Actually Good Ice Breakers: 9 Activities for Connection and Creativity | Esteban Gast | Skillshare

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Actually Good Ice Breakers: 9 Activities for Connection and Creativity

teacher avatar Esteban Gast, Writer, Host, and Speaker

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (53m)
    • 1. Intro

      3:07
    • 2. Elements of Good Ice Breakers

      6:46
    • 3. Large Group Ice Breakers

      8:21
    • 4. Medium Group Ice Breakers

      11:57
    • 5. The Value of Relational Activities

      6:48
    • 6. Small Group Ice Breakers

      6:48
    • 7. Creating Your Own Ice Breakers

      7:12
    • 8. Outro

      2:16
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About This Class

The lessons in this class are designed to help you lead, facilitate, and more meaningfully participate in activities that help build connection and creativity with a  group of people. They are split up into large group activities, medium sized groups, and partner activities. The goal of the class is simple: give you actionable ice breakers and give you tools to create your own.  

In this class, you’ll join host, writer, and entrepreneur Esteban Gast on a whimsical journey in how to create meaningful ice breakers and leave with tons and tons of examples that you can implement right away. Plus, you’ll get the principles of actually good ice breakers which will help you create your own. 

An overview of the course

  1. Elements of Good Ice Breakers
  2. Large Group Ice Breakers
  3. The Value of Relational Activities
  4. Medium Group Ice Breakers
  5. Small Group Ice Breakers
  6. Creating Your Own Ice Breakers


Who is this class for? This class will be helpful for anyone who leads groups or for anyone looking to shake it up next time they lead a workshop or have a team meeting. This class will be helpful if you manage a team and want to build team connectedness or are a teacher helping students feel loose and ready for learning. I suppose, simply put, this class is helpful for anyone who works with another human.

Meet Your Teacher

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Esteban Gast

Writer, Host, and Speaker

Top Teacher

Esteban Gast is an entertainer, educator, and entrepreneur. 

