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Group Gripe – Free Icebreaker

Duration: 5 - 10 minutes

Intended for:

This free icebreaker allows participants to get their stresses and gripes off their chest prior to starting a training course or event in the hope that the underlying issues do not crop up during the intervention.

Training course contents:

A set of instructions for the icebreaker, ‘Group Gripe’ can be downloaded from the link at the bottom of this page, or you can follow the instructions below.

Tell participants that you are going to give them 5 minutes to air their views on all the things that might be bothering them about the training session or any other related issues. However, once their 5 minutes is up they must put the issues behind them and fully indulge in the process. Gain their buy-in to this and then proceed.

Be prepared to manage these gripes and where necessary advise that although some of the issues are a concern to the participants, they are actually outside of the scope of what you are trying to achieve with the training session. Therefore, you should focus on what you can do rather than what you cannot.

Important – you must set boundaries for this icebreaker and ensure participants are aware that the ‘gripes’ must be contained within the icebreaker.

Stephen Covey’s, ‘Circle of Influence, Circle of Concern’ is useful for this icebreaker (you can Google it!).



This icebreaker provides a chance to get issues, concerns and complaints out of the way prior to a training session.

Group Gripe – Free Icebreaker


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