Performance Management training Icebreakers, energisers and short exercises (2023)

An Eggs-acting Challenge - Creating a Winning Strategy

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 40 minutes.

Aims:
• To provide participants with a challenge that tests participants’ abilities to work together to solve a problem.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 30 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 40 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To provide participants with a challenge that tests participants’ abilities to work together to solve a problem.

Group Size:
Suitable for use with groups of any size.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels, especially those working together in teams (or who soon will be).

You'll Need:
• Plenty of clear space for the activity and a way of marking the start and finish line of the racetrack.

And for each team:
• Two postal tubes (stoppers removed).
• Two golf balls.
• Six eggs.
• A flipchart pen.

Notes:
This training activity can get messy, so it is best run outside in an open space.

You should also check if any participants have an allergy to eggs. If so, they can assist you in observing.

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Anagram Line up!

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 20 minutes.

Aims:
• To energise a group.
• To test participants’ abilities to work together quickly to solve a simple problem.
• To introduce the concept of continuous improvement.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 10 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 20 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To energise a group.
• To test participants’ abilities to work together quickly to solve a simple problem.
• To introduce the concept of continuous improvement.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
All participants.

You'll Need:
• Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This simple activity is one you can return to several times in your training to demonstrate the principles of continuous improvement.

Provided you have more than one team, this activity adds an extra dimension to the remote delivery module, ‘Hands up, Line up!’ by encouraging participants to reflect on how a silo mentality might impact continuous improvement.

Remote/Virtual Delivery:
The Remote Delivery version of this module available in Trainers’ Library is called ‘Hands up, Line up!’.

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Assumptions - The Witches of Glum

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 25 minutes.

Aims:
• To understand the importance of listening skills.
• To illustrate the dangers of making assumptions.
• To provoke discussion about prejudices and stereotypes.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 15 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 25 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To understand the importance of listening skills.
• To illustrate the dangers of making assumptions.
• To provoke discussion about prejudices and stereotypes.

Group Size:
Suitable for use with groups of almost any size. This module is also suitable for remote/virtual delivery – see separate note.

You'll Need:
• Pens and paper for every participant.
• The audio recording of the story, which can be streamed from Trainers’ Library if you prefer not to read it aloud yourself.

Notes:
If reading the story to participants, we suggest that you rehearse reading the story aloud a few times prior to delivery.

This module has been endorsed by Show Racism the Red Card. For more information about the great work this charity is doing to educate against racism, visit www.theredcard.org.

Remote/Virtual Delivery:
There is a Remote Delivery version of this module available in Trainers’ Library.

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Story (Stream)
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Christmas Gifts - Reviewing and Learning

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 20 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to reflect on challenges they’ve faced and identify what they’ve learnt from them.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 20 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 20 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to reflect on challenges they’ve faced and identify what they’ve learnt from them.

Group Size:
Suitable for use with groups of almost any size.

Useful For:
Everyone.

You'll Need:
• Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This activity was written as a way to reflect on and move forward from the pandemic of 2020. However, it can be easily adapted and used not just to review a year, but, for example, a challenging experience or significant change that participants have been through. This can be a useful way to launch training around resilience, change or a planning session.

Remote/Virtual Delivery:
There is a Remote Delivery version of this module available in Trainers’ Library.

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Course Introduction - A Basic Introduction to Training Events

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To welcome the participants.
• To introduce the facilitator(s) and participants to each other.
• To introduce the facilities.
• To agree the course objectives and timetable.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 25 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To welcome the participants.
• To introduce the facilitator(s) and participants to each other.
• To introduce the facilities.
• To agree the course objectives and timetable.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of almost any size.

You'll Need:
Nothing, other than the materials provided.

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Feelings Towards Change

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 25 minutes.

Aims:
• To explore your participants’ response to change and the factors that drive it.

About

Time:
The exercise will take about 10 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 25 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To explore your participants’ response to change and the factors that drive it.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
• Five red and five green sticky dots for each participant.

Notes:
You will need to have pre-prepared flipcharts with the statements listed as per the handout.