He is Colombian, was raised in Puerto Rico and Illinois and currently lives in LA. He taught creativity and design thinking at the college level and co-authored a book on creativity while living in Central Illinois. Afterward, he worked as president of a sustainability-focused Institute in Panama. He was founding COO of Scriptd, a script database and story platform that elevates underrepresented creators. Most recently, he was the star of the TV show Jungletown, airing on VICELAND. He’s been profiled in WBEZ, Huffington Post, VoyageLA and others. He was co-writer of a feature film executive produced by Emmy nominated Kari Skolgand and 13 Reasons Why write... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Intro: Hey everyone, you did it. You're here. I'm so happy you're here. Welcome to Actually Good Icebreakers, 9 activities for connection and creativity. The goal of this class is simple for you to get a bunch edge, really good icebreakers. Next time you manage people and have relational activities, they're just fun and good. The second is for you to get this understanding and framework of what makes a really good icebreaker or relational activity. In that, you get to create your own. Here is my dream. Can I tell you my huge dream? It is that people taking this course develop their own icebreakers. Or maybe take something that I'm sharing and they remix it and they change it and they modify it and then they put it down in the project file. That means that our projects file, I keep pointing down, I think it is there, are projects section and the sections where we can comment on each other's work is the greatest resources of amazing icebreakers on the entire Internet. That's my dream, that's it. If you are someone who works with people or manages people or is really tired, or just awkward icebreakers, this is the place for you. It's going to be a real quick class. It's going to be fairly casual, and it will be really focused on giving you these tangible icebreakers and talking a little philosophy because we got to get deep. It's going to be so fun. I'm so happy that you're here and I will be leading the charge. If you're like, who are you? That's a great question. My name is Esteban, I'm a television and podcast host, and I also talk creativity at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. I taught it for a few years. While I was there, I co-wrote this textbook on creativity and think a lot about creativity in connection. Since then, I've had one foot in education and one foot and entertainment, telling stories. Then hopefully telling meaningful stories and at the same time talking about the power of storytelling, the power of creativity, the power of connection. In the last seven years, I have led workshops initially all over the world. Those workshops talked about creativity and storytelling, all that good stuff. In those workshops, I've thought a lot about what we can do to make people get to know each other, open up with each other to break the ice. In that, I've developed some ideas, some theories on what makes a really good icebreaker and really good relational activity. It is so important for good icebreakers. A lot of times people are like, this is the first thing and then let's go to the content. It's so important to have people buy into the process, to have people feel like they belong to, have people meet other people. Just to have participants and people that you're working with. Have fun. It's learning is better when it's fun. Why not start off the next time that you're teaching or learning or facilitating with a little bit of fun, with a little connection. That is the goal of the class. Happy you're here. Let's get into it. 2. Elements of Good Ice Breakers: Hey, you're onto the next video. Let me tell you what this class is going to be about and like. Also, let's dive into a high-level philosophy. Let's do it. A few things. Number one is, most videos are going to be shared like an icebreaker. I'll walk you through how to do them and then we'll be sharing a little bit of the philosophy of why we do things. The name of the class is Nine Activities. We're going to have probably more than nine, but at least nine will be shared and you'll be able to hold them in your hands and be like this is an idea. The second thing is that everything is iterative. My hope is that you take some of the ideas and if they don't make sense for you or they don't work for you, that you're immediately thinking about how to modify them to the setting and the context that you're working in. Literally, every time I share an idea, think of that as the first thing. Then from there, you'll change it to what makes sense for you. I may even share unrefined ideas to say, hey, this is a thing that could be a really good icebreaker. Let's go from here and then let's modify to whatever makes sense for us. In every idea that I'm showing, you have to think this is the first iteration of this idea. I can share what I do in some of the contexts and some of the settings that I hang out in, and I talk a lot about storytelling. I can say this is how I adapt this and modify this for my work. Then a good job would be like, how do you adapt this and modify this for the work that you're doing. Another thing I want to talk about is one of my favorite quotes ever. It was from my mentor, he was the Dean at the University of Illinois, Bruce Litchfield. Shut out, Bruce. He said that learning is practice and feedback. It's hard to like really learn things that intrinsically require other people. These are relational activities, that you need relationships with other people? My hope is also that these are things that you and my encouragement would be that you practice like with your friends or that you practice in a smaller setting, or that you, if you're leading something big and you're using some of the strategies, you go, hey, this is my first time reading this, let's just see what this looks like. In that, you're always looking and asking for feedback from individuals or asking for feedback from yourself. Even the way that I was just talking about that these icebreakers are the first iteration, with that also means is that I'm constantly trying to get feedback from it. Learning is practice and feedback. I want to get better at these. That means I need to do it and get feedback. Suddenly I was really quick to mention is I have two other classes on Skillshare. A lot of the creativity principles that I'm talking about in this class are from the other classes because that's how I think about creativity. You don't like need to see those classes before then. It's not like spoiler alerts are going to be here. But if you like this course or if you're like, I want to learn more about the way that this weird dude thinks, there's two courses on Skillshare and you think you're going to really like them. They are fun. Actually, I have three courses. One is a live course, but there's two courses that are like in this setup and then there's a live course. It'd be fun for you to do this. Number four we get to the actual icebreakers themselves, I want to talk three big picture ideas. Number one is this concept called the Law of the Lid. Law of the Lid, it's from old-school business books. I think John Maxwell originally set it and it's been passed on and people say it all the time. Law of the lid, says that people that you are teaching or that you are mentoring or that you are leading or that you are the boss or whatever, will not get it more excited than you. If I am the teacher and there are students, the students aren't going to get more excited about the concepts that I'm teaching, then I am. To me, this is one of the things that happens with icebreakers all times that I'm like at a conference and people were like, meets