Speakers often start group sessions with “ice breakers” that get participants talking to each other about personal topics they would otherwise not discuss with a stranger.
Facilitators kick off meetings by asking attendees for self-introductions which include personal tidbits.
Sales people search for common ground as a focus for a friendly chat before getting down to business.
In all cases, the goal is to “break the ice” and quickly earn trust to expedite effective communication.
Whether you are intent on bringing strangers together quickly to form a common-purpose group, on learning exactly what colleagues care about, or on closing a sale with a new client, how you “break the ice” can determine whether you end up with genuine reactions or later-reversed acceptance that leaves you feeling blind-sided.
Problems can arise when you latch on to an icebreaker that you feel comfortable using, but Continue reading