Sunday, September 03, 2006

Exercises for Group Programs - Icebreakers

Affectionately known as "icebreakers", these are activities used at the start of a group program - whether it is a workshop, retreat or group coaching program. Icebreakers are important for many reasons. First, they help to set the tone of a program, while allowing participants to get to know each other. Icebreakers, when chosen effectively, can help to reduce the anxiety participants arrive at a program with. As we know, anxiety is a blockage to learning, so reducing anxiety for adult learners is an important concept.

There are literally millions of icebreakers out there, in print and on the web. As I have asked in previous posts, what exercises do you have available at your disposal? Is it time to update some of your icebreaker activities? Spend some time adding to your list of exercises at your disposal.

As a group coach, introductory exercises (icebreakers) can be very powerful in starting to create the environment of trust between group coaching participants, while setting the stage for whatever topics the coaching revolves around (for example, work-life balance, values, business vision, career transition, leadership -- these are all areas I often run group coaching programs on). When you are looking at designing your next group coaching program, think about what exercises might be great at setting the stage for your work together.

In my next post, I'll share with you one of my favorite icebreakers from my toolkit, so stay tuned!

Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, CPCC, CHRP
Potentials Realized
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960

Have you checked out our upcoming programs for the fall? There is a wide variety of teleseminars, in person intensive programs, and virtual retreats that I will be offering over the coming months. I know that they would be useful in supporting you with your work with teams and groups. Check out our upcoming events listing at and register. Spaces are limited for all programs, so reserve yours today!

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