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Change Icebreaker Exercise: Pulse Check on Change

Time: 5 minutes or 15 minutes (15 minutes if participant introductions are done in conjunction with the activity)

 

Introduce Activity/Give Instructions

1) Explain that this exercise gives people a chance to perform a quick self-check on their feelings and attitudes about change.

2) Give each participant a handout (see * below). Ask participants to check whichever box (“Negative” or “Positive”) best reflects their initial reaction to each word or phrase.  Tell them to go with their initial “gut response”, not to over think it.  If they feel neutral on a word, have them do their best to decide if their reaction is closer to the positive or to the negative side of the range.

 

*The following should appear on the handout: 

 

 

Positive  (+) 

Negative    (-) 

1       

Uncertain

 

 

2       

Postpone

 

 

3       

Impose

 

 

4       

Adapt

 

 

5       

Reorganize

 

 

6       

Opportunity

 

 

7       

Retrain

 

 

8       

Cancel

 

 

9       

Plan

 

 

10   

Shift

 

 

11   

Re-deploy

 

 

12   

Transition

 

 

13   

Ambiguous

 

 

14   

Let’s try something different!

 

 

15   

Starting from scratch

 

 

Totals:

 

 

 

 

 3)  Allow participants about 1 minute to complete the list.

  

 Debrief Exercise

4)     Instruct participants to count the number of positive and negative responses and note them in the Totals row.  Ask how many people had more negatives than positives and vice versa.  Make the following points:

·             We tend to view change either as a challenge or opportunity.

·             Even those of us with many positives have some concerns about different aspects of change.  

Participant Introductions (Optional)

Time: 10 minutes

If you would like to wrap the participant introductions into the icebreaker: 

1)     Tell the participants you’d like them to take about 30 seconds each to introduce themselves and tell the group a little about their attitude towards change. Each person should share:

 

·              Their name and department

·              The word from the Exercise they had the most positive reaction to

·              The word from the Exercise they had the most negative reaction to

Be sure to keep track of words/phrases that were mentioned the most as a negative or positive.

2)     Thank the participants for sharing their responses. Comment on the following:

·     Some words elicit both positive and negative responses

·     Some words can be one person’s most favorable and another person’s most negative.

3) Divulge which words were seen most positively, and which were perceived most negatively.  (If there is time, you can always expand on this.)

4) Summarize by saying that each person reacts differently to change — even when we are only reading or hearing words that represent change.   Change gets to our “gut” as much as it gets to our heads – and many of our strongest reactions come from there.  Reactions that arise from our “gut” are just as valid as those that arise from our heads.

     5) Transition to the next activity in your change management training session or discussion.

This material excerpted from the Leader’s Guide to the video program, Taking Charge of Change.

Need more help in this area? CRM Learning’s Taking Charge of Change video training program helps people recognize and embrace the various emotions we all experience when going through the stages of change.

 

 

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One Response to “Change Icebreaker Exercise: Pulse Check on Change”

  1. WilliamHot Says:

    Very informative article.Really looking forward to read more. Great.

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