October 31, 2008

Ice Breakers That Help People Meet and Greet - Part II

By Susan M. Heathfield

Pick Up a Plate Meeting Icebreaker

This is a second, easy-to-lead, fun meeting icebreaker. Like the Candy Sort Meeting Icebreaker, this icebreaker takes some preparation, but not a lot of time during the meeting. The Plates Sort Meeting Icebreaker is best used when employees are gathering to share a meal.

Whether it's your celebrate safety pizza luncheon or an employee recognition banquet, a hot dog summer motivational lunch or a celebrate Thanksgiving luncheon, your eating and greeting opportunities have something in common - plates.

They likely have a second commonality, too. Employees who know each other best tend to sit with each other. This makes the shared meal a lost opportunity to encourage team building and employees getting to know each other.

You can change this by taping a number or a letter to the bottom of each plate. Just as with the candy bars above, you'll need to decide how many employees will attend. You'll need to decide, in advance, how many coworkers will sit at each table. Then make enough stickers to label every plate with a table.

Finally, because employees tend to arrive at luncheons with their friends, you'll want to mix the plates up so numbers or letters are not stacked together, but rather randomly, to facilitate coworkers meeting.

And again, you can simply ask people to introduce themselves at their assigned table. Or, if you want to be more formal, you can develop a series of questions for people to answer such as those listed above. Keep in mind that with this approach to a meeting icebreaker, people will want to eat hot food, so less formal discussion is better until after the meal.

Source: http://humanresources.about.com/

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