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Motivation Icebreakers and Short Exercises


Motivation is the desire to act or behave in a specific way and is the essential component in setting and achieving goals, both personal and professional. Participants discover how they can influence their own levels of motivation as well as the motivation levels of others.

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Document TitleDuration
(mins)
   
All Change! - How We React to Change
15
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All Change! - How We React to Change

Time:
This exercise will take about 15 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To illustrate typical reactions to change when communication is limited.
• To briefly consider the reasons for these reactions.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels. It can be used with people who don't know one another at all, or who have met/worked together previously.

You'll Need:
Nothing, other than the handouts provided.

Notes:
This icebreaker can be used with any group of participants at the start of a learning and development session focused on change management. It is particularly useful for helping participants understand the reasons for resistance to change and to understand the importance of effective communication during any change project.

The handout that accompanies this icebreaker provides tips on dealing with resistance to change.

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An Image of Me
40
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An Image of Me

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 10 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 40 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To introduce participants to each other.
• To help participants understand their colleagues’ ‘drivers’.
• To build rapport.
• To discover more about colleagues’ values and the experiences that influence these.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of any size.

Useful For:
Everyone, including participants who already know one another at work.

You'll Need:
Nothing, other than the materials provided.

Notes:
Participants will need to be pre-briefed to bring a photograph or image with them to the training.

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Art Gallery - Creating a Visual Representation
40
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Art Gallery - Creating a Visual Representation

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 30 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 40 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To explore a particular concept, idea or problem, in an enjoyable way.
• To develop shared understanding of the concept, idea or problem.
• To identify areas of uncertainty or misunderstanding.
• To identify lack of knowledge, which the facilitator can address in the rest of the session.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Coloured stickers or shapes (see note).

Notes:
There is a variant version to this ice breaker which entails asking participants to prepare a collage from the materials you have for them rather than just a drawing. Instructions, timing etc for the variant version are included in brackets in the text. Whether you choose to use them will depend mainly on how much time you are able to allow.

For this exercise you will need:

Basic version:
Flipchart paper, coloured pens and coloured stickers or shapes.

Variation:
As above, plus a collection of old magazines, journals, postcards, birthday cards or similar, scissors and glue pens.

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Balloon Team - The Positive Emotions of Being Involved
10
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Balloon Team - The Positive Emotions of Being Involved

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 5 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 10 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to recognise the positive emotions connected with being involved in a team or project rather than an onlooker.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of almost any size.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels as a simple icebreaker.

You'll Need:
A number of inflated balloons - we suggest allowing about 1 for every 6-8 participants.

Notes:
We’d like to thank Janet Rumbold for contributing the idea for this icebreaker through Trainers’ Talk.

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Bouncing Back – The Nature of Resilience
15
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Bouncing Back – The Nature of Resilience

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 15 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 30-45 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To introduce the concept of personal resilience as the process of bouncing back from adversity.
• To define resilience and explore some of the key elements, which can affect resilience and the ability to bounce back.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of any size.

Useful For:
Staff and managers at all levels.

You'll Need:
Enough bouncy rubber balls to give one to each participant. Ideally, its best to let participants take these away with them as a reminder of what they have learnt. They are excellent for illustrating the point that when we bounce back, we can bounce back even better (brighter, stronger, cleverer).

A range of bright and colourful bouncy balls can be purchased from Trainers' Market.

Notes:
This exercise can be used with large groups, provided that you have plenty of space. Participants need to have enough space to spread out and to bounce rubber balls on the ground and to bounce them to and from a partner. It is important that they can do this without being fearful of breaking windows, ornaments etc., if a ball goes awry. An outside space may be ideal if available and weather permits.

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Course Content Bingo
15
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Course Content Bingo

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 15 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 15 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To raise energy levels within the group.
• To emphasise some key content.
• To check participants' understanding of the content.

Group Size:
This module can be used with very large groups of more than 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
You'll need to have created your own list of key words/concepts linked to the training. We suggest about 30 words and phrases to ensure the game lasts.

You may wish to add some authenticity by writing the words out onto small pieces of paper/card in advance and putting them into a hat, bag or bowl and drawing them out.

You may also want some small prizes for the winners.

Notes:
This is an energetic and fun way to review what has already been covered in the training and is ideal for use after lunch.

