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AI Driven Continuous Improvement - Part 2 - Icebreakers / Icemelters

I have a theory that AI can help me to improve retrospectives. This multi-part blog series will explore experiments around potential use cases for using AI to help with continuous improvement.






Experiment 2 - Icebreakers I've been experimenting with AI and ChatGPT in particular and its use cases in retrospective meetings. In this post I'll explore how we can use it to create icebreakers to be used in retrospectives or any meeting ๐— ๐˜† ๐—ต๐˜†๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ถ๐˜€ Using AI will speed up my identification & creation of icebreakers for meetings Notes My current process involves choosing a theme for a meeting, trawling the web for inspiration or letting my mind wander to create them ๐—ฃ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€ using ChatGPT I chose a theme, asked it the following type of question; "Create some Game of thrones themed icebreaker questions for a meeting" I played with it for a few minutes and selected 10 I liked. Note, I pressed 'try again' a few times, or asked for 'Give me 5 more' before I was happy with my top 10 for each theme ๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜‚๐—น๐˜๐˜€ Game of thrones Input - Create some Game of thrones themed icebreaker questions for a meeting

  1. If you were a character in Game of Thrones, which house would you belong to and why?

  2. Which character do you most relate to, and why?

  3. Who is your favorite Game of Thrones character and why?

  4. If you could choose any Game of Thrones character to be your personal mentor, who would you choose and why?

  5. If you could choose any Game of Thrones character to be your partner in a battle, who would you choose and why?

  6. If you could have dinner with any Game of Thrones character, who would you choose and why?

  7. If you could change the ending for any Game of Thrones character, which character would you choose and what would you change?

  8. If you could choose any Game of Thrones character to be your best friend, who would you choose and why?

  9. If you could bring any Game of Thrones character back to life, who would you choose and why?

  10. If you could choose any Game of Thrones character to switch lives with for a day, who would you choose and why?

So impressed with these. The first query gave me 8 that I liked including some I wouldn't have thought of such as the 'mentor' question. I then asked for '5 more' and this list was complete. Easy. Bad icebreakers Input - Create 10 icebreaker questions about bad icebreaker questions

  1. What is the worst icebreaker question you have ever been asked? Why was it so bad?

  2. Have you ever been in a situation where an icebreaker question made you feel uncomfortable or unprepared? What was the question and how did you handle it?

  3. What is an icebreaker question that you think is overused or cliche? How do you suggest shaking things up and coming up with more original icebreaker questions?

  4. In your opinion, what makes a good icebreaker question? What elements should be avoided?

  5. Have you ever been in a meeting where an icebreaker question backfired or caused conflict? What happened and how was the situation resolved?

  6. What is an icebreaker question that you think is too personal or intrusive? How do you balance the need to get to know team members with the need to respect boundaries and privacy?

  7. Have you ever been in a meeting where an icebreaker question was simply boring or unengaging? How did you try to liven things up and keep the conversation moving?

  8. Have you ever been in a meeting where an icebreaker question led to a heated or divisive discussion? How did you try to redirect the conversation or keep things constructive?

  9. Have you ever been in a meeting where an icebreaker question seemed unrelated or disconnected from the purpose of the meeting? How did you try to make the connection or link the conversation back to the topic at hand?

  10. What is an icebreaker question that you think is too predictable or formulaic? How do you suggest adding some originality or creativity to icebreaker questions?

I went meta with this and again it performed strongly. Lots of good icebreakers about icebreakers with a lot of focus on ensuring they are relevant, original and even sensitive to the audience. Psychological safety Input - Create 10 psychological safety themed icebreaker questions for a meeting Follow up question - Adjust the questions to make them more team focused

  1. How do you create a sense of psychological safety within your team? What strategies or practices do you find most effective?

  2. Can you think of a time when you felt a lack of psychological safety within your team? What happened, and how did you try to address the issue?

  3. How do you balance the need for honesty and open communication with the need for sensitivity and respect within your team?

  4. What role do you think leadership plays in creating and maintaining psychological safety within your team?

  5. How do you encourage team members to speak up and share their ideas and concerns in a safe and supportive environment within your team?

  6. How do you handle conflicts or disagreements within your team in a way that promotes psychological safety and helps to resolve issues effectively?

  7. How do you foster a culture of trust and respect within your team? What practices or behaviors do you encourage or discourage?

  8. Can you think of a time when you felt vulnerable or exposed within your team? How did you cope with those feelings, and how did you feel supported by your team members?

  9. How do you address issues of diversity, inclusion, and equity within your team, and how do these issues relate to psychological safety?

  10. How does your team contribute to creating a sense of psychological safety in your organization? What specific practices or behaviors do you believe make a positive impact?

Great questions to open break the ice or even as part of a retrospective activity / workshop on psychological safety. A good mixture of focus that may generate insights around specific examples but also create shared understanding. What are my thoughts on this experiment?

  • Hypothesis proven. I'd have spent far longer searching the web or writing down ideas if I hadn't used ChatGPT

  • This was even easier than the retrospective questions experiment. Minimal follow on questions were required. Time to creation rapidly reduced

  • 30 new icebreakers created specific to my chosen topic within minutes.

  • I am beginning to see how this could be applied to so many different areas of workshop / content / coaching conversations.

What are your thoughts about these questions folks?

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