>Are you warmed up?

>Well, this week’s Q&A post is all about doing an energiser before training or a workshop. Looking at the world of sport gives an example overview of why we should do this. Before any sports-person embarks on their competition, they prime their bodies. They go through intense training several weeks prior to condition their bodies in the right way. On the day itself, they body needs to get the adrenaline flowing so your reaction times are quicker and sharper. The body needs to be in a state of readiness so it can take on its challenge. During the competition, the sports-person paces him/herself. They know full well that their body can only handle so much, so they have to make sure they’re not over-stretching themselves. And once completed, they warm down. The body has just been through an exertion of energy and power it doesn’t normally have to sustain. The warm down helps the body to say, it’s ok, you can relax now.

So, if you question the need to do an energiser before training/workshop, think of this example. The key is, make sure the energiser/exercise you get the group to do, is relevant to the task ahead of them. Don’t play Lego and have fun, if you’re in a conflict resolution workshop. The delegates won’t appreciate it, your credibility will go down the pan, and your objectives will not be met.

The question for this week then is – What’s the best energiser/icebreaker you’ve taken part in (or if you’re an L&Der, that you’ve designed and delivered)?


Published by

Sukh Pabial

I'm an occupational psychologist by profession and am passionate about all things learning and development, creating holistic learning solutions and using positive psychology in the workforce.

2 thoughts on “>Are you warmed up?”

  1. >Hi Sukh, here's 2 I'm particularly fond of:Prisoners, Vacationers, Explores: gives you an idea of what group you have and whether they are there willingly or because they have been told. Should take place at the beginning of a workshop, before you do introductions. – Ask the group to stand up and to be honest and truthful!- Ask: who's here because they've been told, it's part of their performance plan, don’t really want to be here? ask them to go stand in one side. (prisoners)- Ask: who's here because it's 3 days away from the office/desk, trip abroad, etc… ask them to move to one side. (vacationers)- Ask: who's here because they want to learn something new, challenge their own views & thinking? Go stand to one side. (explorers).Walk to each of the groups and ask: Prisoners: why don't you want to be here? What can I (we) do to make sure the course/workshop is engaging and move you to being an explorer? Capture their ideas.Vacationers: So, 2-3 days away from the office? Nice Break? Some people will say yes, some will say they are between Prisoners & Explorers. It's ok, at times, some of the content might be familiar or you're not that interested in the topic..it's ok. If you find yourself "drifting away", what can we do to bring you back? Again, capture ideas.Explorers: Great! What can I(we) do to keep you guys engaged, in learning mode, and avoid you falling into "jail" or drifting away? Capture!End by thanking the group for being honest. If at some point they find themselves drifting from one place to the other it's ok, we all do. If they feel that;s happening to talk to you as facilitator so you can keep the energy levels up and everyone engaged. It builds trust between you and the group, between themselves and above all gets everyone on their feet and thinking straight away. For the facilitator – you know what group you have to deal with, whether or not they will keep you on your toes or just play devil's advocate all the time, and who's likely to go off shopping! You'd be surprised…! Because they have given you some suggestions as to what you can do, you have their buy in. The other one: Pass the Ball and Keep It in the air/moving at all times. Great if you're workshop is about challenges, change, team work and virtual teams. I used lots of times.Context: The HR IS Team had just finished a project which was about to go live and were handing it over to the Service Centre Team who had to ensure it was maintained and working to plan. Ie, hand over the work, go live but don't drop any balls.What do you need: Tennis Balls (6) , numbered or different colours + people!I asked the SC team (taking over the project) to step out of the room, then got the HRIS Team to stand up in a circle, where they could see each other. I gave them one ball and asked them to create a pattern amongst themselves where they pass the ball from one person to another (avoiding passing to the person next to them). Pretend the ball is a hot potato – receive and pass straight away. Every time they drop the ball, I will introduce a new one, and they must keep the same pattern going. Once they had their routine set, I asked the SC team back into the room to observe what was going on. They weren't allowed to talk to each other, and on my instructions, I asked one of the HRIS team to step out of the circle and be replaced by one of the SC team. The goal is to eventually have only the SC team in play, passing the balls to each other, in the same pattern as the original team, without dropping a single ball. Of course, balls are dropped and as a consequence a new one is added.Key learnings: change can be difficult for some people but you need to stay focussed as to not drop in performance. In this case, for one team to hand over the project to another without forgetting anything or there could be consequences that could cause delays and be costly.Enjoy!

  2. >Hey SukhThe best one I have been involved in went like this – High energy music was played and someone from the group was selected to stand out the front and make some moves which the rest of the group followedThe person out the front then pointed to another person in the group and repeat This happened about 4 times after each breakI liked it because it was silly and deflated any big egos that might have been in the room and it really did energise the group.

Say something...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s