Remote/Virtual Delivery:
There is a Remote Delivery version of this module available in Trainers’ Library.

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Filing Frenzy! - High Speed Accuracy

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 20 minutes.

Aims:
• To provide participants the opportunity to practice their attention to detail and accuracy skills when under ever increasing pressure.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 15 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 20 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To provide participants the opportunity to practice their attention to detail and accuracy skills when under ever increasing pressure.

Group Size:
Suitable for use with groups of almost any size.

You'll Need:
• One set of 180 Filing Frenzy shape cards and instruction cards 1 and 4 for each team (see set up notes).
• A stopwatch or timer.
• A whistle or bell (optional).
• A prize for the winning team (optional).

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Goldilocks - A Listening Exercise

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 20 minutes.

Aims:
• To test listening skills.
• To illustrate the dangers of making assumptions.
• To encourage participants to think about how they can check their understanding of information they receive.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 10 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 20 minutes for completion. (You may wish to take more time for larger groups or where you want to explore some of the learning in more detail.)

Aims:
• To test listening skills.
• To illustrate the dangers of making assumptions.
• To encourage participants to think about how they can check their understanding of information they receive.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of almost any size. It is possible to use this exercise in conference situations as well as more usual training interventions like courses and workshops.

You'll Need:
• A pre-prepared flipchart of the statements from the handout (hidden from view until required).

Notes:
We suggest you rehearse reading the story aloud beforehand.

If You Like This Training Exercise:
You’ll LOVE ‘The Witches of Glum’ which is also available from Trainers’ Library. ‘The Witches of Glum’ has been endorsed by Show Racism the Red Card for its ability to make participants think about prejudice and stereotypes. To find out more about the great work this charity is doing to educate against racism, visit www.theredcard.org.

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Golf Ball Challenge - Tactical Teamwork

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To test participants’ abilities to work together to complete a challenge.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 20 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To test participants’ abilities to work together to complete a challenge.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels, especially those working together in teams (or who soon will be).

You'll Need:
• Plenty of clear space for the activity and a way of marking the start and finish line of the racetrack. (Outside is best.)

And for each team:
• Two postal tubes (stoppers removed).
• A golf ball.
• A flipchart pen.

Notes:
A small prize for the winning team would be a nice touch.

For a similar activity, with a different approach, you might like to look at An Eggs-acting Challenge - Creating a Winning Strategy.

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Improving Team Performance - Creative Brainstorming

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 40 minutes.

Aims:
• To develop participant’s brainstorming skills.
• To identify what changes participants would like to see within their team/department.
• To explore how participants can make those changes possible.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 20 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 40 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To develop participant’s brainstorming skills.
• To identify what changes participants would like to see within their team/department.
• To explore how participants can make those changes possible.

Group Size:
This icebreaker can be used with groups of up to 24 participants.

Useful For:
Existing teams.

You'll Need:
• Flipchart paper and pens.
• Enough green sticky dots for participants to have three each. (If you are unable to source sticky dots, a green marker pen for every participant will work too.)

Notes:
This module is designed for situations where your participants work together in the same team. It can be run as a stand-alone exercise on brainstorming, or as part of a session looking to develop the continuous improvement skills of a team.

Remote/Virtual Delivery:
There is a Remote Delivery version of this module available in Trainers’ Library.

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Knowing Me, Knowing You - Unconscious Bias

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 25 minutes.

Aims:
• To raise awareness of how quickly we draw conclusions about other people.
• Understand the impact unconscious bias has on our interactions with others.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 10 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 25 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To raise awareness of how quickly we draw conclusions about other people.
• Understand the impact unconscious bias has on our interactions with others.

Group Size:
Suitable for use with groups of almost any size.

You'll Need:
• Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This exercise works best if your participants don’t know you very well.

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Life Story - A Test of Listening Skills

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 15 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to share information about each other.
• To test participant's listening and recall skills.
• To briefly explore barriers to listening.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 10 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 15 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to share information about each other.
• To test participant's listening and recall skills.
• To briefly explore barriers to listening.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

You'll Need:
• Nothing other than the materials provided.