someone close to you and tell them your name. Now let's get back to the content. We're saying even if you have an understanding of the theory and philosophy and even if you have really good icebreakers if you're not sold on them, they're not going to work. There's a reason I am in this current moment all for enthusiastic. It's one the way that I like normally I'm, but two, is so you watching this course are like, heck, yeah, let's get into that. Like quick of icebreakers for you to like have fun and bond with someone there. Have this like almost inside joke with someone that you're sharing the space with. Inside jokes can only happen if the facilitator you are like, this is silly and fun and important. As we're talking about all these icebreakers, I encourage you to think about the Law of the Lid. The second thing I want you to think about is this concept that we just talked about. This learning is practice and feedback. Something that I think constantly is I want to test everything. I want to test everything, and every step of the process. I'm sometimes like a creed to stereotypically creative guy that like doesn't like details, but I love systems. The way that I would think about systems is we're going to overly analyze? How are we setting up icebreakers? How are we people getting in groups? How or what are we doing in those groups? Is there a conversation where we reflect on what happened? Really systemized this up. I'm going to do this a little bit but I encourage you to do the same. The difference between someone who has like masterful facilitation of icebreakers and someone who was like, you're doing pretty good, is literally just thinking about it a little bit more. A person who was amazing just like sod of about, it a tiny bit more. My hope is with this course and outside of this course that you and I, am in this too just think about it a little bit more. Lastly, there's creativity principles. I'm working out of that, I will sometimes mention, and this is in the other courses that I taught, but it'll be, for example, I like to diverge and then converge. This is brainstorming. Brainstorming is a turn of ideas and then converging is going in. Creativity principles I think are important, is creativity to me is just connecting things. Literally what some of the activities will do is juxtaposing where we take this and this and people have to create something new from it. Or just creating connections where you don't think are connections. At the end of the day, we're being clear about it, we want people to have fun. We want people to think creatively, we want people to connect and we're going to be explicit about that. We're going to test that relentlessly. We're going to get feedback from it and we're going to object, keep searching, and keep iterating for how we can make these activities incredible. In the process, we're going to do it with genuine enthusiasm, genuine and excitement. I think that's it. If you think about those things, we're in business. Let's do it. 3. Large Group Ice Breakers: We're going to start with some three icebreakers that we're going to talk about in a large group. Large group by so I'm thinking you are in front of a couple of dozen people minimum and you're in front of them. Here's what we're going to do. Number 1 is, every time that you ask people to get in groups are partners, that in itself is going to be an icebreaker. My thought is never ever just be like find a group of four. Here's some things that I do, sometimes I'll say, hey, find a group of four where everyone is born in a different month as you, so you have to go around and be like, I was born in April, you Friday and there's at least some conversations there. I think asking to find a partner who has the same or different something personal as you is really powerful. Find a person who has the same number of siblings as you do. In that you're finding groups, but you're also having really brief conversations, you're an only child, you've got three. That's really great. This is what I'm talking about if you break it down into systems instead of saying get into groups and then people stand in groups awkward and go like so, how are you doing? What we're doing is, we're giving people a pathway to how to find groups and giving them that first conversation groups, three siblings, older or younger. Cool. That's great. How can we have people in groups and in that process be icebreakers. This is something you can do for large groups. If you're in large groups and you need them to find partners or other groups. This is a wonderful tool to do that. Sometimes, something I do, this is what I've done in terms of testing everything that you level up is that I have them do things non-verbally, so I'll be, everyone act out your favorite Season. Winter, spring, summer, fall, all you got to do is call and then act out your favorite season and then you have people going around and be like birds or whatever it looks like. I think having people group up and in the grouping process is already a little whimsy and a little fun is huge because from there you're building this foundation and you can do a lot of really interesting things because people already in that mindset. That's one thing I would recommend. One thing that I do just about every single time. I want to share with you another activity. This one can be done in a large group or in a medium sized group and it's genuinely one of my favorites and the activity I call small wins. The premise is that people will go around and share something really small that happened that day and everyone's going to clap for them and freak out like they just won the Gold Medal in Olympics, so I can be like this morning, I put on my socks and everyone will be yeah, yes you did. The next person will be like, and I ate cereal and people be wow. This is what happens usually, you're explaining the concept and you go okay, and then slowly people get into it and then there's a few champions in the crowd who get into it and all of a sudden, it's 7:30 AM in a Ramada Conference Room and you have 200 people just being yeah because someone was, and I turned on the radio in the car. Small wins is amazing because it is a silly and almost tongue-in-cheek way to raise the energy. In large groups, you need to think about how am I setting the culture? What is the culture for this group? For me, I want the culture that it's high energy and it's silly and it's open, and it's supportive. I literally made a list. This is how I made this icebreaker and I encourage you to think about this and I wrote, I want a high energy, I want supportive, and I want silly. I thought what happens if we're so supportive that it's silly in a way that's high energy. That's how small wins came from. Someone will share something really small and everyone just react huge. I've done this with high school students and middle school students and elementary school students who are delightful by the way. They get it, here this is how I live my life. I did this in a high school once in Texas. We were doing this and at the end of it, this girl who felt pretty shy walked up to me and said, I wonder if this is how the best world team feels. She hadn't had people clap for her, so here's this thing that is silly and supported from high energy and also is meaningful to people who really need support in that moment, maybe haven't received that support. even if it's goofy, they're still receiving that support. This is one of my favorite activities. You can do this in large groups, you can do this and medium sized groups, in partners it's a little bit weird and it's called small wins. By the way, if you want to modify this activity, something I've done before where it's a little bit higher risk, this icebreaker that I call a high demand