Ice Breaker

The PD as Ice Breaker can be used in a few of different contexts. It often serves to set the climate for additional, related activities following a PD administration, and as such is often used as part of a larger PD process. It may also be used to help people get out of the “test taking” mode and to relax a bit before dismissing them from the PD session (this is particularly useful when the PD is being used primarily for data gathering rather than to generate discussion in the session itself). The Ice Breaker application of the PD can also be useful as means to get people out of their normal way of thinking and interacting, and setting a tone of enthusiasm and involvement leading into other, less directly related activities. The Ice Breaker process follows a PD administration, with “neighbors” in the room comparing names they have given to the pictures. We have found that participants burst with enthusiasm when provided an opportunity to share their picture names with others. The Ice Breaker also tends to ease any tension that may have been present, allowing for greater levels of productivity in the following activities. Used in situations where it is purely for setting the tone of a meeting or group session (i.e., the PD data is not being used for some larger purpose), the topic(s) may be chosen either to address the participants’ perceptions of why they’re there, or simply to generate some fun discussion.