Introverts and Ice Breakers

Oh my… This is me, through and through.
And when I facilitate a session and ask people to do this, I explain that I can empathize with the introverts. That if it was me, I’d be trying to sneak out to the bathroom or to refill my coffee! One difficult day, I even just told the presenter, I can’t do this right now. 
BUT, I do explain that there is a reason why I am asking them to please indulge me and participate. We do a SU-HU-PU (stand up, hand up, pair up). I ask everyone to stand up and put their hand up. When I say “Go,” they either high-five, fist pump, elbow bump, or hug each person they encounter. When I say “Stop,” the person they are facing is their partner to discuss a question related to our topic. They do this three times. 
Here are the reasons:
– Basic warm touch calms cardiovascular stress and triggers oxytocin. 
– We need 8 healthy, respectful, wanted touches a day in order to survive. – Virginia Satir, therapist known as the “Mother of Family Therapy”
– Students who experience healthy, safe, respectful touch are twice as likely to volunteer in class and demonstrated improved performance. – Guéguen, N. (2004). Nonverbal Encouragement of Participation in a Course: the Effect of Touching. Social Psychology of Education, 7, 89.
– Allowing students to share their thoughts with one another and get to know one another serves to create a safer learning environment. According to Dr. Karen Ostermann, a professor at Hofstra University, the more students know about one another, the less likely they are to even think about hurting each other.
By the end of the discussions, and only 45 minutes into the session, we are primed to feel good, participate, and learn!

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