or high person and then it is someone shares again something very small and then they have a partner that hypes them up. Instead of people being like yeah, I'd be like this morning, I put on socks and my hype person to the group or to whomever, would be yeah, you put on sock one at a time, left foot sock, right foot sock and just really get into it. That's a little bit higher risks that demands a lot on from a hype person. I like small wins because people do challenge by choice is what I call. People can be yeah, I'm clapping or they can be a super big into it. In a large group icebreaker, I think it's best to scaffold that and be, great, let's have some, anyone can clap and you can cheer and then some people can get really into it. I'm going to celebrate those champions. But if you want to, you can modify. If you're in a small group, you can do hype person. If you're in a group that is especially socially open and an outward, you can do that or if you just have people who need to get out a lot of steam, make them be the hype person, whatever that looks like. I think in a large group for people to feel connected, they need to find people who are similar to them. The third thing I want to talk about is a human scavenger hunting and the reason I think this is important is because people in a large group just want to find people who are like them. If there's a couple of a 100 people there or whatever, I don't want to just talk to the person next to me, I would find something in common with them. Something I've done in different variations of this, is human scavenger hunt idea. This can look different ways, you can actually get a piece of paper and it's got a few spots almost like bingo and it says, find someone who is from the same hometown as you or is from the same home state as you, or find someone who has same genre of music as you or whatever, and you have these different things. Sometimes it's done in schools for kids and the reason that it is done in schools for kids is because it works and I think you can also do it not in schools for not kids, adults. I think this is huge, I think in a large group for individuals to find someone else who has a shared interests with them is incredibly important. In a large group, all we need to do is have someone who have a deep. In a large group your job as a facilitator is to make sure that's somewhat that every person in the crowd feels they belong, feels they should be there and feels they even have the potential to make a new friend. The potential to get along with someone. You don't need to get along with someone just there, you just need to think, I think them and I can be friends. I've also done a human scavenger hunts where you celebrate a certain achievement, so you would say, hey everyone, let's get in a group of four but one person in that group of four has to have run a marathon. Then something very cool happens where everyone's like, who's run a marathon and people who have run a marathons are like I have and then everyone's excited and wants to be in their group. Whatever that looks like. I think human scavenger hunt can look like, one find people with similar interests, or two celebrate someone's achievements or accomplishments and make someone the star of the group, especially if it is something that people are a little bit shyer about. These are three icebreakers for large groups where we get into medium sized groups and partners. I'm going to share a bunch more icebreakers, at the very least though, from these ideas, my hope is you're modifying, and you're iterating and you're thinking, what would that look like for me as a facilitator? You will facilitate different than I will and what does that look like in the work and the context that you're working in? Thanks so much. Let's do it, next video. 4. Medium Group Ice Breakers: In this video, we're talking medium group icebreakers. This is groups of four or six, maybe eight. Let's get into it. Here is one of my favorite activities I ever do. It is worst idea to best idea. There's a few ways for it to work. Let me walk you through one of them and then give you some modifications. Basically in groups, you tell people to think of the worst blank ever. For example, think of the worst restaurant ever. There's a few ways to think about this. I'll walk you through the way I would explain it and then we can talk modifications and all that good stuff. What I would do is in groups, people are in groups already. They got there through some of the ways from before, and then in the groups I would say, we're going to brainstorm and come up with the worst restaurant ever. You can go really crazy with this. I often encourage them to think about it silly. This prompt works best when the things that people come up with are ridiculous. Sometimes I say worst vacation ever, worst restaurant ever, whatever it is. Sometimes it's appropriate, like if I'm working with teachers and I think, I go, what's the worst school ever like, what are the bell sound like, what are the periods like? Be as silly as possible. This is not the time for you to be like, actually, the schools are underfunded. I mean, you can write that, but it's more of just ridiculous things. What is the most ridiculously bad version of this? In their groups, they make a big list, and what I do is often I ask groups to share some of their lists and it's really fun moment where people are laughing. Then what I'll do is I'll capture a lot of the results, and then right from the groups I'll ask them, what's your worst restaurant ever? Great. What's your worst restaurant ever? That's so funny. Yeah, that's really good. That's really bad. What's your worst restaurant ever? Perfect. Then what I will do, I write them all down and I circle three or four. I'll go, okay, let's do this, and this, and this. Then every team, every group has to take the words that I circled and then create the best version of that thing. You could circle, for example, the worst restaurant ever has food that immediately makes you sick. You write makes you sick, and then you go, okay. Now your job is to come up with something really good that somehow involves this. Maybe a restaurant that is really good that makes you sick is like if you want to loose weight, I don't know, or that you want to get revenge on your enemies so you go, let's go out to dinner, and then they get sick or anything like that. The problem is that in the groups, they can come up with ideas. Their hope is not that they come up with good ideas or bad ideas. The only hope here is that in these groups, you've given them a challenge that is not work-related, a challenge where people get to share some of their experiences, and then you ask them to reframe it. It's this creative challenge and then they have to come up with something together. They form something. They feel they're collaborating nothing work-related. They're collaborating, sharing some thoughts, sharing some experiences where there's no wrong answers. You do all this and then you share that publicly and people get to know that and you have pride for your team. This is in one of my favorite activities. I truly do this all the time. I think I've done this in a different Skillshare course and just like a creative exercise, but this in groups is great. You can also modify this. Let's break this down into systems. What I would do is I really want to get into it, is I would say, everyone, find a group of four and you all like the same style of food, the same genre of food. Is it fast food, or is it Mexican food, or Italian food, or whatever it is. You'll find the same style. If you want to go really crazy, maybe if I'm working with younger people or some like that, I would say, great, you have four choices and it's tacos, pasta, burritos, and