Walking & Talking

by Dr. Jim Cain
(Rochester, NY, USA)

Here is an interesting technique for beginning to build connections with the members of any group. The kinesthetic nature of this activity will energize your participants while they begin forming connection with the other members of the group. This activity requires no equipment, but it is helpful to have sufficient space for the entire group to walk together without bumping into each other.

Begin by inviting everyone to partner with someone they do not know yet.

Explain to them that they are to take a three-minute stroll together with this person and to find out three things about each other that they have in common.

Encourage participants to go beyond convenient similarities such as being the same height or wearing similar shoes. For example, perhaps both partners like to read, but if they dig deeper, they may find out they like the same author or have read the same book recently. Perhaps they both like Italian food, but by digging deeper discover that they enjoy the same restaurant or the same Italian dessert.

It is this style of similarity that is the goal of this activity.

When people discover that they have something in common with others, it creates a unique bond. The love of pets, books, old movies, sporting events, TV shows, music and food are all subjects that can create a sense of connection between people that enjoy these things.

When your staff have completed their walk and returned to the training area, invite them to share their most unique commonality with everyone in the group.

When it comes to creating a connection with others, a face to face encounter can seem almost confrontational. Walking side by side creates an atmosphere of connection, without continuous eye contact.

Movement also stimulates the participants, and brings energy to the conversation. By combining an ice-breaking activity with movement, participants not only make connections with their partners, they also arrive back at their starting location with high energy.

About Me: This activity, Walking & Talking can be found in my book, ESSENTIAL STAFF TRAINING ACTIVITIES, from Kendall Hunt Publishers.

Find out more at the Teamwork and Teamplay directory listing.

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by: Prof Punch

An effective ice-breaker.
I use a "guided" walk by giving each a paper - "Who Are You? and Who Am I?". Each finds a minimum of five others and share the information on two criteria "Similar" and "Dissimilar" in different things.

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