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Course Introduction - A Basic Introduction to Training Events
45
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Course Introduction - A Basic Introduction to Training Events

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 15 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 45 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To welcome the participants.
• To introduce the facilitator(s) and participants to each other.
• To introduce the facilities.
• To agree the course objectives and timetable.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of any size.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing, other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This initial introductory module allows the facilitator to find out more about the participants, to understand their expectations and to match them as closely as possible to the course objectives. By getting participant agreement at the start of the course, boundaries are set for what will and will not be covered. Where necessary the facilitator will be able to change or alter activities that will not meet participants' requirements or to spend more time on those that will. The objectives and expectations can then be reviewed at the end of the day.

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Creating Your Climate - Positive Thinking
25
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Creating Your Climate - Positive Thinking

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 25 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 35 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to think about how their thinking can affect their behaviours and ultimately contribute to whether they have a good day or not.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of almost any size. However, in larger groups, participants should share their results with just their nearerst neighbours.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Small plain postcards for each participant and coloured pencils or pens.

Notes:
This is a great icebreaker to use in any training that focuses on the need for a positive attitude.

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Defining Success
30
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Defining Success

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 15 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To define success.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Lots of coloured flipchart pens.

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Feelings Cards - Icebreakers
20
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Feelings Cards - Icebreakers

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 5 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 20 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To introduce participants to one another.
• To encourage participants to share their perceptions of the organisation they work for.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing, other than the materials provided.

Notes:
You will need to create a set of Feelings Cards for each person.

The Feelings Cards can be used in many different ways and for many different situations. These notes explain three ways of using them in a simple icebreaker. Two slightly more complex training exercises are explained in Training Modules.

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Five Balls - Goal Setting and Motivation
20
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Five Balls - Goal Setting and Motivation

Time:
This exercise will take about 15 minutes to complete (longer for large groups). In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 20 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To energise participants.
• To demonstrate the value of breaking major projects down into small goals.
• To demonstrate how positive thinking will impact upon results.
• To demonstrate effective teamwork.

Group Size:
For groups with up to 25 participants. Whilst it could conceivably be used for larger groups, it would require more time, or slight adaption.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
• A large open space.
• A stopwatch.
• Five balls.
Balls and stopwatches can be purchased from Trainers' Market.

Notes:
If using this exercise with very large groups, you will need to split participants into smaller teams.

This is a useful short exercise that shows the link between what we believe we can achieve and what we do achieve. It also illustrates the benefits of breaking long term goals into a manageable steps. It is short enough to be used as a powerful icebreaker around training to do with goal setting and motivation.

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Getting Knotted! - Teamwork and Communication
30
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Getting Knotted! - Teamwork and Communication

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 15 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To test participants’ team and communication skills.
• To test participants’ abilities to work together to analyse and solve a problem.
• To provide a high energy energiser, or introduction to training.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
String.

Notes:
This exercise involves bending and twisting and may not be suitable for all participants. Please remind participants to take care in this exercise.

Whilst the lengths of string are not essential (participants can simply hold hands) they do give participants more room to move and can reduce encroachment on ‘personal space’. Nevertheless, participants are going to be working in close proximity to each other in this exercise!

You will need a minimum of six participants for this exercise, and it works better with larger numbers than this in each team.

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Glasstap Sheep Trials - An Exercise in Communication and Continuous Improvement
30
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Glasstap Sheep Trials - An Exercise in Communication and Continuous Improvement

Time:
This exercise will take about 15 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To test participants' planning and communication skills.
• To demonstrate the importance of listening and using summary and clarification to check understanding.
• To consider what makes communication effective and the dangers of getting it wrong.
• To energise a group of participants.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
• Whistles.
• A stopwatch.
• Blindfolds.
• Skittles and hoops (or similar-see note).
• Prizes.
Many of the items needed to run this exercise are available from Trainers' Market.

Notes:
We don't often develop exercises specifically for the outdoors, but this is a simple exercise that can be used by anyone with access to a park, lawn or yard. A great energiser for sunny days and one which really does contain some important lessons about communication and the importance of checking understanding.

This exercise does require some preparation as you'll need to devise a 'course' for your participants to follow. Preparation will take about 5 minutes once you have the items you'll need. The course maps show three different routes through the same course, which means you won't have to change the course itself if playing more than one round.

We suggest using hula-hoops for your 'pens'. If not, you can mark the 'pens' out using other things like rope or giant pick-up sticks. Skittles, cones or balls can be used to mark out the rest of the course.

