the stress it causes one to feel. People have different personalities and as such deal with situations differently. Whilst there are those amongst us who are social creatures and always the life of the party there are those who generally don't interact much because of their inherent shyness. Ice breakers have the ability to put people at ease and quite literally break that cold invisible barrier between people.
People who are comfortable around each other are more likely to participate in activities and feel a sense of belonging.
An ice breaking activity should:
Humour is usually a winning card when it comes to breaking the ice, a clever quip or an inoffensive joke should do the trick. Having people laugh at themselves or together is a good idea because it puts everyone on an even footing.
Depending on the group you could suggest a few games or activities, avoid the highly physical and also avoid potential embarressment by not playing games that would force people to display any level of general knowledge. This would be sure to remove that equal footing you are striving for.
Getting people to work together is not a difficult task to achieve, especially once a foundation of mutual respect is built.
Douw Kruger is a motivational speaker, who also specialises in team building.