Get More and Better Ideas with the Gestures Icebreaker

Get More and Better Ideas with the Gestures Icebreaker

Paul Sloane 25/10/2018 4

It is well known that our physiology can affect our psychology. If our posture is more positive then our thinking is more positive. 

Researchers Slepian and Ambady report an experiment in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. They had some subjects move their arms in big fluid movements and other subjects moved their arms in short, precise movements. 

Then everyone took a creativity test. The people in the first group with the fluid movements scored 24% higher in their creativity scores.

So before your next idea generation session try this gestures exercise. Get everyone to stand up and move away from each other. They then make gestures following your instructions:

  1. “We will be open to ideas.” Everyone raises their arms and gathers them in as though receiving large bundles.

  2. “We want big ideas.” People stretch out their arms as far as they can.

  3.  “We want many ideas.” People wave their arms around.

  4.  “We want funny ideas.” Everyone laughs out loud.

  5.  “We want wild ideas.” People show their wildest expressions.

  6.  ” We will break the rules.” People mime snapping a long stick.

  7.  ” We will look in different directions.” Everyone stares at the front of the room, then everyone turns to view the left side, the right side and then the back of the room.

  8.  “Thank you. Please sit down.”

This little icebreaker should be short, energetic and fun. It will raise energy levels and affect how people think and behave. You can refer back to it later as you run the brainstorm sessions. You can use the gestures as you encourage people to be open to ideas or look in fresh directions. I am sure that you will get more and better ideas.

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  • Tom Mole

    Honestly, in my opinion it is always much more simple than some people make it out to be: once we understand that the ideas of control, power, and ability are much more rooted in how we think, and not in the initial or transitory circumstances at hand--we will then hold to key to being good at something, anything.

  • Yohan Nyhc

    Well that article was sort of helpful.

  • Mark O'donnell

    You have made good points in the instructions.

  • Rachid El Bakkar

    Interesting points !!!!

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Paul Sloane

Innovation Expert

Paul is a professional keynote conference speaker and expert facilitator on innovation and lateral thinking. He helps companies improve idea generation and creative leadership. His workshops transform innovation leadership skills and generate great ideas for business issues. His recent clients include Airbus, Microsoft, Unilever, Nike, Novartis and Swarovski. He has published 30 books on lateral thinking puzzles, innovation, leadership and problem solving (with over 2 million copies sold). He also acts as link presenter at conferences and facilitator at high level meetings such as a corporate advisory board. He has acted as host or MC at Awards Dinners. Previously, he was CEO of Monactive, VP International of MathSoft and UK MD of Ashton-Tate. He recently launched a series of podcast interviews entitled Insights from Successful People.

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