- Posted by Emma Witkowski
- On February 16, 2016
- 1 Comments
- camp, dog-walking, dogs, human behaviour, ice-breakers, meanwhile in Canada, psychology, puppies, Toronto, Walk My Dog Toronto
Ice-breakers. Traditionally little games played in groups of people who don’t know each other well or who otherwise need to bond a little more. They can seem childish in nature, but they will follow you all the way into your adulthood at baby showers, professional development days, and awkward networking events.
Their purpose is simple: to bring a group of people together. Create a team spirit. Get people to connect on a better level. Why? Because when we feel connected to others we get the warm and fuzzies. And everything is better with the warm and fuzzies.
Ice-breakers attempt to put us all in a position of vulnerability, the same vulnerability that lets us truly bond with one another. The trouble is, most of the time, these ice-breakers are set up in formal settings where it’s really hard to do that. No one wants to bring down all their walls next to their boss or a bully sitting across from them in class or their judgy great-aunt at the baby shower.
As a former camp counsellor I will always have a soft spot for “two truths, one lie” or “nose jousting.” There is a time and place for these team-building games, even if my 12-year-old self would vehemently disagree. (Hearing the words “find a partner for this next exercise” still makes me die a little on the inside.)
Me and my fellow nose-jousting experts.
So as someone who has both experienced and facilitated ice-breakers in at least three thousand different contexts, I have never seen a more effective “ice-breaker” than Dr. Jay, Walk My Dog Toronto’s unofficial Golden Retriever mascot.
We recently invited people to get their photo taken for free by Off Leash Studio, a local pet photographer. We brought along Dr. Jay, because who wouldn’t want a profile picture with a cute dog to cash in on those likes, or Tinder matches, am I right?
What I witnessed was much more real, and adorable, than orchestrated ice-breakers. We wanted to bring the neighbourhood together and put some smiles on faces – check. Everything that traditional ice breakers try to do – open people up and bring people together – Dr. Jay did better, in a much more natural way. People brought their own dogs, passersby couldn’t stop smiling. It was -20 degrees out that day.
-20 and still looking good. #MeanwhileinCanada
I think it says something about the power of puppies when we had people stopping in the freezing cold to chat and cuddle. Despite the cold weather, we all left with the warm and fuzzies.
Walk My Dog Toronto offers dog-walking services in downtown Toronto. With easy online booking, we walk your dog while you are busy or at work. We give your dog love, socialization, and exercise, and we keep in touch with you every step of the way with our walk tracker.