Monday, October 17, 2011

Communication Corner: Icebreakers

Topic: Icebreakers
The Origin: Icebreakers have a long legacy of aiding business processes. The original 'icebreakers' were boats called Kochi that were used in freezing waters for the purpose of keeping trade routes open during the coldest times of year. These large ice-breaking ships were used by the Russians in the Arctic Seas during the 11th century as tools to literally keep trade routes navigable and business flowing.
Today's Term: Communication begins by someone stepping up and 'breaking the ice.' The ice metaphorically speaking is the silence that we experience when we find ourselves in new social situations. Without someone or something to break the ice,  we would be be stuck in a frozen mass and connections would not be made, ideas would not be generated, and business would stagnate. Communication icebreakers of today serve the same purpose as the original ice-breaking boats from hundreds of years ago. When icebreakers are used at networking events, through sales calls, and for initiating strategic partnerships they open up trade and keep business moving forward.
Common Uses: Team-building exercises, networking, business development, and social interactions.

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