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Free Meeting Icebreakers


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This is a powerpoint presentation which contains a number of meeting or workshop icebreakers

Published in: Self Improvement, Education

Free Meeting Icebreakers

  1. 1. For when you need to get them thinking Credit to . Who provide these and many more
  2. 2. <ul><li>There are many different kinds of roads in our world – the multi-lane, high-speed autobahn in Germany; winding country roads; big-town city streets; and ancient one lane cobble streets, among others. </li></ul><ul><li>Think about your (type of workshop) skills. Which road are they most like? Why? </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Thomas A. Edison said, “There’s a way to do it better – find it.” </li></ul><ul><li>What specifically do you want to find today? </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>“ For over 20 years the artist, Stan Herd, has worked the earth using indigenous materials to produce evocative and mystical works. From 160 acre plowed portraits to one quarter acre intimate stone designs, his work has become a platform for discussion of mankind’s contemporary relationship to the land” ( </li></ul><ul><li>If Stan were to plow a picture that describes how you feel about attending this workshop, what would it look like? </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>“ Working Wounded” is a weekly column at ABC’s internet news site. Some previous articles were titled: Treat ’Em Right; </li></ul><ul><li>Controlling Those Buttons; </li></ul><ul><li>So Much for Promises; </li></ul><ul><li>Earning the Boss’s Praise; and </li></ul><ul><li>Second Chances. </li></ul><ul><li>These headlines could describe much of what happens at work. They can also describe why certain decisions were made. </li></ul><ul><li>Either use one of these headlines – or make one up yourself – to answer this question: &quot;Why did you decide to come to this workshop?&quot; Explain. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>When cooking, if you don’t have an ingredient, you can often substitute another ingredient. For instance, yogurt is often substituted for sour cream; milk and vinegar or lemon juice for buttermilk; and cocoa powder and butter for unsweetened chocolate squares. </li></ul><ul><li>Skills and abilities can be thought of as ingredients in successfully doing something. Think about the topic of this workshop. What missing ingredient do you want to find a substitute for today? </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Which of these Australian sayings fits with what you expect to learn today? Explain your choice and describe what you think the Aussie saying actually means. Awning over the toy shop; </li></ul><ul><li>Get the frog untied; </li></ul><ul><li>Bullamanka; </li></ul><ul><li>I will fix your Jack and Jill; </li></ul><ul><li>Get the Drum on that. </li></ul><ul><li>Tidbit: According to Larry’s Aussie Slang and Phrase Dictionary, the actual meaning of each saying is: </li></ul><ul><li>Awning over the toy shop – male beer belly </li></ul><ul><li>Get the frog untied - to depart or leave, hit the road </li></ul><ul><li>Bullamanka - an imaginary place in the outback, beyond anywhere </li></ul><ul><li>I will fix your Jack and Jill - I will pay your bill </li></ul><ul><li>Get the Drum on that - get the truth on that </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Oliver Wendell Holmes once said that, “One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>How do you want to stretch your mind today? Be specific. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>We often doodle to relax or to pass the time while we are doing something else (like talking on the telephone). Usually we think of doodles as small drawings that have no meaning at all. But sometimes our doodles reveal our innermost hopes and fears. </li></ul><ul><li>If you were doodling while you were thinking about this workshop, what would the finished doodle look like? </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>A Chinese proverb says that &quot;He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>What question do you want to ask today? </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Have the following statements on an overhead or flipchart: • Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way. (General George S. Patton) • Public sentiment is everything, without it nothing can fail, without it nothing can succeed. (Abraham Lincoln) • Leaders must invoke an alchemy of great vision. (Henry Kissinger) • The highest of distinctions is service to others. (King George VI) </li></ul><ul><li>Which of these four statements most represents where your organization is coming from? To which are they are endeavoring to go? </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Five years from now as you are sipping your morning coffee and reading on-line news headlines, you see your company’s name in a headline. You are surprised to see that the top business news story has to do with your company. You quickly go to the page and scan the story, growing more delighted with each line you read. </li></ul><ul><li>What does the news story report? </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>If change in your organization is a motorcycle, do you find riding it: </li></ul><ul><li>• Terrifying; • Exhilarating; or • Just a vehicle to