IAF Methods


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Ice-breaker to get to learn more about each other by disclosing common and distinct characteristics

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To uncover:

3 things all members of this small group have in common (other than the obvious things such as you work for the same company, are in the same town and are human!) (For example, all have been to California, all have siblings, all like golf) and

1 thing that is unique to each person in the group.(For example, only one is an only child, only one collects plastic frogs, only one was born in a foreign country).


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  • sheets of paper per group or per person, wuth two columns for name and unique characteristic



Setting:  recommended to set up small groups up to 3-4 participants

Time needed: 10 minutes

Pre-Work Required: None


Appoint (or let them self-select) one player in each group to be the "scribe."

Give the following (or similar) instructions: "For the next 3-5 minutes we are going to look for 3 things each member group has in common with the other members of that small group and 1 thing unique for each member in that group. The scribe will write them done. For the unique part, you don't have to be the only person in the world who has the trait, only the only person in the group. So, if everyone in the group has a sibling and you are an only child, that is a uniqueness within the group."

When finished, ask each scribe to report on the similarities and uniqueness. They don't have to name names but they might want to. Either way is OK.

Debrief: Every person we meet has something in common with us and has something new to offer us. This is great information to have as we look for ways to overcome obstacles in the workplace and our lives." Outcome: People feel closer to each other and find connections to others.


For each group or table at the opening, provide a sheet of paper with the following instructions:

Who's At the Table?

1. For each person, enter their name and one characteristic they possess that no one else at the table possesses.

Name Unique Thing

2. Find one thing that everyone at the table has in common (besides this meeting!!!)

Make filling out the sheet a precondition for eating, leaving, starting the meeting, whatever. Ask tables to each share the thing they have in common and one of the unique things for each participant.


Follow-Up Required: none

Usual or Expected Outcomes: small groups get to know each other in an informal way.


Derived from: This was found in the archives of the GRP-FACL list serve.
Ice Breakers, Introductions, Energizers, and Other Experiential Exercises
From the Electronic Discussion on Group Facilitation

History of Development: unknown

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