A screenshot of the HyperIsland Toolbox.

Topic: Meetings / Events Type: Tools / Resources

Facilitation Techniques and Ice Breakers

Authors: Emily Troisi

After my blog post about graphic recording, many people expressed interest in learning more about that creative technique for recording and facilitating meetings. Thinking about that post made me curious about what other creative or engaging facilitation techniques are out there (besides resources I have used previously for planning meetings like the ones found here). Here are some unique resources I found on this topic.

Ever wish you could just have a toolbox of techniques and ideas to pull from? Well, this group did that for you. Click on the type of tool you need, with categories ranging from energizers to team builders, and then select your time frame and group size! It lays out notes for the facilitator, materials you need, and the level of facilitation experience needed.

I like when conferences add in a little bit of activity to break up discussion. Research has shown that even walking and talking with a colleague can increase creativity and stimulation. Games and activities like some of these may be not ideal for working through a complex problem, but they can be great ice breakers, team building activities, or ways to enhance relationships and just give people a chance to move around or think outside the box.

Lastly, for a fun twist, the powers of the internet helped me stumble on to LEGO® facilitation. That’s right, using the little building toy your kids play with, you can help answer complex questions with your team. One company suggests that this can help people within organizations understand each other’s mental models and overcome many other challenges. See this blog post for some good pictures of the LEGO® facilitation in action.

What facilitation techniques and ice breakers do you like to keep in your pocket?

4 thoughts on “Facilitation Techniques and Ice Breakers”

  1. Kathryn says:

    Great article! Dovetail Partners, a FAC network member, also offers resources for facilitation : http://www.dovetailinc.org/coaching_and_facilitation/resources
    Our work focuses on building successful organizations and coaching personal leadership. Thanks!

    1. Emily Troisi says:

      Katie, these are great! Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Rebecca Samulski says:

    I made up an icebreaker to tie into introductions for a full day stakeholder meeting with a lot of folks who didn’t know each other. Someone starts with an introduction of someone they know, then stands up. Someone else in the room has to introduce them, then stand up and wait to be introduced. It was pretty fun and it drew out some of the unlikely connections in the room. I’d definitely use it again in a large group of multiple stakeholder groups from the same region.

    I especially liked the creative planning v. strategic planning infograph from dovetail.

    1. Emily Troisi says:

      Thanks for sharing Rebecca! Sounds like a fun idea.

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