Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The tagging icebreaker!

So, we are on day 1 and setting the stage for the next three days. We started with the "tagging" icebreaker. As part of this activity, everyone had to tag themselves with three words that described them personally or privately. The next step was to start looking around and talking to each other and discuss the "tags" a little bit. We spent about 10 minutes talking and then started to cluster into groups. The idea was to see how different groups would join together: some based on the private interest while others on professional. Once the clusters were formed, we asked the groups to pantomime how they would share their "tag" while the other groups would guess the "tag".


As part of the debriefing participants had the following feedback on the approach:

  • In small group, the tag was easier to agree on while in the larger people had to discuss together and negotiate on a tag.
  • Initially, some people felt like they were being forced to perform: they were not sure what three words to use. However, as they started to move around and see other people's tags, and observe overlaps, the initial shyness started to fade away.
  • Some participants were initially hesitant to act things out. The activitiy asked them to have new skills.
  • To many, this icebreaker was a good way to start conversation (taking the tags to start conversation)
  • For some participants, who have not done tagging online, this was a good "hands-on" experience to tag.

Some participants thought a variant of this exercise could be asking participants to either just put tags that describe them professionally or privately.

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