get where you are going? </li></ul><ul><li>Why? </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Machiavelli stated, &quot;There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Why do you agree or disagree with Machiavelli? </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Sometimes reward systems penalize people instead of rewarding them. </li></ul><ul><li>What one thing in your company’s reward system would you change so that the people that should be rewarded are rewarded instead of punished? </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Which of the following best describes how you feel about change in your organization? Change is … </li></ul><ul><li>• A gentle breeze; • A severe and violent thunderstorm; • An tree-cracking ice storm; • A ray of sunshine; or • A pea soup fog. </li></ul><ul><li>Explain. </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>When change is announced in your office are you: </li></ul><ul><li>• The ultimate fence-sitter; • A fly on the wall; • The champion of change; • A ghost; or • The harbinger of doom? </li></ul><ul><li>Why? </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>For good or ill, your conversation is your advertisement. Every time you open your mouth you let men look into your mind. Do they see it well clothed, neat, businesswise? (Bruce Barton). </li></ul><ul><li>Let’s take this idea a step further. Imagine our words coming out of our mouth dressed in different clothing according to how we speak and communicate. For instance, you might be at a business meeting dressed in an expensive designer suit but the words coming out of your mouth are dressed in a grubby and well-used sweat suit. </li></ul><ul><li>Think about how you talk at work. Describe the clothing your conversation currently wears. Is this how you would like it to be dressed? If not, what clothing should your conversation wear? </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>Successful communication can be compared to a flower. At first, it is a bud; you see the outer petals but don’t really know the shape of the flower inside. </li></ul><ul><li>As time passes, the bud opens more and more, and finally a beautiful flower reveals itself. </li></ul><ul><li>People are the same way, whether in business conversations or at home. And just like some flowers bloom more quickly than others, some people take longer to open up than others. </li></ul><ul><li>How long does it take you to open up? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there anything that makes you open up more quickly? </li></ul><ul><li>What makes you close up again once you’ve started opening? </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>A wise man once said, “Nothing is so simple that it cannot be misunderstood.” </li></ul><ul><li>Tell us about a time when you misunderstood someone and trouble resulted. </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>Susan Morem in her book, How to Gain the Professional Edge, has a list of “good telephone protocol.” These points include: </li></ul><ul><li>• Good telephone etiquette requires that all phone calls be returned within one business day. • Make sure you have a purpose for your call: a call interrupts someone. • Get to the point, avoid lengthy small talk. • Give full attention to the person on the telephone. • If disconnected, the person who placed the call should reestablish the call. • Don’t take calls when someone is in your office. </li></ul><ul><li>Which rule is most often violated in your organization? </li></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>Calvin Coolidge stated that, “No one ever listened themselves out of a job.” </li></ul><ul><li>Think about the various managers you’ve had. Then tell me about the one with the best communication skills and how those communication skills made a difference to you – and to others in the workplace. </li></ul>
  23. 23. <ul><li>Kenneth A. Wells said, “A good listener tries to understand what the other person is saying. </li></ul><ul><li>In the end he may disagree sharply, but because he disagrees, he wants to know exactly what it is he is disagreeing with.” </li></ul><ul><li>How would listening to understand have made a difference in a conflict you were involved in? </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>In the movie, “Jurassic Park,” the dinosaurs varied substantially in their behaviour. There was nothing subtle about Tyrannosaurus Rex – it used brute force to get its own way. The Velociraptor (Raptor) was clever, and worked with others to manipulate its prey into a vulnerable position. The Duckbill ran from danger whenever possible. The small Compsognathus (Compy) looked harmless but when around injured prey it would dart in, nip quickly with paralyzing venom, and then run off, only to return later to finish the attack. </li></ul><ul><li>Which of these dinosaurs are you most like? </li></ul><ul><li>Which one would your co-workers say you most resemble? </li></ul>
