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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Introductions by Way of Mutual Interests and Tastes

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Introductions by Way of Mutual Interests and Tastes

You as a trainer or workshop/seminar coordinator can use this exercise for the introduction of participants with each other in a very interesting manner. The exercise can be conducted by you at the beginning of your seminar or workshop. It is a very effective icebreaker. It is a participative exercise.

In this exercise, you will facilitate uncovering the interest and taste of each participant on variety of subjects/objects one by one i.e. by taking one subject/object at a time and then keep grouping and re-grouping the persons with similar tastes and interests in one group. Then, you will let the participants get introduced to each other in their own way by discussing the topic of their common interest with each other.

We will now explain it little more elaborately.

To start with, as an example, you can write on the white board or project a PowerPoint slide on the screen giving say four or five choices of the types of food.

1. Indian food
2. Italian food
3. Chinese food
4. Mexican food
5. American food

Now, ask the participants, "How many of you like the Indian food the most among the five types of food listed? Please raise your hands." The participants who like the Indian food as their first choice will form the first group and requested to sit together forming a circle in the seminar room.

Now repeat the same question and find out, by using the above-mentioned method, the persons who like the second listed food type i.e. the Italian food the most. These persons will form the second group.

This way you are likely to divide the entire participants into a maximum of 5 groups. Let each group sit together forming a circle.

Now allow them say, 5 to 7 minutes to get introduced to each other in each group by a proper handshake and by exchanging information about each other. Encourage them to discuss around the topic of their common interest/taste;  the topic being the type of food. 

You can re-group the participants the second time by selecting out another topic, say the type of movies: 

1. Comedy
2. Family
3. Romance
4. War
5. Mystery

Now the group formation will be somewhat different; the members in each group may not be the same. This way the participants will get a chance to know additional participants.

Repeat the group formation afresh by suggesting another topic, say, the type of music:

1. Country
2. Jazz
3. Classical
4. Rock
5. Soul

This time the group formation may come out to be still different. More participants are now likely to get to know each other.

You may stop this exercise when you find that all the participants have met and got introduced to each other.

Having done, thank the participants for their wholehearted involvement. You may like to get their feedback on the exercise and move on to the next session of your seminar/workshop. 

Get Hold of the Related Books
You can order the following books on "management games and icebreakers" as printed books and eBooks from Amazon online:
  1. Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
  2. Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers (Volume 2)
  3. Classic Team Building Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
  4. 101 Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
Related Reading: (Repository of a large number of articles in management and leadership): and

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