soup. Really quickly, if you want to modify this and just make it systemize the whole way through, here's the first thing I would do. First thing I would do is ask people to get in groups. But you can even do this in a unique way so I would say, everyone, you've got three options. Number 1 is taco, number 2 is pasta, and number 3 is soup. You got taco, pasta, soup, and what you need to do is find four people total, three other people who have the same food as you, but you can't tell them what food you have. You're going to walk around and be like, and then maybe you look at someone and they're doing pasta and they go and then it's not meant to be, and then maybe you find someone and then they're going and you go over both tacos and you did it, and then you look for other people who are tacos. In that way, we're already getting into groups in a ridiculous way and we're getting into groups and probably guiding of that conversation where they go like, do you actually like tacos? What's your favorite kind of taco? Amazing. Is there a good taco place around here? You're having some of those conversations. We're getting into groups in a fun, whimsical way. It's ridiculous. They get into groups of thinking about restaurants and then I go, okay, everyone, we're going to come up with a ridiculously bad restaurant experience. You can share some of your own experiences, but also you can just come up with insanely bad, ridiculous things. Doesn't have to be serious, especially ridiculous. Then they're sharing some of those experiences, then I capture it and I challenge everyone, every group with the same three words so then everyone has a shared experience. Groups are having their shared experience, and us as a large group has a shared experience, and then they're sharing the best restaurant experiences. They went from something physical to making groups in a meaningful way, to sharing some of their experiences, venting a question that normally isn't asked of what is a bad restaurant experience that you've had, then having a collective group experience, then having a small win because they are in their groups coming up with something, creating something new and creative collaboratively, and that is how in a few minutes someone has gone through all of that and they are feeling a little bit more like they belong. Wow. That was a lot. I'm genuinely sweating. Let me give you another icebreaker. This one is called spin-off. This can be done in small groups. Sometimes it's a partner activity, and it is people share their favorite TV show, TV show they're currently watching, and then what you try to do is that you try to blend everything and smush every TV show together to create a new TV show. This is really great because people share something that they're up to, they share TV show and why they like it, and then probably someone else is like, oh my gosh, I love The Office. I also like The Office, that's so exciting. People are sharing these TV shows and then, in that, you create something new. I'll give you an example, is if someone does share SpongeBob SquarePants, and The Bachelor, and The Office, then what you could come up with is an office, almost documentary feel of SpongeBob looking for love or whatever it is. The goal here again is not an actually good TV show. The goal here is for people in groups to share something about themselves that is pretty low risk, that is pretty fun, and too in that field is collective win because we came up with something together. How can you have people have meaningful conversation or have conversation where they find something in common with someone else? Number 2, build something, get that momentum of we did something together, I can work with these people. A lot of times in medium-sized groups something that I do is really give that group, encourage them to form the sense of identity. I'd ask them a group name, I would ask them to do a group handshake, and then I would say I would challenge them that if you, later today, find your group and I'll do the handshake again you win a prize. Come up to me and show me the handshake. Something like that. You incentivize them to keep doing it. Sometimes they come up with a song or dance. Sometimes they come up with something, even I've had groups for a period of time do something really goofy like a word, and if someone says a word or if me as a person speaking or facilitating says a word, they all cheer. This is again only if you're comfortable with it, but they will choose a word and then I'll be speaking. I'll be like, and anyways, the antithesis of this, and everyone will be like yeah and a group will cheer or just like, that's our word. What this does is if you're open to the disruption of people cheering or clapping, it makes participants listen to you a whole lot more. You know what I mean? Listen and then they feel like, they did that thing. To me, again, that's such a huge win. What an amazing icebreaker. Even if it's a simple premise, if it causes participants in the room to go, he did the thing, that to me is a huge victory. In their groups, the third icebreaker in this section be, how do you form a sense of identity around it? Can you have a name, can you have a flag? But sometimes I just give them piece of paper and say, can you make a team flag? Can they find this word that they cheer? Can they do a song? Can they do a dance? Can they play a song? During the lunch time, for example, they get to choose some of the playlist as the music is playing. I'll be like, great, you're choosing three songs for our lunch playlist. Can you as a group write down three songs you want to hear, and then we'll play them. Again, the premise here is how can those groups find something that they have in common, find something, and then later on really celebrate it and be like, that is a thing that we did. One last thing to consider before we finish this video and then move on to the next video is that something I think about is, what are they not being asked? Again, this doesn't mean it's intense, this doesn't mean people need to open up, or anything like that. But my thought here is what happens if you take that extra step to something that maybe people talk about at work or it's something that is a low-risk question that is funny and is not commonly talked about. Question I like is, when is the last time you laughed at an inappropriate moment? Almost certainly everything will be work-appropriate or school-appropriate or whatever you're working in, and it has people reconnect with that one time that they couldn't stop laughing. A lot of the questions I want the people to think about that one time that they had a really funny moment, or that they were silly, or that they were goofy, or that someone made them laugh. If I want the participants to do something silly or be goofy, then one of the best ways to empower that is to say, when is the last time that you did blank? But I can't just ask when is the last time you did something silly. That's a ridiculous question, but I can ask, when is the last time you laughed at something inappropriate? When is the last time you laughed at something and you couldn't stop laughing? When is the last time that you were the only person laughing at something? Whatever it is. All of a sudden, we're having these people think about times that they were laughing. Then if we say, hey, now you're going to come up with a team handshake, they're already a little bit in that goofy mindset. Relational activities, icebreakers, there's a little bit of creativity principles and there's also a little bit of philosophy and psychology behind it. We're going to briefly talk about that in the next video. The next video is philosophy, then we're going to do partner activities, and then we'll talk about the challenge, and the projects, and how to just continue doing this everywhere and spreading really good, actually good icebreakers across the world. We'll see you in next video. 