5 Creative Workshop Icebreakers


So you've convinced a bunch of people to come into a room to help frame a problem. However they don't know each other very well. They don't really know you. They are mildly suspicious and wondering if this is going to be worth their time. They have so much important work to do. You are leading the session. It's your job to make it productive and what you need is ideas. You will need to get these people to open up, be confident and be unafraid of giving their thoughts.

How are you going to begin to do this? Well that's down to you and the heart of the specific workshop you've put on - but I've found the classic, 5 min, 'icebreaker' to be a way to leverage people that don't identify as being "creative" into opening up a little.

I've got together a few of my most favourite icebreakers. All are designed to break down barriers and loosen people up. They are there to build confidence. They are there to set you up for the heart of your workshop so you can kick off with the ice broken and everybody ready to get creative. See what you think:

Icebreaker 1: Rock Paper Scissors

Each participant finds a partner (if there is an odd number the facilitator must take part). They play rock paper scissors (count to three and reveal your hand as either a rock (closed fist), paper (flat hand) or scissors (two fingers pointing out like scissors). Paper beats rock. Rock beats scissors. Scissors beats paper. The looser then has to cheer for that person as they then go and find another partner.