|For Kris’ Sake|
|By Joe Bouchard|
The following is an installment in "Icebreakers 101: Hello, My Name is Problem", a series featuring "Ice Breaker's" designed to promote training awareness and capabilities in the corrections industry.
This icebreaker works as a nice companion to modules on manipulation by offenders.
Kris is a serious student who completes her work in a timely manner. Her dedication and integrity cannot be questioned. Still, being human, Kris on occasion steps out of the serious mode and becomes a bit playful.
Even so, usually when she asks a question, she keeps a straight face that can bring a seasoned poker player to tears of frustration.
I walked into the class recently while a classmate was conversing with Kris. He admitted how tired he was due to long hours at work. I tried to remain unobtrusive and prepared for the lecture. Kris set sights on me with an inscrutable expression of no expression. She said to me that we should have a very short class tonight.
We verbally sparred a little, in a joking manner, naturally. I recognized that though she looked serious, she was not completely so. One could not tell by her face, as it was impervious to interpretation. But her pattern had been the straight-faced joke.
She persisted coolly that class should run shorter than usual. So, I said, “How would you persuade me if you were manipulative?”
Right out of the gate, students offered suggestions to me. They seemed driven by the incentive of leaving a bit early:
Still, it is important for students of corrections to be exposed to manipulation tactics to react in a professional manner.
So, with a stony stare and a calm voice asserting that the class should end earlier, Kris provided inspiration for this on-the-fly icebreaker. And not just for Kris’ sake, but for everyone, these lessons keep up professional and effective.
Joe Bouchard is a Librarian employed with the Michigan Department of Corrections and a collaborator with The International Association of Correctional Training Personnel (IACTP). He is also the author of “IACTP’s Corrections Icebreakers: The Bouchard 101, 2014” and "Operation Icebreakers: Shooting for Excellence" among others. The installments in this series include his opinions. The agency for which he works is not in any way responsible for the content or accuracy of this material, and the views are those of the contributor and not necessarily those of the agency. While some material is influenced by other works, all of the icebreakers have been developed by Joe Bouchard.
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