5. The Value of Relational Activities: Hey, you're here. Thanks genuinely. There's a few videos left, can I just say. Thanks for being here. Thank you for being here, thank you for being a friend. In last video, we talked about a medium-sized group icebreakers. We talked about some of the philosophy behind it in that video as well and now we're talking partner icebreakers. Let's do it. Partner icebreakers have the same core philosophy as everything else. How can we; you and I, find something we have in common, find a connective thing between us and create something together in a low-risk environment probably with some really silly constraints? Celebrate that, have a great time, and then later today be like, "Do you remember when we did that thing?" That is the goal. One of my favorite activities is anytime that you and a partner go back and forth with any words. For example, with a partner, you could go, "Hey, create a story A through Z?" The first letter of every word has to start with A, then B, then C, then D. It will be like a bear came down, but you're going back and forth with your partner. If I go, "A" you'd say, Bear, and I'd go, "Came," and you say, "Down," and I'd go, "Everything," and we'd go back and forth. That is a low-risk silly way to get together with someone and feel good about it. Sometimes you can even think about this in terms of whatever. For me, I often think about all the things that I'm teaching. Sometimes I'm teaching things and I'm stopping on that instance. I go, "I'm going to talk a little bit about deeper things or things about wisdom," but beauty is we all have wisdom inside of us and we play a game called wise words. The game is that you and I, you and a partner will go back and forth saying one word at a time, trying to create a really beautiful phrase. When do you get that phrase you'll go [inaudible], so both of you will know that you've got that phrase. I'll go, "Wisdom", and then you'll go, "Is", and I go, "Powerful," and you go, "When," and I'll go, "We", and you go, "Fly," and then we'll go, "Wisdom is powerful when you fly." People love doing this because it's something silly. A lot of times there is something beautiful and the best part is you get to share this. Me and my partner would go, "Excuse me, wisdom is powerful when you fly," and people would laugh and you feel the sense of accomplishment. You created something from nothing with someone that you just met. That is the beauty of that. You can go back and forth with anything. You can have them come up with a story, you can have them come up with a poem. You can have them come up with a haiku. You could do any of these things, there's something beautiful and you go, "Back and forth, and back and forth." We're creating this together. Speaking of going back and forth, sometimes I also played games where people have to really connect with each other back and forth. I love playing games where people have to go back and forth, and sometimes they're competing against each other very low stakes and sometimes they are working together. One of the games that I like that's a really quick competition, that's really easy, is you and your partner on the count of three, you're going to put out any number with your hands. You're with 2, or 4, or 5, and they will as well, and it's a random number. Then you have to compete against your partners to see who says how many fingers are up. Who counts them all up immediately? I know I'm going, "Two", and then they put three, and then we got five and I try to beat my partner. 6, eight, whatever that is. You're competing against your partner in this really fun way. This builds the energy. To me competition has to be really low stakes because people have to feel connected, they have to get along. They have to feel like we're on the same team even if we're competing against each other, but competition is amazing for energy. If we were just doing this together it wouldn't be as high-energy, but if I'm competing; even if I'm not that competitive I want to beat you. You want people to get pumped up in that. What I would do is also really silly competitions. One of my competitions, one of my friends came up with this and it's brilliant. It's like a slow smile off. You look at someone, you look at your partner, and you see which one of you can smile the slowest. Stephen Colbert did this on TV, or if you want really high-energy you can do faster smile. You'll count down from 10 seconds and you and your partner will keep track of your own smiles, and you'll see who can smile the most and you have to go full smile. You doing that, it'll look ridiculous and it's fun. Often when I explain this act it out or get someone to show me. Often if I'm explaining this I find a partner to walk through it with me, or I show the participants, "Hey, this is what it's going to look like. You're going to go no smile to full smile." It's going to look ridiculous. You're going to go for 10 seconds, but you can beat your partner. See if you have most smiles. Sometimes I even have done the fastest smiler versus the other fastest smiler who they believe and people cheer for a side, and everyone is cheering as people are just smiling at each other in the middle. It's ridiculous and the ridiculousness is the goal because we've created a moment an inside joke. We've created a moment where everyone in that room is going to remember this especially those two people, and then later they'll be walking around people who go like, "Hey, you were my choice for fastest smiler." It's an awesome opportunity to build a really goofy moment built around energy and support. Those are just some of the ideas for partner activities you can do so much. You can also take any of the ideas that we've talked about before and bring them into partner activities. To me partner activities are really great when you go back and forth, to me partners activities are really great when you're competing. To me, partner activities are really great when you're using words back and forth or when you're using physical things back and forth. There is so much that can happen here and I can't wait. This is where we're getting into it, I can't wait for you to start thinking about your version of this. How you would modify this and throwing that below in the project section, so we can all look at it. We can all look at it and modify for ourselves. We can see the brilliant things of the first version of an icebreaker, because I want to see what you come up with. I want to see how it looks like in the fields and spaces that you're working in. I think we have one more video, let me check. We have two more videos with the last videos like the out show. It's going to be 30 seconds. We have two more videos, I'm so thankful that you're watching this. I cannot wait to see what you come up with. Two more videos, let's do it. 6. Small Group Ice Breakers: Hey, you're here. Thanks genuinely. There's like a few videos left, can I just say, thanks for being here. Thank you. Thank you for being here. Thank you for being a friend. Last video, we talked about medium-sized group icebreakers. We talked about some of the philosophy behind it in that video as well, and now, we're talking partner icebreakers. Let's do it. Partner icebreakers have the same core philosophy as everything else. How can we, you and I, find something we have in common, find a connective thing between us, and create something together, in a low-risk environment, probably with some really silly constraints, celebrate that, have a great time, and then later today, be like, "Do you remember when we did that thing?" That