General Question

readtolive's avatar

What's a good ice breaker to use with adults?

Asked by readtolive (89points) August 12th, 2008

I will be working in a new school…. and am looking for a creative and fun icebreaker activity to help us all get to know each other: professionally and personally. Any ideas?

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19 Answers

lefteh's avatar

Fat penguins?

readtolive's avatar

Might be a little hot for that… we are in SC;-)

readtolive's avatar

any other ideas?

trumi's avatar

A big drinking game. You know a person’s intentions best after going 12 rounds of tequila. :D

May be a bit impractical for a professional environment, but consider the line of thought….

AstroChuck's avatar

I find just a plain old ice pick does wonders. Quick short jabs and you’d be surprised how little blood you have to clean up. Still, you probably should wear a slicker to be on the safe side.

Knotmyday's avatar

“Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.”
Ogden Nash

augustlan's avatar

Browse Fluther, find some questions of general interest and start a “mini Fluther” @ the school…

lefteh's avatar

Ooh, that’s a great idea, augustlan.

augustlan's avatar

aw shucks

Lightlyseared's avatar

hey, what about those insert local sports team here?

wundayatta's avatar

If you are brave, you can use physical games. One that I’ve used is where each person introduces themselves by standing up, saying their name, and adding a movement to express their name. They might do this a couple times, and then everyone stands up and says that person’s name and does their movement. You go around the room and everyone gets a chance. This can also be done with music, although I don’t think it’s appropriate in your case.

What this does is it gives everyone a chance to introduce themselves, express themselves, and add a physical image of themselves. In copying, the others get a chance to feel the name, but even more importantly, it aids in remembering the name. Since this is a school, and some learners are physical learners, some aural, and some visual: this works for all. It also teaches professionals that they can design classroom experiences that include something for everyone.

bodyhead's avatar

The perfect ice breaker in the professional world would be something about the economy or something specifically tailored to that person’s type of business. If you spend a lot of time small talking with other adults, you might consider reading the paper (or at least all of the headlines out of the paper) so you could be versed on any local news that might come up. Or you could even initiate with, “Did you hear about (the local news event)?

And of course, there’s always that old saying, “Hot enough out here for ya?” I hate it when people say that but it seems like everyone is saying it every year here in the south.

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

I know it doesn’t matter, but I have always hated “ice breakers’ . They make me feel uncomfortable and pressured. I never use them anymore. Rather, I like to offer the audience a chance to tell something peculiar about themselves or something they have done (completely voluntary) and then offer the other members a chance to expound upon their like peculiarities, or to offer up their own. If no one responds, that is fine. I have enough oddities and interesting things about my life that I share one of mine and then ask the audience to add to or comment on. In the end it turns into a big conversation. People learn a bit about each other. No one is put into a position where they have to tell their name and then do their favorite dance move (this is one of the worst icebreakers I have ever had to deal with). In a sense, I guess this is a type of ice breaker but no one sees it that way. My comment cards always contain at least one “Thank you for not having us do an ice breaker”. Good luck…

wundayatta's avatar

@Sueanne: you’ve actually had a situation where you said your name and created a body movement to express your name (not your favorite dance move) before? Wow! I had no idea this existed outside the dance world.

Context is certainly relevant in these situations. As is the skill of the facilitator. I, too, have had a lot of sucky, boring ice breakers that rely on saying your name and some stupid trivial piece of data about yourself. But, to each their own.

tedibear's avatar

One that I’ve used is “Same and Different.” Everyone works their way around the room, introducing themselves to other people. In that time, they attempt to find one thing that is similar between themselves and that other person, and one thing that is different. So, I would introduce myself “Joe” and we would start to talk about various things until we hit upon one similarity and one difference. The explanation sounds like it would be a cumbersome activity, but it really isn’t.

Must say, that dance move idea would send me over the edge as a participant!

mee_ouch's avatar

Twister!...Nah, overdone….
How about charging headlong into the teacher’s lounge and introducing yourself…Now there’s a novel idea! If you want, bake a batch of cookies, muffins or buy a box or two of honey dipped, bear claws, jelly-filled..etc.

Readtolive….Be yourself….It’s a dying art these days. I have a feeling that you’re that person anyway. Nobody needs to show the world they’re anything other than who they are by ‘enhancing’ your personality. Let them see and know the real you without the gimmicks/ice-breakers. Have we become so afraid of who we really are anymore? Is it not lost on anybody that we must buffer ourselves with a safetynet, just in case ‘they’ don’t like us? Guess what…..they’ll like you! Be you! Give them you and not the you that the media and ‘story book’ fantasies tell us we need/should be.

Don’t let them expect anything other than what you’ve got to offer…barebones. Believe it or not, it’s much easier to sleep at night, knowing that you don’t have to play ‘the game’ to be who you really are! They’ll love you for it.

Best of luck….I mean it!

ninjaxmarc's avatar

happy hour.

alive's avatar

silly, but true.

people love to talk about themselves (and usually their kids)

saying hello is a good start then talk about how long they have been doing what they are doing….[pause for answer].... do they like it [another pause].... and now ask if they have any kids….

hopefully at some point you can tell your story too!

readtolive's avatar

Thank you all for some terrific ideas…. I guess I wasn’t clear in my question… I will be leading a study group of teachers. Since I am new to them and they are ALL new to me, I am looking for a “getting to know you/community building/icereaker activity” that they could also use with their students.
I appreciate all the suggestions and will definitley try some out!

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