I ran a group mentoring session yesterday with 10 people who didn’t (yet) know each other.
We started with pinning where we are on a Padlet map, renaming ourselves to add the number of years’ experience we each had, a couple of Menti polls about which tech they were using and whether or not people were willing to be recorded. Then we went round the room with 2-minute introductions.
But they all came to life when I said: “That’s the traditional introductions done. But copywriters are creative, so let’s do something creative to get to know each other. Turn off your camera. Go round your house and find an object that represents something about yourself. When you come back, turn on your camera so I know you’re ready. Then show your object to the camera, and tell us what it reveals about you”.
N.B. Whenever I do this, I stress (for health & safety reasons) that it’s not a race. The last thing anyone needs is to fall over and hurt themselves. You really don’t want your participants to end up in hospital, especially while there’s a pandemic raging.
This is when their personality came out. They started laughing. They told fascinating stories. We could have talked for hours about their objects and what they had shared. It created an instant team-building bond.
It worked so well because it was unexpected. It was engaging. It made them do something physical other than sit in their chair in front of a screen. I call it ‘treasure hunt’ or ‘show and tell’.
Have you tried an icebreaker like this? Did it work for you?