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My Role in the Team - Work v Home

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To explore how participants perceive their role in the team and if they adopt a similar approach away from work.
• To explore how their colleagues perceive their own roles in the team and if this differs away from work.
• To understand the importance of diversity of skills and abilities within a successful team.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 20 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To explore how participants perceive their role in the team and if they adopt a similar approach away from work.
• To explore how their colleagues perceive their own roles in the team and if this differs away from work.
• To understand the importance of diversity of skills and abilities within a successful team.

Group Size:
Suitable for use with pre-existing teams of up to 15 team members.

You'll Need:
• One set of My Role Cards per 8 participants, blu tack and flipchart.

Notes:
This exercise is designed for pre-existing teams, especially if they need to work more effectively together.

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Procrastination - A Hot Topic

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 15 minutes.

Aims:
• To give participants an opportunity to feel for themselves how stressful procrastination can be./p>

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 5 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 15 minutes for completion (see notes).

Aims:
• To give participants an opportunity to feel for themselves how stressful procrastination can be.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
• Enough identical, plain wrapped chocolates, for there to be one per participant.
• A jug of water and a glass (on standby for dramatic effect).

Notes:
This module involves a simple ‘side’ activity that continues throughout the workshop/course with the discussion at the end.

Chocolate coins will work well for this exercise as they just need to be simple pieces of plain or milk chocolate that look identical, but your participants will think something quite different.

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Pulling in Different Directions

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 15 minutes.

Aims:
• To explore the positive impact of assertive communication when working with others.
• To describe how communication helped or hindered their problem solving.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 5 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 15 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To explore the positive impact of assertive communication when working with others.
• To describe how communication helped or hindered their problem solving.

Group Size:
Suitable for use with groups of almost any size.

You'll Need:
• A length of rope. (We suggest around 1 metre per participant.)
• A blindfold for each participant.

Notes:
If using this exercise with very large groups, you will need volunteers to take part and the remaining participants act as observers.

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Questions, Questions - An Exercise in Effective Communication

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 20 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to gather information about each other.
• To illustrate the importance and benefit of open questions when gathering information.
• To illustrate the uses of closed questions.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 15 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 20 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to gather information about each other.
• To illustrate the importance and benefit of open questions when gathering information.
• To illustrate the uses of closed questions.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

You'll Need:
• Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This exercise will take longer the larger the group.

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Sorting Out - Why Objectives Matter

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 15 minutes.

Aims:
• To help participants to understand why clear objectives and goals matter.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 10 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 15 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To help participants to understand why clear objectives and goals matter.

Group Size:
This exercise is suitable for use with groups of almost any size.

You'll Need:
• One set of Sorting Out Shape Cards per two participants.
• A stopwatch.
• A buzzer or bell to signal when their time is up.

Notes:
Filing Frenzy card packs are available to purchase – each pack contains 10 sets of the shape cards used in this activity.

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The Art of Teamwork

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 15 minutes.

Aims:
• To explore how participants see their role in the team.
• To allow participants to share what they think they personally contribute to the team.
• To understand the importance of diversity within a successful team.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 5 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 15 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To explore how participants see their role in the team.
• To allow participants to share what they think they personally contribute to the team.
• To understand the importance of diversity within a successful team.

Group Size:
Can be used with groups of up to 24 participants.

Useful For:
Pre-existing teams.

You'll Need:
• Flipchart paper and pens for each participant.

Notes:
This exercise is designed for pre-existing teams, and especially those that may need to work more effectively together.

If you have more than 10 participants, you may need to allow extra time for this activity.

Remote/Virtual Delivery:
There is a Remote Delivery version of this module available in Trainers’ Library.

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The Cracked Pot - The Balancing Act of Performance Management

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 20 minutes.

Aims:
• To explore the impact on the wider team if under performance isn't effectively addressed.
• To understand why performance management is also about effectively using all the skills within their team.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 10 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 20 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To explore the impact on the wider team if under performance isn't effectively addressed.
• To understand why performance management is also about effectively using all the skills within their team.

Group Size:
Suitable for use with groups of almost any size.

You'll Need:
• Nothing other than the materials provided.

