I had a conversation with my free-spirited, traveller friend recently about ice-breaker activities.
She thinks they are unnecessary but I believe they serve a purpose. Let me explain…
TALKING WITH STRANGERS
As experienced travellers, (her and I) we have developed communication skills, whereby to approach strangers for general conversation, is a piece of cake.
This was not always the case for me, as I was painfully shy as a child.
During my first game of netball (at age 8) I would not stand on the court next to my opponent because she was a stranger.
Many years later, things have changed, but it was a gradual process.
A DEVELOPING SKILL
In my second year of uni, I undertook hospital placement as a technologist. I would practise explaining procedures the night before to prepare myself. I still felt anxious in that role until I had explained the same procedure at least a dozen times.
Perhaps my nerves came from fear of getting it wrong or by being judged according to my knowledge and patient care.
I think this is true for most of us who are shy… we are afraid to open up and be ourselves around strangers who may or may not respect or like who we are.
BEGINNING TO CONNECT
And this is why I think ice-breakers serve an important role and will be included in a fair proportion of events.
We are coming together as strangers. Psychologically speaking, strangers begin to connect – and relationships take form – when we share our thoughts and feelings honestly with each other.
Playing this game in a group of 6-10 people builds group trust and the foundations for a successful event.
Do you have any fun ice-breaker ideas? Comment on our Facebook Page.
For more information relating to Getting To Know Strangers, look up Psychology Today’s Dr Susan Kraus Whitbourne.