  25. 25. <ul><li>Is the way you deal with conflict, more like a: </li></ul><ul><li>• Hawk; • Dove; • Ostrich; • Hummingbird; or • Seagull? </li></ul><ul><li>Explain. </li></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><li>Place these quotes on an overhead or flipchart: </li></ul><ul><li>• The highest of distinctions is service to others. (King George VI) • When firmness is sufficient, rashness is unnecessary. (Napoleon Bonaparte) • Pull the string and it will follow wherever you wish, push it and it will go nowhere at all. (Dwight D. Eisenhower) • A leader is someone who helps improve the lives of other people or improve the system they live under. (Sam Ervin) • Ethics must begin at the top of an organization. It is a leadership issue and the chief executive must set the example. (Edward Hennessy) </li></ul><ul><li>Which of these people would be considered a troublemaker in your organization? </li></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>Taking leadership of a group is similar to building a house. First, you either start building new or you renovate an existing structure. Some walls come down, others go up, the foundation is expanded, and skylights are added. </li></ul><ul><li>Think of your group as the building that you are constructing. </li></ul><ul><li>What did the structure look like when you took over leadership of the group? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you want the building to look like when you finish construction? </li></ul>
  28. 28. <ul><li>We’ve all seen cats hunting birds and mice. They are so intent upon their goal that they shut out the world and concentrate only on their prey. I want you to visualize a cat hunting a mouse. Imagine a wild cat; it is scruffy, thin, and very, very hungry. (Allow time for visualization.) Now imagine a fat, very well fed housecat going after the same prey. Imagine that this cat just finished a liver and kidney dinner and doesn’t have room for another bite. Does this cat display the same whole-hearted concentration as the half-starved cat? </li></ul><ul><li>We sometimes act like half-starved cats. There are goals that we put all our energies into completing. We really want to achieve that goal! At other times we act like the fat, well-fed cat – we aren’t quite as motivated to reach the goal – it just doesn’t matter as much to us. </li></ul><ul><li>Is there an instance when you were a half-starved cat pursuing a goal? When were you more like the fat cat? Explain the difference in your behavior. </li></ul>
  29. 29. <ul><li>Patricia Fripp, a noted speaker on issues ranging from motivation to presentation, gives several “sell yourself tips for consultants.” These are: </li></ul><ul><li>• Focus on the bottom line. Stress the results you will get for them. • Don’t offer backup information unless or until you are asked for it. It can interfere with the &quot;big picture.&quot; • Be &quot;up.&quot; Low energy and monotony will kill any presentation. Show genuine enthusiasm. • Be visual. People remember what they &quot;see&quot; in their imaginations. Paint a vivid picture in story form of how things will be when you have the job. (&quot;...six months from now, when your business has increased 15%, your market share is 5% higher, and your sales teams are in harmony for the first time...&quot;.) • Have a strong closing. For example, &quot;Your next decision is not whether to hire me, but whether can you afford not to!&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Choose one of these five tips. How can it apply to motivating your employees? </li></ul>
  30. 30. <ul><li>Patricia Fripp, one of the top professional speakers in North America, gives three points for good customer service. These are: </li></ul><ul><li>• Make heroes of your employees; • See yourself through your customers’ eyes; and • See your company through the boss’s eyes. </li></ul><ul><li>Choose one of the three points and then think about how you could use it to change one thing about your workplace or how you work. What would you change? How would this change affect the way you feel about your work? </li></ul>
  31. 31. <ul><li>Michael J. Goldberg in his book, “Getting Your Boss’s Number,” says that there are nine different types of people. He calls these people, the (have the list on an overhead or flipchart): </li></ul><ul><li>1. Perfectionist; 2. Helper; 3. Producer; 4. Connoisseur; 5. Sage; 6. Troubleshooter; 7. Visionary; 8. Top Dog; and 9. Mediator. </li></ul><ul><li>Which one are you? </li></ul><ul><li>Without getting into too much detail or specifics, which type causes you the most stress? and Why? </li></ul>
  32. 32. <ul><li>Sun Tzu said, “The experienced soldier, once in motion, is never bewildered; once he has broken camp, he is never at a loss. Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt.” </li></ul><ul><li>Thinking of your work situation, who is your enemy? </li></ul><ul><li>Would each of your team-members identify the same enemy? </li></ul><ul><li>Why or why not? </li></ul>
  33. 33. <ul><li>Many organizations have animal mascots that share some sort of similarity with the organization. </li></ul><ul><li>If your team had a mascot, what animal would it be? </li></ul><ul><li>Why? </li></ul>
  34. 34. <ul><li>On a typical day, does your team function more like a: </li></ul><ul><li>• Dirt bike; • Double-decker bus; • Second-hand skoda; • Rolls Royce; or • Tank? </li></ul><ul><li>Explain your answer. </li></ul>
  35. 35. <ul><li>Lyndon B. Johnson said, &quot;Heck, by the time a man scratches his behind, clears his throat and tells me how smart he is, we've already wasted 15 minutes.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>What is your biggest time waster pet peeve? </li></ul>
  36. 36. <ul><li>Abraham Lincoln said, &quot;Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Why do you agree or disagree with his statement? </li></ul>