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55 contributions to Facilitator Club
Choosing Icebreakers: The Familiarity - Playfulness Matrix
How do you choose the best activity for opening your workshop? Today, I was supposed to be writing a new chapter for my book about "Ice Melters," but I had this idea that I couldn't let go of until I visualized it. Over 50 people registered for an upcoming workshop and shared their biggest challenges with "breaking" the ice in groups, and there was one recurring message: ๐Ÿฅถ Decision paralysis! How to find something meaningful and fun that genuinely gets everyone warmed up and ready to engage. I have already created a step-by-step framework on how to find and adapt any activity to work for your meeting, workshop or training, but I felt there were too many steps. That's why I created this Matrix that will help you find an activity based on 3 crucial details: 1. Familiarity: How well do your participants know each other? Are they strangers or teams/friends? 2. Playfulness: How open is this group to engage in fun, less conventional activities? Are they more serious or silly? 3. Are you gathering in person or virtually? If you have the answers to these questions, you should be able to quickly pick an activity from this image. Then, in the next steps, you should align it to fit your session's purpose and theme. Lastly, it should be adapted to work with additional restrictions, like group size, space available in the room, accessibility needs, etc. I am curious if this is useful for you. What do you consider when you pick an icebreaker (or "Ice Melter") activity?
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New comment 2d ago
1 like โ€ข 6d
@Salah Bouchma I also have a more detailed process when choosing an activity, but the most important one, that you also mention, is to align it with the sessions' purpose. But the two most important details to know about a group for me are familiarity and playfulness.
0 likes โ€ข 5d
@Michael McShane For myself, I like to call them "Ice Melters" but when facilitating these with groups I don't mention any of those words, just share the purpose of the activity and go straight into it.
๐Ÿฅถ The best icebreakers - and why they fail (plus my alternatives)
Youโ€™re looking for an activity to kick off your meeting, workshop or training, but youโ€™re tired of the same old icebreaker activities youโ€™ve seen on every list? Youโ€™re in the right place! ๐Ÿ˜Š I believe that most #icebreaker activities are not effective for most groups. So, in this first post of my #FixMyIcebreaker series, I will explain why they don't work and provide alternative activities that work so much better (including facilitator tips). If youโ€™re looking for fresh and new activities, check out my full post here: https://www.jankeck.com/best-icebreakers-alternatives-1/ In today's post, I am fixing: ยท Fun Facts ๐Ÿคช ยท Two Truths & One Lie ๐Ÿคฅ ยท Never Have I Ever ๐Ÿ™…โ€โ™‚๏ธ And here are some comments the first few readers have left already: "I've bookmarked your article!" "๐Ÿ’กI had a great โ€œahaโ€ moment with his analysis of โ€œTwo Truths and One Lie.โ€ I have used this one in the past, but he made me rethink it, and Iโ€™m taking it out of my repertoire." "Great ideas! I like how you can adapt Show Yourself to the session content by changing the questions." If you like this type of content, let me know what other icebreaker activities I should fix next ๐Ÿ‘‡
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New comment Mar 8
0 likes โ€ข Mar 1
@Stephen Morris I slightly disagree. I believe they should be connected to the purpose of the session AND help participants connect. If lightening the mood is what you think is necessary for your session and the group agrees with that, then a "silly" game can work.
0 likes โ€ข Mar 8
@Elisabeth Purga Great approach! And I believe to run a successful session you'll need all 3. But you probably won't accomplish that with just a single activity.
Facilitating a team in conflict
Hi Everyone! Thanks in advance for any ideas or thoughts you have on my current challenge. I am working with a small team where there is significant conflict between two managers. I have been brought in to help the team (n=5) figure out what is working and what isn't and how do we move forward? I plan to use the sailboat exercise to better understand their world and it will enable those team members that feel shut down to have a voice โ€“ I love this exercise. I have completed individual interviews with each team member to better understand their challenges. All have an issue with their senior manager. They are however all keen (including the senior manager) to attend the workshop because the conflict in the system is causing so much grief and poor performance it cannot continue. There are also members who have reported mental health challenges as a result of the conflict and one manager has ADHD. I mention this because these have been contentious challenges with the senior manager who feels they have accommodated these challenges but "at what point do you have to have the poor performance" discussion. My question is regarding the heightened emotion within the team. Have any of you facilitated a session with a team that is in significant conflict and has the potential for members to shut down or react during the session? Any specific prep/set-up? Have you set any specific expectations? Handling reactive responses during the session that have worked/not worked? I am a healthcare professional, so have a good idea of how to manage conflict, however I am reaching out to the group to get different perspectives that may help inform my workshop next week. Thanks so much Leanne
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New comment 14d ago
1 like โ€ข Mar 7
If you can, have 1-on-1 conversations with the managers to ensure they are bought in on the purpose of the session and ask what they expect to happen (worst case and best case). That way, you can build trust with them and not walk into the room and get blindsided. Also, in your introduction, I would voice some of the opinions that people in the room might be thinking in a light and humorful way and reframe how you'll ensure that won't happen.
1 like โ€ข Mar 8
@Leanne Wall It looks like you are well prepared ๐Ÿ˜„ What I also might do is talk about expectations early on and share that in the middle it might feel like we're not making progress - and that's ok.
What's your post initial call process - Sales deck? Quote? Jump into it?
As someone who is now all-in on being an independent facilitator I don't really know where to actually spend most of my time. I've built my social profile and started producing content and a following, built a website that outlines my workshop services and ways to contact, written my blog posts and articles to build authority... this has taken time away from the sales side of things and even the actual workshopping! What do I focus on once I get initial calls? - Do you have a sale deck / info handy to take the prospect through it during a call? - Do You send it over along with the final quote? - Do you even bother with a sales deck or any material after the call and just get paid and get into it? What do you do and what do you find works? I just feel like I spend so much time prepping, I don't even know if I have a chance to perform the work!
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New comment Mar 9
0 likes โ€ข Mar 7
@Megan Mozina How do you frame the benefits of setting up another call compared to sending a proposal? I like this approach and have tried doing this recently as well
Mixed Ability Workshop
I am in the process of designing a workshop for a group of people working in a retail business. The audience have varied learning abilities and I have been asked to limit the amount of writing required so it can meet the learning needs of everyone in the room. I am going to focus on using images and pre-populated post-it notes which will just require placements for the activities. Has anyone had a similar experience? Any more suggestions will be much appreciated.
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New comment Mar 13
5 likes โ€ข Mar 7
Whenever I have someone with special requirements join a session I try to get on a 1-on-1 call with them to find out how to best accommodate them. Maybe run them through my plan and ensure that works for them. I recently had a blind person join my facilitation skills training and I knew that I will have to describe all the visuals I am showing, but also asked what screen reader they use so I could do some testing with my slides.
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Jan Keck
5
244points to level up
@jan-keck-9733
Trainer | Facilitator | Experience Designer ยท Turning Strangers into Deeply Connected Teams ๐Ÿ™Œ

Active 1h ago
Joined Jan 17, 2023
Heilbronn, Germany ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช
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