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Hopes and Fears - Establishing Aims and Objectives
45
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Hopes and Fears - Establishing Aims and Objectives

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 20 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 45 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To establish participants’ worries about the training they’re attending.
• To identify what participants are hoping for in the training.
• To help establish/develop some objectives and ground rules for the training.
• To encourage an atmosphere of empathy and mutual support.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
• A hat or other receptacle.
Hats can be purchased from Trainers' Market.

Notes:
This can be a really useful introduction to training that participants might be worried about. A typical example is presentation skills, where participants are often worried about having to make a presentation to fellow participants.

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Horror and Happy Ever After Stories - Sharing Experiences
30
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Horror and Happy Ever After Stories - Sharing Experiences

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 15 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To provide an opportunity for participants to share good and bad experiences.
• To gather real-life examples that can be referred to throughout the training.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
Our thanks to Buffy Sparks for her help in writing this icebreaker.

This exercise can be adapted to training on almost any topic, including, for example, sales, performance management, negotiation, change.

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How Do You Feel?
25
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How Do You Feel?

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 25 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 35 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To enable participants to introduce themselves to each other.
• To help participants recognise their own emotions.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels. However, for some senior audiences you may choose not to use the paper plates but just ask participants to describe how they are feeling.

You'll Need:
• One plain paper plate and lollipop stick per participant. (Try to avoid laminated plates, as these can be difficult to draw on.)
• Sticky tape and a selection of marker pens.

Notes:
The facilitator needs to have a good understanding of Emotional Intelligence. The Trainers’ Library article by Mike Bagshaw is a good starting point. This activity also complements the module ‘Managing Emotions’ in Trainers’ Library, which could be used later in the session.

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I Am Feeling... - Sharing Feelings and Positive Thinking
20
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I Am Feeling... - Sharing Feelings and Positive Thinking

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 10 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 20 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To identify how participants are feeling.
• To encourage participants to recognise that they are not alone, and that their feelings are shared by others in the group.
• To encourage participants to focus on how they want to feel.
• To encourage participants to think positively, and ‘anchor’ their positive feelings.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This simple icebreaker can be used as an introduction to any training, but is perhaps most useful when you expect participants to feel nervous about what they are going to be asked to do.

So, for example, it can be particularly useful as an introduction to Presentation Skills training, Train the Trainer training or Interviewing Skills training, where you’ll be asking participants to practise their skills in front of their colleagues.

The inspiration for this exercise came from Lorraine Hatton-Dow at Manchester United PLC, who uses a similar approach, combined with music, in her training courses.

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Jump - Motivation and Continuous Improvement
15
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Jump - Motivation and Continuous Improvement

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 10 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 15 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To illustrate how motivation and self-belief can lead us to stretch our performance.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This quick exercise can be used as an icebreaker and demonstrates how we can all stretch our performance if we're motivated to do so. This is a physical exercise that may not be appropriate for everyone.

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Little Known Facts - Matching the Facts to the Participant
15
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Little Known Facts - Matching the Facts to the Participant

Time:
This exercise will take about 10 minutes to complete (longer for large groups). In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 15 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to share information in a fun, lively and non-threatening way.
• To help participants get to know more about one another and identify some common ground/points of interest for them to use when working together.
• To inject energy and movement into the start of the day.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants. Whilst it could conceivably be used for much larger groups, it would require much more time, or slight adaption.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels. It can be used with people who don't know one another at all, or who have met/worked together previously.

You'll Need:
A set of pens of the same colour and style - one for each participant. A set of cards (e.g., blank index cards) or slips of paper - six per participant. (The cards/pieces of paper must all be the same size.)

Notes:
This icebreaker works best when there are at least six participants, in order to ensure there are sufficient responses to make it challenging.

This icebreaker works particularly well as an introduction to communication skills, presentation skills and interpersonal skills courses. It is useful where participants are going to be working together in small group activities (pairs/threes etc.) during the course as it helps people to get to know informal/fun facts about one another, which can help them relate to one another more quickly.

It can be used after more formal introductions have been completed.

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Meeting Costs - Calculating the Real Cost of Meetings
30
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Meeting Costs - Calculating the Real Cost of Meetings

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 15 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to think about the true cost of meetings.
• To show the importance of ensuring meetings are effective.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
A calculator for all participants.

Notes:
If you are an internal trainer, in an organisation that has published 'grades' and salary bands, it will be useful to have copies of these to hand for your participants to refer to during this exercise.

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Metaphor - Aims and Objectives
30
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Metaphor - Aims and Objectives

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 10 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To identify how participants are feeling.
• To explore their thoughts, fears and concerns in a comfortable way.
• To establish learning objectives for the course or programme.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This icebreaker can be useful for putting participants at ease. It provides a tool through which participants can highlight concerns and areas for personal development in a non-threatening and potentially humorous way. It is particularly useful when training around areas that participants may feel uncomfortable about or which they may find challenging.

