This is an active ice breaker, great for group introductions. Masking the future involves group members sharing their past experiences and their future hopes and aspirations.
Resources: Masking tape, paper and pens
Time: 5 minutes per person plus 10 minutes preparation time.
Group Size: 8-12 people
Masking the Future Instructions
- Stick a long length of masking tape to the floor. Write the past on one sheet of paper and future on the other, and stick each sheet to the masking tape at opposite ends.
- Give group members enough time (around 10 minutes) to reflect and identify important aspects of their past and ambitions for the future. Depending on your learning objectives, this could be either personal ambitions or professional.
- Each group member then in turn is given 5 minutes to walk along the masking tape, from past to future and provide a verbal overview of their key points.
- Once everyone has completed the exercise, discuss the purpose of the ice breaker and importance of sharing these experiences and ambitions with each other.
This ice breaker helps people identify shared interests and goals, resulting in better group rapport and improved communication.
Tips and Guidance
To ease group members into the ice breaker and give them a better understanding of the requirements, it is a good idea for the person leading the workshop to demonstrate first.
Instead of masking tape, you can also use a long length of rope or even hang a washing line across the room. If you do use a washing line, give each person some index cards during their reflection period to write their key points on. During the exercise get them to hang them up with pegs at appropriate points along the line.
An alternative to this is to provide each person with a sheet of A4 or flip-chart paper and ask them to draw something to represent their key points. Most people tend to keep it simple and draw a stick person. To make it a little less scary, you can get them working in pairs or smaller sub-groups.