"Learning from Experience"
Have participants introduce themselves and explain one thing they have learned the hard way about the topic you are covering. Post their “lessons learned” on a flip chart. Refer to them throughout the class. "Challenges and Objectives"
Divide the class into small teams. Instruct teams to identify their challenges in the topic and their objectives for the training. Post work on flip charts. Have them introduce their team and share their work with the rest of the class. "Questions"
Have each person write a question they want answered in the training on a Post-it(sticky) note or piece of paper. Have them introduce themselves and their question. Then post all questions on a wall chart. During or at the end of training, ask the group to answer the questions. "Role Models"
Have each person identify someone who is a role model for the topic being discussed. Have them share the person’s name and the qualities or characteristics that make them a good role model. Post characteristics on a flip chart. "Dos and Don’ts"
Have participants introduce themselves, sharing their name, hospital or clinic, and either a "Do" or a "Don’t" tip that they have learned related to HIV and AIDS Management. Post tips on a flip chart. "Collective Knowledge"
Have participants work in teams to identify five rules for dealing with challenging patients. Write the rules on flip chart paper. "A Helpful Colleague?"
Have participants identify someone who has contributed to their professional development and who they admire. As they introduce themselves have them explain their relationship to the person that contributed to their development. "Developing Yourself"
Have each person introduce himself or herself and share one action they have recently taken to improve or further educate themselves related to patient care and treatment. This can be done as a group or in small teams. "Acceptance Speech"
Have participants introduce themselves and thank someone who has contributed to their professional development. They should thank the person as if they are receiving an Academy Award. You may need to limit speeches to 30 seconds. "First Job"
Have participants introduce themselves, sharing their name and something they learned on their first paying job. "Brain Teaser"
Use a quiz as an ice breaker. Ask questions of common knowledge about any topic, or a number of topics. There should be both easy and difficult questions. Ask members to answer individually, and then give them a few minutes to work in small groups to finish answering the questions. The groups should be able to answer more questions than any one individual. This is a good demonstration of synergy and can lead into a discussion of the importance of teamwork in healthcare. Sample questions:
- What are the names of the planets, starting from the one closest to the sun?
- What are the five most populous countries in the world?
- What are the five least populated countries in Africa?
- What are the five most commonly spoken languages in the world?
Have each person complete the following sentence:
"If I could have dinner with any person, living or dead, it would be
______________________ because _______________________." "Experience Tally"
Ask each participant how long he or she has been with their clinic or hospital, or had their current job. Total the number of years. Point out that the class will have X number of years of experience on which to draw. "Good or New"
Ask each person to share something good or new they have experienced in the last 24 hours. "I Noticed"
As an ice breaker for the second or third day of a training, have each individual share one thing he or she has learned since the last session that they know they will use in their clinical practice. "I’m Unique"
Ask each person to share one thing that makes him or her unique. "My Slogan"
Explain that many organizations have slogans or sayings that reflect their values and are easy for customers to remember. For example, the Coca-Cola Company uses the slogan, “Have a Coke and a Smile.” Ask each person to write (or borrow) a slogan to describe him or herself and share it with the class. A variation could be to develop a slogan for their hospital or clinic. "The Worst Team"
Have each person share a description of the worst team they have ever been on and why. Post characteristics on a flip chart. Debrief this exercise by having the team identify ways to avoid the "worst team" characteristics. "Three Truths and a Lie"
Give each individual a 3x5 card and instruct them to write four statements about themselves: one of the statements should be false while three should be true. Explain that the goal is to fool people about which one is the lie. Allow five minutes to write statements; then have each person read the four statements and have the group guess the lie. Award a prize to the individual who makes the most correct guesses. "I’m like a…?"
Have each person develop a simile
—something you compare with something else because they share similar characteristics—for themselves when they are in a particular mood or experiencing difficulty. For example: "When I get busy and have too much to do, I’m like a car with a little bit of gas—I usually have just enough energy for one more task, but eventually I run out and just completely stop." Emphasize that people have different ways of dealing with stress and challenges because people experience them differently. "Worries"
Ask each person to share his or her greatest concern or reservation about participating in the training (e.g., everyone else will know more than me). Post participants’ concerns on a flip chart. At the end of the session, revisit the list and ask the group to share whether their concerns were realized. "What Do You Know?"
Divide the class into teams of three-four people. Assign each team a different flip chart or piece of flip chart paper. Explain that each team will be asked to record information they know about the members of another team. For example:
Team A: Mary, Chris, Pat, and Terry
Team B: Jane, Frank, Phil, and Sharon
Team C: John, Mike, Andrea, and Larry
Team A is assigned Team B; Team B is assigned Team C; and
Team C is assigned Team A.
Have the team divide their flip charts into sections, one for each person in their assigned team. Allow them five minutes to record what they know about the people on their flip chart (both work and non-work related) without violating any confidences. After five minutes, have teams rotate flip charts and add information on their new flip chart. Continue rotating until they come to the flip chart with their own names on it. Have each person comment on what was written about him/herself. "Guess Who"
Prior to the session, have each participant complete and return to you a survey with answers to five-to-seven questions about him or herself. For example:
o Favorite type of food
o Last movie you saw
o Last book you read
o Where you would love to visit
o Favorite activity
During the session, read the clues and have the rest of the class guess which person is being described. "Something New"
On the second day of training, ask each person to share one thing they learned about another participant on the previous day. Have the rest of the group try to guess who is being described. “You did what!?”
Give each person a 3 x 5 card and ask the group to write down something true that nobody else in the room knows about them, e.g., “I once wrestled a bear in Yellowstone National Forest.” Mix up the cards and put them in a box or hat. Have each person pick a card and read it out loud. Ask the group to try and guess who wrote the card.