is the goal. One of my favorite activities is anytime that you and a partner go back and forth with any words, like for example, with a partner, you could go, hey, create a story A through Z. Right, so the first letter of every word has to start with A, then B, then C, then D, right? It'd be like a Bear came down, but you're going back and forth with that partner. I go A, you'd say bear, and I'd go came, and you'd say down, I'd go everything, and we'd go back and forth. That is a whole risk, silly way to get together with someone and feel good about it. Sometimes you can even think about this in terms of whatever. For me, I often think about the things that I'm teaching. Sometimes I'm teaching things and I'm stogging on that instance. Sometimes there's, like I go, I'm going to talk a little bit about it looked like deeper things are things about wisdom. But the beauty is we all have wisdom inside of us and we play a game called wise words. The game is that you and I, you and a partner will go back and forth saying one word at a time, trying to create a really beautiful phrase. When you get that phrase, you'll go. Both of you will know that you've got that phrase. Alright, I'll go, wisdom, and then you'll go is, and I'll go, powerful and you'll go when, and I'll go we and you'll go fly and then we'll go. Wisdom is powerful when you fly. People love doing this because it's something silly. A lot of times there is something like beautiful and the best part is you get to share this, right? So me and my partner would go, excuse me, yeah. Wisdom is powerful when you fly and people would laugh and you feel the sense of accomplishment. You created something from nothing with someone that you just met. That is the beauty of that. You can go back and forth with anything. You can have them come up with a story. You can have them come up with a poem. You'd have them come up with a haiku. You could do any of these things. There's something beautiful when you go back and forth and back and forth. We're creating this together. Speaking of going back and forth, sometimes I also played games where people have to really connect with each other back and forth. I love playing games where people have to go back and forth and sometimes they're competing against each other, very low stakes, and sometimes they are working together, right. One of the games that I like, that's a really quick competition, that's really easy, is you and your partner on the count of three, you're going to put out any number with your hand, right? So you have two or four or five, and they will as well, and it's a random number and then you have to compete against your partners to see who says, how many fingers are out, right? Who calms them all up immediately. I know I'm going two and then they put three and I'll go five and I tried to beat my partner. Six, eight, whatever that is. You're competing against your partner in this really fun way. This builds the energy. To me competition has to be really low stakes because people have to feel connected. They have to get along and they have to feel like we're on the same team, even if we're competing against each other. But competition is amazing for energy, right? If we were just doing this together, and it wouldn't be as high-energy. But if I'm competing, even if I'm not that competitive, I want to beat you, right? If you want people to get pumped up in that, what I would do is also, I really like silly competitions. One of my competitions, one of my friends came up with this and it's brilliant. It's like a slow smile off, so you look at someone, you look at your partner, and you see which one of you can smile the slowest. Stephen Colbert did this on TV. Or if you want really high-energy, right, or you can do fastest smile. You'll count down from 10 seconds. You and your partner will keep track of your own smiles and you'll see who can smile the most and you have to go full smile. You're doing that, it'll look ridiculous and it's fun. I often when I explain this, act it out or I get someone to show me. Often if I'm explaining this, I find a partner to walk through it with me, or I show the participants, hey, this is what it's going to look like. You're going to go no smile to full smile. It's going to look ridiculous. If you're going to go, for 10 seconds, but you can beat your partner, see if you have most smiles. Sometimes I even have done the fastest smiler versus the other fastest smiler who they believe and like people cheer for aside and everyone is cheering as people are just smiling at each other in the middle. It's ridiculous. It's ridiculous and the ridiculousness is the goal because we've created a moment, an inside joke. We've created a moment where everyone in that room is going to remember this, especially those two people, and then later there'll be walking around. People go like, you were, my choice for fastest smiler. It's an awesome opportunity to build a really goofy moment built around energy and support. Those are just some of the ideas for partner activities you can do so much, right. You can also take any of the ideas that we've talked about before and bring them into partner activities. To me, partner activities are really great when you go back and forth. To me partners activities are really great when you're competing. To me, partner activities are really great when you're using words back and forth or when you're using physical things back and forth. There is so much that can happen here and I can't wait. This is where we're getting into it. I can't wait for you to start thinking about your version of this, how you would modify this, and throwing that below in the project section so we can all look at it. We're going to all look at it and modify for ourselves, so we can see the brilliant things of like the first version of an icebreaker because I want to see what you come up with. I want to see how it looks like in the fields and spaces that you're working in. I think we have like one more video. Let me check. We have two more videos with the last videos like the outright, it's going to be 30 seconds, so we have two more videos. I am so thankful that you're watching this. I cannot wait to see what you come up with, two more videos. Let's do it. 7. Creating Your Own Ice Breakers: This is the last video before the outro and this is where we talk to you, yeah you. Creating your own icebreaker, or icebreakers, or relational activities whatever you want to call them. I want to know, what it looks like for you to create activities that builds connection, creativity, little bit of silliness, with people that you are working with. Here's some ways to think about that. Number one is, a lot of the icebreakers that I come up with are built around a theme. I was mentioning this earlier, but often I speak, or teach about storytelling, because one of the day jobs is I'm a writer, and I've written things. I think to myself, how can stories, If I'm talking about stories, be made into icebreakers. That's how we get A through Z story. Do you remember that one? You go with a partner, A through Z with the first letter of each word creating a story. That's A through Z story. To me, I thought, great, I'm working around this theme and what I need to do, is build constraints around stories. Often what I think is, I'm working with this theme. Like for me it's stories. That we asked two questions. Number one is, what is the constraint I can put on this. Like A through Z. You can't just tell any story. It has to be a little bit more fun. It's a little bit more exciting when you and your partner figure that out together. It's a little bit more difficult too. Maybe I could also do Hemingway for, famously had a six-word story. Something I've done before is safe, great. We're not