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This is one icebreaker TIP from our collection of practical tips, tools, and techniques. Our tips are gathered from our experience, training classes, and alumni contributions.

IceBreaker Tip One: Warming Up A Group

This icebreaker tip is useful for people that are unfamiliar with each other, or for familiar groups that need some new dimension to their relationships for the purpose of the workshop. Because it may take up to one-half hour for a group of nine, manage your time accordingly.

Newspaper or Magazine Headline

Ice Breaker Tip — Newspaper or Magazine Headline

  • 2 minutes: Have each person write their name on a small piece of paper. As they finish, collect the names in a container (e.g., bowl, box). Next have each participant draw or select a piece of paper.
  • 5-10 minutes: Allow a few minutes for each person to find the person named on their piece of paper and “interview” them. In addition, encourage them to take notes from the interview because you want them to share the highlights.
  • 3 minutes: Now have the participants write a newspaper or magazine headline that describes an event or accomplishment of the person named on their piece of paper. Consider a specific newspaper or magazine that most members of the group are likely to read. Either emphasize a personal or professional accomplishment, but consistently emphasize the perspective you choose. Point your participants to a frequently read page or within a specific column of the magazine or newspaper.
  • 5-10 minutes: Finally, have each person read the headline for the person named on the piece of paper.

IceBreaker Tip Two: Alternative

Move the headline to some point in the future (eg, five years from now) when it becomes the aspiration of the participant rather than an actual accomplishment.

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Don’t ruin your career or reputation with bad meetings. Register for a class or forward this to someone who should. Taught by world-class instructors, MG RUSH  professional facilitation curriculum focuses on practice. Each student thoroughly practices and rehearses tools, methods, and approaches throughout the week. While some call this immersion, we call it the road to building impactful facilitation skills.

Our courses also provide an excellent way to earn up to 40 SEUs from the Scrum Alliance, 40 PDUs from PMI, and 40 CDUs from IIBA, as well as 3.2 CEUs for other professions. (See individual class descriptions for details.)

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Facilitation Expert

Terrence Metz, CSM, PSPO, CSPF, is the Managing Director of MG RUSH Facilitation Training and Coaching, the acknowledged leader in structured facilitation training. His FAST Facilitation Best Practices blog features over 300 articles on facilitation skills and tools aimed at helping others lead faster, more productive meetings and workshops that yield higher quality decisions. His clients include Agilists, Scrum teams, program and project managers, senior officers, and the business analyst community among numerous private and public companies and global corporations. As an undergraduate of Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) and MBA graduate from NWU’s Kellogg School of Management, his professional experience has focused on process improvement and product development. He continually aspires to make it easier for others to succeed.

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