How often have you come across icebreakers? Many of you have heard the term but perhaps don’t know why it is of great importance, especially in a social context. Individuals conducting professional or casual interactions can benefit from using icebreakers when engaging socially.
Whether you are part of a small team or a big organization, icebreaker games are an amazing tool to remove barriers and promote harmony and a sense of cohesiveness among your co-workers. On the other side of the spectrum, if you are simply trying to connect with other people in an informal environment and perhaps find it a bit difficult, then an icebreaker is just what you need.
What is an Icebreaker: Understanding the concept of “ice”
Before we get into the importance of icebreakers, we first need to address the notion of ice. What are we referring to when we say “the ice needs to be broken”? A basic understanding of this concept is crucial to properly use an icebreaker tool to your advantage.
Let’s say you are part of a multi-ethnic group. Light to radical differences may exist between the members due to their various cultural backgrounds. Such situations almost always come with a slight sense of rigidness that will exhibit itself in the way people interact with one another.
Or let’s assume we have a group of like-minded individuals that never met before. The lack of prior interaction will most likely create an uneasy atmosphere. In both situations, the reluctance to communicate openly is the ice that needs to be removed.
In that sense, an icebreaker is a game or activity that is used to loosen the atmosphere, to warm it up so that people may be more comfortable to communicate freely. The chances of having ice that needs to be “melted” are high especially in a working environment. Whether you are in charge of a new team or simply want to optimize the relationship between the members of your existing team, icebreakers are necessary.
The Benefits of Using Icebreakers
One cannot bring something to fruition without the help of their teammates. What will make the team great is proper teamwork. That can be easily facilitated with the help of an icebreaker. Simply put, interaction is a necessary factor in any functional network of individuals. There are times, however, when a team may run into various impediments due to poor communication. In such a situation, an icebreaker game is ideal to remove whatever barriers are keeping your team from succeeding.
Usually, when a new team is formed or when a new member arrives in an already established team, the relationship process will develop in time and with that, the efficiency of the group will improve. There are instances, however, when you don’t have time for this. Sometimes it’s about getting the job done as fast as possible. This is a classic situation when an icebreaker tool will accelerate that whole process and boost productivity levels within the group.
Or perhaps the relationship between your teammates is already astounding, but the routine of mandatory meetings can get a bit tiring. Once in a while, you could switch things up and try an icebreaker before a meeting, especially one that includes an IQ test. This way, people will be more alert, prone to solve problems quicker, and in a better state of mind.
We can’t talk about icebreakers without automatically assuming that fun and enjoyment are also on the table. Icebreakers skyrocket the entertainment levels of any meeting and are certain generators of laughter. Even though on the surface, icebreakers may seem to be a waste of time, they actually bring some serious value to the table in more ways than one.