If you run lots of meetings and sessions, a good icebreaker can really get things started—especially when not everyone knows each other.
At the end of 2015 we designed and printed a card deck as our year-end holiday gift for clients and FotA (Friends of the Agency). The sets feature 35 Icebreaker exercises to kick off meetings, sessions, and brainstorming get-togethers in fun, productive ways (but be warned: two are “Icemaker” cards—which are basically Jokers—so be careful with those!).
The deck is broken into three suits: Share, Draw, and Collaborate. In reality, there’s a lot of overlap and many of the activities involve collaboration, most involve some level of drawing, and all require sharing. The cards feature a rough indication of the amount of time needed—one dot being less and three dots being more—although that largely depends on the number of people participating.
From the “About” card:
We’ve collected these Icebreaker activities (and created a few) to help you welcome and warm up participants in meetings, training classes, team building sessions, or any situation where people who may not know one another have gathered to solve problems. These activities don’t just help people get comfortable—they’re actually fun, and help to ensure that all attendees are equal participants from the outset. Icebreakers can help break down obvious and invisible barriers that exist in workplaces and social situations, and get people thinking in creative ways.
We recommend looking through to whole deck and choosing the activity that seems to be most relevant to your audience and goals. Sure, it’d be fun to just pull a card from the deck at random as you start the meeting, but unless you’re a magical facilitator that might not always work out.