Successful icebreakers will establish a safe environment for learning and help attendees become more familiar with each other. They also set the tone for the session and ideally introduces the learning objectives in a fun and engaging way. Our most popular icebreakers have survived the test of time because one brave learning and development professional used them with great success and shared the experience. But what about unsuccessful icebreakers? The ones tried and quickly relegated to the ash heap of history. Here, for I believe the first time, is a top three list of the worst icebreakers ever created.
It’s possible that right now, a pizza, pop, and Wonderstruck scented room has a lively game of “Kiss, Marry, Kill” featuring the three Prince Chris’s of Hollywood (Hemsworth, Pratt, and Evans). For those not familiar with the game, someone names three people, (celebrities, fictional characters, etc.) and the group decides which one they would choose to kiss, marry or kill. Odds are, being the consummate professional, you aren’t playing such mindless games. Lucky for you, I’m not above such distractions. So for the L & D professional who hasn’t played a version of this game in a while, I offer three rounds of Learning and Development Kiss Marry Kill. Oh, and for the record, Kiss Hemsworth, Marry Pratt and, well, sorry Evans. On to round one!
Someone stands in front of the only working exit on a crowded city bus. They then start a chainsaw. Three thoughts quickly rush through the mind. 1) Oh, look, a chainsaw. 2) Wait, a chainsaw? 3) Um, this is my stop.
The person with the chainsaw could read the entire 8th season of Game of Thrones aloud and odds are no one would pay attention to what they were saying. On the off-chance
There are children, all over the United States, who have an unshakeable belief that every December 24th, a rotund, bearded man will enter their homes through a chimney and leave gifts. Later, after seeing overwhelming evidence to the contrary, (including the fact they live in an apartment and have no chimney), they will accept that Santa lives only in our imaginations and will happily go on with their lives. How might we respond to an adult co-worker who continues to hold that unwavering, core belief that Santa is real? Imagine walking into a directors meeting or client pitch with someone who is openly thinking, no, believing, “Well, we could just ask Santa for more revenue.” We could call it Miracle on Fremont Street.