Wednesday, August 29, 2007

nonverbal cues tell a moment's tale

earlier, I was reflecting on "feedback mechanisms" (see july 31) in icebreakers.

what is the wonderful thing about each of these icebreakers/games/activities? they ALL can act a barometer for group trust. just look: are people fidgeting, looking away, square-shouldered to the speaker, rubbing their neck, smiling, sitting back with hands behind their heads, gazing, yawning, excusing themselves to the bathroom, laughing, sighing? it all tells a moment's tale.

Over the last few months, I've done so much research on linguistics & non-verbal language that I bet I could start on a brand new book of TIPS. I mention a few in My Way to OUR WAY, but the list is getting bigger.


background by association

Description: an icebreaker that gets people to talk about their background or business.
Secondary Objectives: to have fun with metaphors, think outside of the box and laugh!
Primary Objectives:

* warm-up & energize
* entertain
* get acquainted
* build community & stimulate conversation
* facilitate creative thinking
* generate brand & business
Materials: as many objects as people, a bag where objects are not visible but reachable
Process: have each participant blindly guess an object from a bag and then associate the object to their background or business.
for example, someone may guess the object is a "rubber ducky" and may or may not get it right. they may relate the rubber ducky to their music position as "well, I can make great music out of any noise!" before beginning, it's a good idea to let everyone know ifthey get stuck, they can elicit help from the group. the group helping this person out actually is VERY effective in creating relationships.
Variations: this can easily be taken to a different area other than business, such as interests or for debriefing purposes.