What is the Me x3 icebreaker?
This icebreaker is designed to be run before a workshop on diversity, equity, or human rights. The goal is to make people aware of their immutable physical characteristics and what it would mean to regulate those characteristics.
Participants are paired into three rounds of two-person breakouts. In the first two rounds, they'll be asked to share what they like about the way they work and their personality (two things they can change about themselves).
In the third round, they’ll be asked to share what they like about their body (something they can’t change as easily).
Usually, people freak out about this. A lot of people say "my smile" or something like that. Often people say "nothing" to which the reply usually is "You are kidding, you're gorgeous," or "If you don't like your body then what can I say about mine." It's quite provocative.
When we make rules (spoken or unspoken) about immutable personal characteristics, people react same way as when I asked you to talk about your body to a stranger.
How to run this icebreaker
Start by explaining that everyone will introduce themselves three times, each to a different person.
Use the breakouts to pair the participants, and make sure to reshuffle between each round.
Round 1: In breakouts of two, they will have four minutes (two minutes each) to share something they like about the way they work. NOT their job, but something about doing the work. For example, “I like working with spreadsheets and I like that my job allows me to do that.”
Round 2: Reshuffle the groups, and send them off for another 4 minutes. This time, they will need to tell a different person something they like about their personality. ”I like that I am friendly,” for example.
Round 3: The third time, they will tell another different person something they like about their body.
Debriefing: Once everyone is back, invite the group to talk about how it felt and ask why they think it might be relevant to a conversation about diversity or human rights.
One potential angle for you to debrief is to explain that human rights are about "immutable personal characteristics" and often about bodies: disability, race, racialization, age, size, gender, or gender identity.
About the creator
Melinda Munro is a facilitator and the founder of Munro Strategic Perspective. For Melinda, working properly means that teams and organizations have been carefully designed to deliver the outcomes they believe in.
Melinda is an expert in helping her clients see their organization strategically from the angles of process, policy, input, output, and delivery so that they can provide the best services to their clients and citizens.