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Too Close? - Benefits of a Wider Perspective

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 20 minutes.

Aims:
• To illustrate, in a fun way, the problem with being too close to a situation or problem.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 5 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 10 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To illustrate, in a fun way, the problem with being too close to a situation or problem.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of almost any size.

You'll Need:
• A small prize for the winner would be a nice addition to this exercise.

Notes:
The PowerPoint will automatically move to the next slide after a minute.

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Why Feedback Matters

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 20 minutes.

Aims:
• To demonstrate the difference effective feedback can make to someone’s performance.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 10 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 20 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To demonstrate the difference effective feedback can make to someone’s performance.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of up to 25 participants. Ideally, you'll have at least 4 participants though, so that you can demonstrate the 4 types of feedback described.

Useful For:
Anyone who needs to give or receive feedback.

You'll Need:
• Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This is a great way to demonstrate the difference it can make when feedback is given effectively. During the role-play element it is advisable to select with care the people who will be receiving the different types of feedback. It is also advisable to explain clearly at the start of the exercise that it will involve you role-playing different types of feedback.

Remote/Virtual Delivery:
There is a Remote Delivery version of this module available in Trainers’ Library.

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FAQs

What is an icebreakers in a training? ›

Icebreakers are quick, fun activities used at the start of a workshop or meeting to warm up the members of the group. Their purpose is, quite literally, to break the ice—to help people feel comfortable and relieve some of that initial awkwardness that's often felt in workshop settings.

What is the purpose of an icebreaker exercise? ›

Icebreakers are fun activities to help people get to know one another. Instructors can use them to help acquaint students with course content and expectations. Icebreakers can also be designed to help warm up online learning spaces and orient students to the online environment.

What are icebreakers and energizers? ›

Icebreakers are activities of usually around 15 minutes, whereas energizers are quick bursts of activity to re-energize tired or disengaged participants. Remember to keep your exercises inclusive to all abilities and cultures.

How do you start an icebreaker? ›

How to Start Speech with an Icebreaker | Public Speaking

How do you prepare for ice breakers? ›

The Do's & Don'ts of Great Icebreaker Sentences
  1. Do: Your Research in Advance. Don't rely solely on what limited information you may know about this person. ...
  2. Don't: Use Absolutes. ...
  3. Do: Leverage Unique Interests. ...
  4. Don't: Let the Conversation Veer Off Course. ...
  5. Do: Leverage Their Background. ...
  6. Don't: Underestimate Common Ground.

Why is it called ice breaker? ›

In this metaphor, the "ice" is the tension caused by being in an unfamiliar situation or meeting new people. The original icebreaker was literally that: a ship designed to break through ice in frozen channels at sea.

Are icebreakers effective? ›

“Icebreakers are generally a first step and they can be valuable in … getting people to know each other,” she says. “But in terms of group cohesion or deep levels of trust or psychological safety or an open climate, it's just not going to be enough.”

How do you play 10 things in common icebreaker? ›

10 things in common

Split everyone into pairs and hand each pair a piece of paper. Each pair is responsible for finding 10 things they have in common with one another. Remember to tell everyone easy cop-outs aren't allowed, like "we both have hands".

What are good icebreaker questions? ›

Personal ice breaker questions

If you had to teach a class on one thing, what would you teach? ❖ If you could eliminate one thing from your daily routine, what would it be and why? ❖ Would you rather be the funniest or smartest person in the room? ❖ What's the best advice you've ever heard?

What is a good icebreaker question for work? ›

Quick icebreaker questions
  • What's your biggest claim to fame?
  • What's your best party trick?
  • What is a weird fact that you know?
  • Who is your favourite comedian?
  • Who is your favourite actor?
  • What is your favourite book?
  • What is your favourite movie?
  • What is your favourite song?

