Ice breaker exercises
should be related to the training topic. Having people get acquainted
is an obvious purpose for the ice breaker, but it can also help begin
the process for the learner to think about the topic at hand. Such exercises
can also be used to encourage desired behavior on the part of the learner.
Open the Mind is an ice breaker that helps learners know each
other better and can be related to keeping an open mind about topics in
For example, inform
the group that they have been given one million dollars, tax-free. Ask
them to indicate to the group how they would use their newly gained fortune.
If you do not wish
to use this question here are some alternatives:
- If you could
take a free two-week vacation to anywhere in the world, where would
it be and why?
- If you could
become the leader of any country in the world, what would it be and
- If you could
travel on a time machine to any era in time, what would it be and
- If you could
talk to anyone one person now living, who would it be and why?
Debriefing the ice
- If a stranger
walked in the door right now and asked about this group, what could
you tell them, based on what you have heard?
- In what way can
you use the concept underlying this exercise to help you be more open
to new ideas from this training program?
for the Left and Right Brain
session in which there are adults has variety: men women, Latino, African-American,
white, Vietnamese, Canadian, Maori, Hawaiian, tall, thin, high school
degrees, college degrees, experienced in the organization, new comers,
and the list goes on. It is also true that the trainer encounters learning
style or type differences. There are visual learners, auditory learners,
those concerned with affect.
Some learners also favor using one or the other side of the brain, according
to some researchers. In reality, all adults use both sides, but it would
seem one is more appealing than the others. This preference means the
trainer is best served by including training activities that appeal to
both sides of the brain.
Brain - The Practical
Brain - The Magical
for the future
- adapt to change
- cause change
Setting - focus on results
- focus on dreams
- specify outcomes
- propose scripts
- structure & approach
- fantasize possibilities
Lens - center on target
Lens - take a broad view
As you can see from
this diagram the right side or magical side likes ideas, imagining,
creating possibilities; while the left engages in preparing for the future,
anticipating, and working toward specific goals.
Here are some examples of learning strategies that can appeal to people
who prefer using one side of their brain over the other.
Would You Handle this Situation?
Identify a specific situation. For example: A volunteer is asked for
information about a client of the organization by a neighbor. They provide
some, but not much information. A small group is organized to discuss
- Ask the group
to brainstorm the worst possible things that could result from this
lapse by the volunteer (right brain).
- Then have them
list 3 to 5 remedies for the current situation (left brain).
- Then have the
group brainstorm ways to prevent this in the future (right brain).
the Elements of Team Work
A small group uses "Tinker Toys to construct something. They
are competing with the other groups.
- Design the structure
- Problem solve
before building (left brain).
- Alter design
for stability (right and left brain).
- Focus on height
- Focus on beauty
The tallest free-standing
structure wins prizes, such as candy or pens, for their group. The prizes
are awarded and each group convenes to list the strategies in the group
that helped their team achieve their goal and those things that got
in the way. This leads into a discussion of the elements of an effective
Volunteers in Terror or Trauma Situations
you have volunteers answering phones or dealing with terror or trauma
situations visit our Internet
page to learn about a Web site with information on training them. This
quote can go anywhere you think it fits-
measure of a countrys greatness is its ability to retain compassion
in times of crisis." Thurgood Marshall
Return to the Menu
in more information? Check out our online
for An Introduction to Helping Adults Learn and Change, authored by Russell
PROGRAMS ON NONPROFIT AND VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT
to 200 colleges and universities offer academic programs on nonprofit
and volunteer sector management. They are usually master's degree programs,
but not always. American Humanics sponsors undergraduate programs, as
well. If you are looking to push out the professional development window,
consider taking a course at one of these colleges. A full list resides
Thank Roseanne Mirabella, of Seton Hall University for keeping up with
Service of MBA
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