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Weekly t-shirt Challenge: Terrible Ice Breaker Exercises

  • 1.  Weekly t-shirt Challenge: Terrible Ice Breaker Exercises

    Posted Thu June 18, 2020 10:59 PM
    Terrible Ice Breaker Exercises

    It's pretty clear that those of you from India really know how to do hot weather right!  And I was struck by how many suggestions were about eating or drinking something cold.  And of course there's sitting by the water or even standing in the fridge to consider.  I think I may try all of these at the same time!

    But the clear winner is @Ricardo Bánffy with his incredible sense of humor!  I suppose you could say in Ireland, they use humor to warm up instead of ice cream to cool down.

    I've been working outside in the garden all this week preparing Master the Mainframe including a new Event Guide to help people plan events of all types.  I want to include a section on how to help the participant and the mainframe professionals start the event by getting to know each other.  But so called "Ice Breaker Exercises" have a bad reputation.  So tell us your horror stories!  What is the WORST way to get an event started.  Bonus points for the worst ways to start a virtual event.

    And don't forget to vote.  As usual, the entry with the most votes wins a t-shirt but sometimes I give out a few shirts if I'm extra entertained.  I mean why not?  This t-shirt thing is just something I enjoy doing and it's good to be the mainframe queen.  :-)​

    The rules*:
    1.  Every Thursday, I'll start a new discussion thread titled Weekly Challenge.

    2.  This week, reply to the thread with your terrible ice breaker exercises.  

    3.  Vote for your favorite entries by clicking the "Recommend" button next to your favorites.

    4.  The following Thursday, I'll announce the winner and start the next week's thread.

    5.  The person submitting the item with the most votes will receive one of these Legends of Z t-shirts (or equivalent)!

    * The rules are not really rules.  This isn't a real contest or anything.  It's just something I feel like doing and having a fun excuse to share some cool t-shirts with you.  I hope you all have fun with it.  I am!


    Misty Decker
    Master the Mainframe
    @MistyMVD on Twitter

  • 2.  RE: Weekly t-shirt Challenge: Terrible Ice Breaker Exercises

    Posted Mon June 22, 2020 11:24 AM
    Find 3 people in the room who share something in common with yourself... (very bad exercise)... takes up too much time and I always seem to get the people who only give 1 word responses.

    Mark Martin

  • 3.  RE: Weekly t-shirt Challenge: Terrible Ice Breaker Exercises

    Posted Wed June 24, 2020 03:24 AM
    Edited by Hartanto Ario Widjaya Wed June 24, 2020 03:28 AM
    For me, the worst way to get an event started is when the organizer arrived late, or even worse, never show up...
    And yes, it happened to me before on an internship interview when the HR never shows up, leaving me and the technical manager confused.

    As for icebreaker exercises, I dislike those that reveals personal information and discomfort people, especially if we don't know the rest of the people in the (virtual) room. Like have you ever. Without moderation, this game can make things awkward and I certainly feel uncomfortable talking about personal things with people I just met.

    Hartanto Ario Widjaya

    Master the Mainframe Slack:

  • 4.  RE: Weekly t-shirt Challenge: Terrible Ice Breaker Exercises

    Posted Thu June 25, 2020 02:25 PM

    Thinking back to the exercise I have in mind; it now seems terrible in the context of our COVID-anxious times-but it was a lot of fun at the time and certainly broke the ice.

     I was at a training seminar at IBM Hursley, many years ago, and not as an IBMer mind you. It was only a small group, and to get us warmed up, we had a game of "Blow Football." The particular configuration was that we each had a bendy straw, and the two teams were on opposite sides of the table. We stuck the straw in our mouth, reached under the table to grab the arms of the person opposite, and then proceeded to blow a ping pong ball back and forth, with the aim of trying to "shoot" it into our goal.

     Not normally the sort of thing I'd normally be comfortable doing with complete strangers, but for the good humor of the facilitators. We did all get on quite well for the rest of the course.

    David Schweinsberg