The use of the metaphor makes it easier for participants to discuss their own development needs and any challenges that they face.

Depending on the subject matter, it is also possible to use the metaphor as a theme for the course or programme. Course handouts and other materials can be branded and themed around the metaphor that is used.

You will need to spend some time in advance of the session choosing a suitable metaphor for the topic(s) to be covered in the training.

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My Picture Says... - Identifying Values and/or Objectives
30
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My Picture Says... - Identifying Values and/or Objectives

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 20 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To provide an opportunity for participants to learn something about each other.
• To help participants learn more about each other’s values and motivators.
Or
• To help participants identify group and individual objectives for the course/workshop they’re attending.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to about 15 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
For Version1:
A selection of images, each printed on to an A4 sheet of paper. The images could be very varied and include, for example, abstract images, landscapes, animals, people and holiday scenes.

For Version 2:
A selection of images from Trainers’ Images (or a similar resource) that could be used to illustrate particular challenges, behaviours or problems that might be relevant to the participants.

Notes:
The time needed for this exercise will be influenced by the number of participants in your group. Allow 5 minutes for the initial exercise and 2 minutes for each participant to explain their choice.

We’d like to thank Nicki Davey of Saltbox Training and Events (www.salt-box.co.uk) for the idea for this icebreaker.

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One Man Brand - How Images Add Impact
30
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One Man Brand - How Images Add Impact

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 30 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 35 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To help participants get to know each other.
• To encourage participants to think about their personal ‘brand’.
• To encourage participants to think about how images can communicate more than words and can make communication more powerful.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of any size.

Useful For:
Anyone, but particularly perhaps those involved in marketing and/or presentations.

You'll Need:
2 name tags or name cards for each participant. (Or one sheet of A4 paper for each participant.)

Notes:
If using this icebreaker in very large groups ask participants to work in small teams and introduce themselves to those team members rather than the whole group.

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Out for the Count - Energiser
15
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Out for the Count - Energiser

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 15 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 15 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To raise energy levels within the group.
• To provide the group with an opportunity for physical activity.
• To wake up the brain in preparation for the next session.

Group Size:
This module can be used with very large groups of more than 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels. Care should be taken when choosing the activity to ensure that all participants are physically able to participate.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
A useful energiser for after lunch and particularly useful in training around creativity.

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Personal Item - Sharing Information
20
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Personal Item - Sharing Information

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 15 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 20 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to share information about themselves.
• To build rapport among participants.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This simple icebreaker provides an effective way of introducing a wide variety of training, and in particular training that requires participants to share information about themselves. For example, it would make a nice introduction to training around personal effectiveness, or personal motivation.

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Personal Motto
15
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Personal Motto

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 15 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 30 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To enable participants to introduce each other by sharing their personal motto.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Participant name cards (large enough for their name and motto).

Notes:
You should ensure you have your own example available to share with the participants.

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Postcard Review - Post-Training Review
15
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Postcard Review - Post-Training Review

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 10 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 15 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To provide a memorable review of training participants have received.
• To remind participants of key learning points or action points from a course or workshop.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
A selection of picture postcards - one postcard per participant, and a few spare ones.

Select postcards with a variety of images: Countryside, coastal, historic buildings, modes of transport, animals etc.

Notes:
This exercise was developed from an idea submitted by Barbara Buffton. Barbara Buffton is an international training consultant, performance coach and published author. Much of her experience (and her clients keep coming back for more) is with large multi-national companies. She has had four books published, including The Which? Guide to Choosing a Career (1998).

Her most recent book, Follow Your Dream, is available from http://www.bookshaker.com/product_info.php?products_id=134

Contact Barbara on info@bbassociates.freeserve.co.uk

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Quoting Resilience
30
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Quoting Resilience

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 30 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 35 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To act as an icebreaker.
• To enable participants to introduce themselves to the group.
• To find out how each participant perceives resilience and what they hope to get from the training.
• To introduce some key information about resilience.
• To get people thinking about what resilience means and where it comes from.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff and managers at all levels.

You'll Need:
A set of posters, with quotations about resilience, each printed on a separate sheet of A4 paper.

Notes:
This activity requires a little preparation in that you’ll need to stick the quotation posters up around the walls of the training room. Make sure they are suitably spread out so that participants have to move around the room to read them all.

