Title: Find 10 things in commonParticipants: Small group/sMaterials: Paper, PenProcedures:1. You start by telling them that simple cop-outs such as body parts are not allowed.2.Divide the meeting participants into groups of four or five people by having them number off. (You do this because people generally begin a meeting by sitting with the people they already know best, especially their closest coworkers and people from their departments. It's a natural comfort zone thing.)One of the key expectations for any icebreaker that youoffer is to help people from different departments get to know each other. This helps you build more effectiveteams and reinforces camaraderie and cooperation across departments. In a public meeting, you want to foster the same good will in the group so that the conversation flows freely throughout the day. When attendees start by finding commonalities, no matter the attendee's group assignment, he or she is comfortable participating.3.Tell the newly formed groups that their assignment is to find ten things that they have in common, with everyother person in the group, that have nothing to do withwork. (I tell people no body parts (we all have legs; we all have arms) and no clothing (we all wear shoes, we all wear pants).As a facilitator, I, of course, had to learn this the hard way so I am giving you fair warning that you want to head off highly predictable group behavior. Otherwise,
prepare yourself for a litany of "we all have hands, we all have arms, we all have legs, we all have on pants, and we all wear underwear."This is not good when the goal of the icebreaker is to help attendees get to know each other. This helps the group explore shared interests more broadly rather than settling for an easy list of obvious commonalities.4.Tell the group to find the ten things that they have in common with the other people at their table. I don't believe that I have ever had a group take more than ten or fifteen minutes to do the exercise.5.Tell the groups that one person must take notes and beready to read their list to the whole group upon completion of the assignment.6.Ask for a volunteer to read their whole list of things in common first. Then, ask each group to share their whole list with the whole group. Because people are your best source for laughter and fun, the reading of the lists always generates a lot of laughter and discussion. Attendees also enjoy finding one of their ten things in common on another group's list. You can also catch the drift of the conversations that took place in the small groups based on the transitions made from item to item.Participants love to compare their list of items with thelists generated in the other small groups. You will wantto allow a free flow of conversation, laughter, and sharing. Your audience really is your best resource for making this icebreaker a fun part of your training, meeting, or team building event.
Problem Solving Facilitation RecommendationsThis team buildingicebreaker takes 10-15 minutes, depending on the number of groups.