Breaking the ice with The Coaching Game
By definition an icebreaker is something serving to relieve tension or start a conversation. Here we will learn what the benefits are by using The Coaching Game to the icebreaker process and how to begin a workshop by using it.
How many people can participate in this activity?
How long is the activity?
Allow 3-5 minutes per participant
What do I need before I start?
The Coaching Game
What will I achieve by using the coaching game as an icebreaker?
- A creative and different approach for self introduction
- A new perspective about the participants
- A quick and easy way to break the ice
When do we use the icebreaker?
In any professional and/or social encounter The Coaching Game is a creative way to break the ice and introduce ourselves and participants.
It can also become a way to break a barrier if you sense someone is stuck.
How does it work?
Following is an elaborated example for working with The Coaching Game as an icebreaker in a group. It is presented to you word for word exactly how we use it, step by step:
1. Take the Coaching Cards out, and present the process:
”We’re going to get acquainted with each other, and we’re going to do so in an unusual yet fun way ― we’re going to play a game. Here are 65 cards. Each card has a word and a picture. I’m going to place the cards in the middle of the circle face down (click here to read about the face-up option) and I’m going to ask each of you in turn to choose one, and tell the group what that card tells about yourself.” Explain that there are all kinds of cards: “positive” ones depicting success, joy, or love; as well as “negative” ones depicting fear, difficulty, failure, or death. In fact, there are no “positive” or “negative” cards as we see it: Each card simply represents a point of view. In any case, explain, if you choose a card that doesn’t agree with you, you may replace it and choose another. But before doing so, though, think about the fact that this action in itself is an opportunity to challenge your automatic response.
2. Each player in turn chooses a card and uses it to introduce himself to the group. The player can make a short self introduction or a long one or even say one word that represents him. Any introduction is acceptable.(click here to read about how to look at the coaching card) If there’s time and it adds to the process, the facilitator can stop and ask the player whose turn it is:
- What do you see when you look at the picture?
- How does the picture relate to the word?
- Which do you relate to more: the word, or the picture?
- How does the card relate to your present life?
- Where is this topic familiar in your life?
By now the ice should be broken; each participant knows something about the rest of the group. Now you can continue your workshop as planned.
Tips for the facilitator:
- If you think it is necessary you can begin the process by picking a card and presenting yourself to the group, this is entirely up to you.
- Notice and listen behind the words to the participant's response once they pick up a card.
- An option: you can prepare a few stories from the Coaching Book if you feel that it could contribute to the process.
To learn more about The Coaching Game click here