The time required for this exercise will vary depending on group size - allow each person about 2-3 minutes to explain his or her choice.

This exercise can be adapted for large groups by splitting the group into teams and asking each participant to explain their choice to the rest of their team.

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Reach for the Stars - Praise and Self-Esteem
20
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Reach for the Stars - Praise and Self-Esteem

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 10 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 20 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To highlight self-limiting behaviour and beliefs in a non-threatening way.
• To consider how we receive praise and how it affects us.
• To energise a group of participants.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of almost any size as long as you have sufficient wall space.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
• Cardboard stars at least 15 centimetres/6 inches in diameter. The stars need to be available in two colours (not black) and there should be one of each colour for each participant as a minimum.
• Re-useable adhesive (for example, Blu-tack®).
• Coloured pens.

Notes:
This icebreaker/energiser is suitable for staff at all levels and for any number of participants. It’s suitable for supporting workshops relating to:
• Personal effectiveness and performance.
• Assertiveness.
• Motivation.
• Any workshop where a general energiser that is thought provoking and fun is required.

For a group of 10-12 participants, the exercise will take about 20 minutes to run (including discussion). You may need to adjust the time for larger groups.

If there are people with impaired mobility in the group you can adapt this exercise by asking everyone to stick their stars on to a table or desk. Although each individual will still appreciate the point of the exercise it will not be quite as visually powerful to the whole group.

For health and safety reasons, ask participants not to stand on furniture when completing the exercise.

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Recognising Our ‘Hot’ Buttons
25
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Recognising Our ‘Hot’ Buttons

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 25 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 45minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To enable participants to recognise personal triggers that affect their emotional state.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This activity acts as a good precursor to the Trainers’ Library module ‘Managing Emotions’. It is also useful if you have completed the module ‘Emotional Intelligence Part 1 – Self Awareness’.

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Start with a Bang - Fun Course/Conference Opening
25
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Start with a Bang - Fun Course/Conference Opening

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 25 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 30 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To help participants get to know each other.
• To encourage participants share something with the group to help build rapport.
• To encourage participants to think about how they feel about the event they’re attending.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of any size.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
• A balloon for each participant (and some spares). (If using this exercise in small groups, the balloons should all be the same colour.)
• A small square of paper for each participant.
• You might wish to provide a pin for each participant, although a pen or pencil will probably work just as well.

Notes:
This icebreaker is particularly well suited for use in groups that do not previously know each other and where there might be some initial apprehension. It’s a great way to lighten the mood and get people talking and networking. We think it’d be a great way to launch a conference.

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Sweet Review - A Simple Review/Preview Exercise
20
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Sweet Review - A Simple Review/Preview Exercise

Time:
This exercise will take about 15 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 20 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to review learning.
• To encourage transfer and personal application of learning.
• To check understanding.
• To agree any changes to a training agenda.
• To check that participants’ objectives are being met.

Group Sizes:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to about 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
For this exercise you will need sweets of various colours – enough sweets for each person to take at least two. Avoid using nut-based sweets (e.g., Peanut M&Ms) due to the risk of allergy.

Notes:
This exercise provides a simple, fun and totally random way of reviewing learning or setting up any desired outcomes for the day ahead.

Prior to the exercise you will need to devise a different question/request for each sweet colour you have.

For example, for a review, you might use:
• Red: Tell me what was your most useful learning point from the course.
• Yellow: What one thing will you do differently as a result of being here?
• Green: Who else will you need to share your learning or ideas with for it to be successful?
• Brown: What action are you going to take tomorrow as a result of your attendance on this course?

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The Winning Post - Celebrating Goals and Objectives
30
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The Winning Post - Celebrating Goals and Objectives

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 15 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To assess progress against programme and personal objectives.
• To provide participants with an opportunity to reflect upon the impact of the training so far.
• To focus on achievement in a fun way.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
• Coloured clay or Plasticine (available to buy from Trainers' Market).
• Wet wipes.
• A camera is nice but not essential.

Notes:
This exercise is designed to be used as an energiser and to assess participants’ feelings and sense of progress in a creative and enjoyable way. It is especially suited to open-minded, creative groups and is useful on training and development programmes where participants attend over a series of separate days.

The exercise is also easily adapted for use as an icebreaker, or as part of the review process.

For the exercise you will need a selection of pots or packs of coloured modelling clay or plasticine. We also recommend that you provide wet wipes for your participants, who may get a bit messy.

If available, a camera can be used to record the results.

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