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Energizers and ice breakers


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How to use energizers? And when? How do recognize the need for an energizer and how do you choose the right one?
you can visit at my website The blog associated with this presentation will be published on the 1st of february 2020.

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Energizers and ice breakers

  1. 1. KEEPING FOCUS AND ENERGY How to energizers and warm-ups in coaching teams
  2. 2. HOW TO PREPARE AN ENERGIZER The energizers can be versatile. The most common ones are getting to know each better, getting the group energized and focused, getting ready from brainstorm/analysis/decision making and team building. Preparing for an energizer is important. If the energizer is not prepared well it may do more harm than good. Usually the preparation for the energizer will touch on the same things as the preparation for the meeting or project I’m general. Preparation: Know your group Have questions ready that suit the needs of the group Know how much time you want to spend on this Know how you want to make subgroups (no groups should be bigger than 4) Decide how you want people to share their experiences and insight afterwards www.leaneffi.e
  3. 3. KNOW YOUR GROUP This is not just about knowing the names of the teammembers, but also about:  Knowing the purpose of the team  Knowing the make up of the team in tasks, responsibilities and knowledge  Knowing the interactions inside the team, like informal hiërarchies, close ties and feelings of not being heard or taken seriously  Knowing how well the team knows each other, who is new, who is not new  Knowing the purpose of the meeting  Knowing what type of thinking and doing suits te team well and www.leaneffi.e
  4. 4. HAVE QUESTIONS THAT SUIT THE NEEDS OF THE GROUP There are many different types of questions from safe to less safe. You need to choose that questions that will give a good mix of safety and stress without the chance that the team will shut down. 1. Factual statements like ‘Who has been working in this team for more than 5 years’. 2. Safe personal questions ‘What are your hobby’s’ or ‘What are your (least) favorite foods’ 3. Appreciative questions like ‘When are you at your best at your job’ 4. Work related questions like ‘What was the thoughest or weirdest case you have ever worked and why’ 5. Stretch questions like ‘You are now the director of this company, what would you change’ or ‘What bums you out the most at your job’ www.leaneffi.e
  5. 5. KNOW HOW MUCH TIME YOU WANT TO SPEND Energizers should not take very long or the energy will start to drop again. I always try to keep it within 15 minutes at the most. This means that you will need to look at group sizes and types of energizers to make it fit. In order to make it work well please be sure to have clear instructions ready for everyone and that the room is ready for the energizer. So try to make space and move desks before you get to the energizer if needed. Otherwise the energy will drain away again. www.leaneffi.e
  6. 6. KNOW HOW YOU WANT TO MAKE SUBGROUPS Some energizers do not need subgroups and can be done in any groupsize. Most will have a maximum and minimum number of participants. This means you will need to think about dividing the bigger groups into subgroups. You can let people do that by themselves, you can also do it for them. Usually people will sit next to the people they feel connected to. So if you just give everyone a number (1,2 etc) and let the ones be their own group and the twos have their own group, you will get people in a group who would not usually sit together. If you decide to design your own subgroups be sure to do so carefully and based on information from different perspectives. It is also important to keep the purpose of the meeting in mind. www.leaneffi.e
  7. 7. DECIDE HOW TO SHARE INSIGHT AFTERWARDS This is especially important if you had to divide the group into smaller groups. You can choose different types of feedback: 1. Appoint one presenter per group for short feedback to the larger group and give them some directions to work with 2. Ask everyone to tell something about the person next to them in the group (mostly for team building and getting to know each other) 3. Ask for a drawing or a poster with post it’s about the things that are most important to the group 4. ….there are too many to mention them all www.leaneffi.e
  8. 8. ENERGIZER: GETTING TO KNOW EACH OTHER 1. Let people make a circle. 2. Have people step into the circle and name one thing they are good at. 3. When other people are good at this as well, they also step in the circle. 4. People acknowledge the others strenghts by applause or a thumbs up or something similar. 5. Everybody steps back and a new person steps in. 6. People can step into the circle multiple times. 7. The speed has to be high. One round should not be more than 5 minutes. 8. This is suitable for groups of 8-25 people. You can let people mention their own strenghts, but/and you can also ask for specific strenghts as a facilitator based on interviews in advance. www.leaneffi.e
  9. 9. ENERGIZER: GET MOVING AND TEAMBUILDING This one needs small groups and is dependent on how much space you have available. Each group should be no more than 5 people. 1. Everybody stands and holds hands. At least one hand should always be touching another person. If this fails you need to start over. 2. Speaking is not allowed 3. You are going to ask people to form figures while adhering to the rules. The groups which makes the figure the quickest gets a point. You can ask for the following figures: 1. Triangles, squares, star, cube 2. Letters in the alphabet 3. Animals like dragon, snake, spider, elephant 4. Numbers www.leaneffi.e
  10. 10. ENERGIZER: STIMULATING CREATIVE THINKING AND FOCUS The group size depends on the themes and size of the room you are working in. You will need a couple of themes in advance, preferably no more than 6. These themes will be written on a flip over or brown paper. 1. You will divide your groups in 5 subgroups of no more than 5 people. Try to mix the normal groups up a bit. 2. Everybody has a marker to write with 3. Every team will think up ideas for their theme and write them on the flip over 4. After three minutes you give a signal and the groups move on the the theme/flip over on their left. They build on the ideas already written down and add their own. 5. Keep this up ontil each team is back with the theme they started with. They get two minutes to read the ideas and pick one or two they really like. 6. Each team presents their top ideas to the group at large. These ideas are used in the rest of the meeting. You can also use this with one theme and use the six thinking hats for this one theme. www.leaneffi.e
  11. 11. HOW TO DEAL WITH RESISTANCE It is important that you believe in the energizer yourself. It is also important that the level of trust needed to perform the energizer fits the level of trust the team has in itself and each other. When in doubt switch back to a 'safer‘ energizer. 1. The purpose of the energizer needs to be clear to the group. 2. You need an energizer that fits the moment, energylevel and the purpose of the meeting. 3. Give people context, how does this connect to their job? 4. If a large part of the group does not want to participate, try to engage the group in a different way. You are there for a reason how can you help 5. If just one or two people do not want to participate, ask them to observe. Especially if the rest of the group is very enthusiastic www.leaneffi.e