Icebreaker activities are often integrated into business trainings, company seminars, school settings, youth camps and team-building workshops for various reasons. Participation is encouraged from each person in attendance to keep the entire group engaged in the activity. Different activities are designed to attain different goals, so adapt your choice of icebreaker games to achieve the desired outcome. Resources exist in print and online for free icebreaker activities commonly used in business or school classes.
To Warm Up or Get to Know One Another
At the start of a seminar or workshop, facilitators often incorporate an icebreaker to allow for each attendee to get to know one another. The warm-up activity gets the audience prepped for the instruction that may follow or can be used to introduce the conference concept and allow for in-depth contributions throughout the day. Icebreakers are often designed to be an entertaining activity to encourage conversations and introductions among those attending the seminar. The values, ethics, morals and methods displayed by each attendee may allow other guests to learn something new or adapt their current skill sets.
To Practice Cooperative Learning
Working together to achieve the task or project is one of the objectives of icebreakers. Companies and firms often group their employees into teams in areas of marketing, sales, human resources and management. Teamwork and cooperation is effective in accomplishing business feats in a timely manner by delegating specific tasks to each person and collectively combining efforts. Icebreakers can work the same way to allow participants to practice team-building and learn to trust one another's skills and judgment.
To Learn and Practice Skills
New skills or concepts can be learned through a group activity or icebreaker. Just as kindergarten students do, adults often learn through experience or by actually performing the task. Certain concepts may be difficult to explain; going through the motions of how to integrate the concept into an everyday work environment may be a more effective learning strategy. Other icebreakers may be used to assess how much information is previously known before beginning the lecture portion of the day and to avoid redundant information.
To Even Out Large and Small Personalities
Management professionals can be grouped with hourly workers in an icebreaker activity designed to even out the "power" each holds. When engaged together in a specific task, all attendees are of equal value to the project and learn to work together without reflecting their roles in a company work environment. Rotate the positions of each group member during the icebreaker to give each person a chance to display both leadership and subordinate skills.