Hemingway, but let's see if we can make an eight words story. Let's see if we can do a forward story. Let's see if you can do one-word story. In this you're working with a partner and often there, they're having fun and they're building these stories and from there, there's a natural transition to me saying, what is the story? What does this story mean? A story is someone who's going through something that ultimately changes them. Whatever field you're working with, number one is what are constraints? Number two, can you gamify this in any way? Can there be a winner or loser? Can there be something where you're competing against someone? Like that's where we go, hey, a fast smile off. Can we gamify smiles? How quickly can you smile in 10 seconds you and your partner are facing off? Similar to a story and it doesn't just have to be time, but it'd be like, how can you write the story in the shortest amount of time or who can create the longest sentence, with commas and what other grammar things. I suppose my point is competition doesn't have just have to be speed. Competition doesn't have to be for a certain type of intelligence. It can be longest, it can be who knows the longest word? Who can write down the longest word with the most amount of letters between you and your partner? Or you and your partner are competing and you're creating the longest word against every other partnership in here. Anything where you gamify it is immediately more fun. Think about it. If you are in design or if you are an arts or whatever it is. One, what is something that's a constraints around that? Two, can you gamify? Something that I also think about and this is what I encourage you to do in the moment and to do today and elsewhere, and do it below where you like are writing the projects is how can you take something and re-mix it. I've shared a bunch of ideas with you and in that I've said, you could also do it this way. Good icebreakers come from that. Good icebreakers. Almost anything great, just comes like a little bit more thought. You can say normally people say, hey, what was the best part of your week and what was the worst part of your week? What if people say, what's the best part of your week? Let's think about this. If instead of saying this and this, what have we go, what's the best part of your week? What is someone you can point to that was awesome here? What is something that you do want to tell to go this, whatever it looks like. All of a sudden we have these frameworks where we go. If we're doing something with thumbs up and thumbs down, why can't we use the other fingers? I think that your role as a facilitator and your role as a creative person is constantly asking, what else can we use? What else can we do here? Let's remix this. We're doing head nods. We're doing yes, no's. What if we do heads nods and shakes and then we have people having, go like this and this and that. But what if instead, let's just go like this. Yes, and the no's and you just have just doing something different, whatever it is. I'm not saying these are good ideas, I'm saying their ideas and then maybe you will make them good ideas. I consistently also think about what feels unique, what feels like an inside joke, what feels like this shared moment. I have said this so many times, so thank you for hearing it another time. But I really think that is the beauty and key of icebreakers. You have all of this and you've got like over 10, 12 tangible icebreakers. I would love for you. I would be so inspired if you take any of the icebreakers we talked about in this class and you remixed them, you modify them to something that makes sense for you, or you come up with something totally new. Here's my ask, in the projects, can you one, talk about the theme that inspired the icebreaker? Then two, you're going to write the icebreaker like you were facilitating it. Like you are writing it for other teachers because that's who I hope is reading this other facilitators, and they can actually use the icebreaker. Obviously if it's like something that for some reason you don't want to share or you're like, this is my icebreaker. That's fine. I think creativity is best when shared and collaborative. But be aware that whatever you post down below someone may actually do. My dream is that we actually do this. Honestly, I may actually do it and modify it, make sense for me. You're going to come up with an icebreaker. You're going to tell us what inspired it and you're going to tell us how to do it. You're going to put it in projects. I will be reading them, throwing in notes, throwing in ideas, throwing in suggestions telling you how I would do it in my own unique ways and I can't wait to read them genuinely. This is the dream. The dream is, that the project section of this class just looks like the greatest resource of really creative, actually good icebreakers. Like maybe in the internet, like maybe in the entire Internet, and it lives here. Here's the greatest thing. We all have access to it. We can ask each other questions and we can refine and iterate how cool, what a gift? I know that sometimes you go through Skillshare classes and you're like, we get it, this was good. Thank you. Then you move on. But I really think if you spend even a little bit of time writing down some icebreakers or the ways that you would modify them or new ideas. I think you'd be really helpful for a lot of people. We're onto our final video. I'll see you next video. 8. Outro: You have done it, this is the end of the class. I'm so happy that you did it. A few reminders. Number 1, I've got two other skillshare classes, they talk like creativity. If you haven't checked them out, I think you would dig them, especially if you made it this far in this class, so you can just look at the other classes because it's me talking about creativity and you're going to like it. Number 2 is, please and if you are genuinely think for being helpful to other students just like being a supportive, creative, collaborative human. If you want to throw down how you would remix on how you'd create your own icebreaker in the project section. That would be so great. I'm going to be checking it out genuinely. I mean someone will be checking it out, reading thoughts and how I would modify them to something that works for me and so to the way that I teach and the things that I teach. I'm going to be there hanging out in the project section. I hope to see you there digitally. Lastly, hey, if you want to connect with some of the stuff that I'm talking about or doing or anything like that, you can follow me on socials @realestebangast. Tag me, I love seeing all the stuff that you're working on. I've developed actual meaningful friendships from people who've taken skillshare classes and other ones that I was talking about, and I just like it is awesome. It is so fun to cheer people on for doing interesting creative things. Let's hang out, let's be friends. Let's be Internet friends for real. Realestebangast or my website is estebangast.com. You can tag me on social media, that'll be robust. Thank you so much for taking the class. Thank you so much for being open to thinking about something that maybe people don't think about as much as they should. That genuinely is like a win. It's a win to take something that people sometimes are like, yeah, icebreakers or people get to know each other. I'm so grateful that there are people like you thinking about how individuals everywhere can connect and be creative together and collaborate together in a different way. I hope genuinely to talk to you and see you and celebrate you online or in real life, I don't know. Thanks for taking the class. We will see you next class. Maybe there's one, I don't know. Will see you soon. Have an amazing rest of day.