Here’s an icebreaker and energizer which will let the group get to know eachother in a fun, different and fast paced way.
To get to know each other in a different setting, using speed dating as the driver.
Setting it up:
This combined energizer and icebreaker makes for good fun and an interesting way of getting into dialogue with the other participants. It works exactly like speed dating. You’ll have to talk to 12 different people real fast (1-2 minutes) and the topic will be given by you. This ensures that it won’t be random chatter, but what you decide they should be talking about, making this exercise very well suited as a process tool as well.
First you hand out a paper plate (or piece of paper if you’re not into specific props) and have everyone draw a regular old analogue clock. The hours from 1 to 12. No digital clocks! Alternatively you can download the clock below in our props section on the right.
Now, have them mingle with the group and instruct them to find a date for every hour on the clock (12 total). Male or female is of no importance. Whenever they find a date for a specific hour, have them write down the name. So if Jack and Irene find each other and can date at 4 o’clock, have them write each other’s names down on their plate or paper.
Once they have filled the entire clock with names you can start the speed dating session.
Have them pair up with the person they have down at 1 o’clock. Then reveal the topic you want them to talk about.
It could be anything, and you could start off light with something personal – How was your morning, mention 10 favorite movies or similar.
Give them 1 or 2 minutes (or however long you want this to take) and have them discuss the topic. Have a new topic ready for the next speed date.
You can chose to have these speed dates all at once (about half an hour with 2 minutes per pair per topic) or you can use this as the day progresses. 4 speed dates in the morning. 2 speed dates during lunch. 4 speed dates in the afternoon. 2 speed dates as you close the session for the day. It’s up to you.
Obviously, the time doesn’t have to match the hour on the clock at all. That’s just a tool to ensure everyone has a free partner whenever you decide to do it.
Since the topics can change from hour to hour, you’re not locked down on a topic or process. You can change it freely throughout the day.
Now, this energizer gives you an opportunity to give topics for discussion which are related to the process you’re getting into or is already working on. If you’re having a process about culture, make the topics for the speed dating about that.
Example: At 1 o’clock the thing you’ll talk about on your date is: “How do we define culture in our organization?” Have them switch partners a couple of times, then have a talk about the question and which answers people got.
Then as the day progress, you’re talking about communication and can move on. “Okay, find your speed date partner for 4’oclock and have a talk about “How can we improve communication between sales and finance?”
Continue this as you see fit.
See also “Need for Speed” for a version based on giving out information on products.
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