What are examples of energizers? ›

Online energizers: my 5 favourite energizer activities
  • Physical exercise break. Moving the body is good for the mind. ...
  • Walk-n-talk. Another way of getting people up and moving is to initiate walk-n-talks in pairs. ...
  • Meditation and breathing. ...
  • Reflection break in writing. ...
  • Have someone play an instrument/sing/perform.
10 Feb 2021

How do you introduce your team in a fun way? ›

How to Lead a Fun Group Introduction w/ We! Connect Cards - YouTube

What is a good introduction activity? ›

Blanket Game (Get-to-know-you) – Quickly identify someone's name as you drop a large blanket! Candy Introductions (Get-to-know-you) – A simple game to allow people to introduce themselves, using candy. Catch the Ball (Get-to-know-you) – Another simple game of introductions, tossing a ball around the room.

What makes a great icebreaker? ›

Ways to make an icebreaker interactive include having the group move around the space in some way; talking to each other, either in pairs or small groups; or giving them a brief assigned task to complete. They are memorable.

What are the 3 icebreakers that you have used in your training session? ›

6 Quick Icebreakers Games for Training Seminars and Meetings for Small Groups
  • The 'Find Two People' Icebreaker.
  • The 'Helium Stick' Icreabreaker and team Building Game.
  • The 'Two Truths and a Lie Ice Breaker'
  • The 'Name Volley Icebreaker'
  • The 'One Word at a Time Training Activity'
  • The 'Randomised Q&A Icebreaker'
11 Jul 2022

How do you give a good icebreaker speech? ›

Introduce yourself.

Your ice breaker speech topic is you – something about your life, your job, your hobbies, your unique interests, your family, or any combination of these. You are an absolute authority on this topic, and everyone in the audience will learn something about you.

How do you answer icebreaker questions? ›

Keep It Short. Icebreaker questions open the conversation, so your reply should be simple and to the point. When you're answering the interviewer's question about why you applied for the job, don't offer a lengthy explanation of why you want to leave your current position.

What is the meaning of ice breaking? ›

2 : something said or done that helps people relax and begin talking in a social situation The party game was a good icebreaker.

What is a good ice breaker for adults? ›

25 Icebreaker Activities for Adults
  • Conversation Starters - Pose a silly question to each person in the group: Favorite candy as a child? ...
  • Favorite App - Get out your phones and show your favorite “unique” app to the group. ...
  • For Millennials Only - Read out your most recent social media post.
  • Think Fast!

What's another word for icebreaker? ›

Icebreaker Synonyms - WordHippo Thesaurus.
...
What is another word for icebreaker?
introductionopener
proembeginning
introstart
prolegomenonoverture
curtain-raiseropening remarks
20 more rows

How do you start the icebreaker speech? ›

60 Ideas for Icebreaker Speeches – No Repeats!
  1. Like to travel? ...
  2. Are you a foodie? ...
  3. Talk about how you have changed since your last (or even first) Ice Breaker.
  4. What are you hopes and dreams for the future?
  5. Who were the important people in your life?
  6. My life as told by scars.

What are the 3 icebreakers that you have used in your training session? ›

6 Quick Icebreakers Games for Training Seminars and Meetings for Small Groups
  • The 'Find Two People' Icebreaker.
  • The 'Helium Stick' Icreabreaker and team Building Game.
  • The 'Two Truths and a Lie Ice Breaker'
  • The 'Name Volley Icebreaker'
  • The 'One Word at a Time Training Activity'
  • The 'Randomised Q&A Icebreaker'
11 Jul 2022

How do you play 10 things in common icebreaker? ›

10 things in common

Split everyone into pairs and hand each pair a piece of paper. Each pair is responsible for finding 10 things they have in common with one another. Remember to tell everyone easy cop-outs aren't allowed, like "we both have hands".

Videos

1. Decision Making Games - Decision Making *48
(Team Building Games)
2. Savage Love - Chair One Fitness Exclusive Choreo
(Alexis Perkins)
3. Best Corporate crowd Ice breaker | Anchor Girish Sharma Crowd Energy Warm Up
(Anchor Girish Sharma)
4. Paper Tear Diversity Conference
(splove68)
5. Virtual Energizer/Ice-breaker for Seminars/ Workshops/LAC Sessions
(Teacher Marie)
6. ICE BREAKING ACTIVITY WITH TEAM BONDING
(Happiness and Fun - Jai Krishan)
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