When people hear the word “icebreaker” it tends to bring back memories of awkward school days. Standing up in front of the class and having to talk about yourself for 5 minutes is a moment that brings dread at the best of times. But icebreaker games and questions don’t have to be uncomfortable. If you work in a company office environment, chances are you run or partake in meetings throughout the week. Why not use icebreakers as part of a workshop before a meeting to warm up staff and get their minds ready. These could be client meetings or just catching up on projects with other team members. Consider incorporating these into your routine, or send this blog to your manager and suggest trying something new.
Team meeting ice breakers
Icebreaker games can be incorporated into your meeting session on a number of levels. There are so many to choose which require no equipment and can be completed in 5 minutes. Other activities are more elaborate and can span throughout several meetings. Think about your team dynamic and plan some games that compliment the members of the team. Speak to other employees and ask their opinions. Is there something they’ve always wanted to try? Get everyone involved and make it a team effort. Working on having a strong bond and good communication within a team is vital in the workplace. As well as creating a more harmonious environment, it can boost productivity and motivation. If you are having a meeting which spans between departments and not everyone knows each other, taking time for ice breakers is important. Delegates may feel like they have to hold back with ideas if they are surrounded by people they don’t know. Trying a few icebreaker games for meetings before the discussion allows everyone to feel more comfortable.
2 minute ice breakers
If you want to have a quick team meeting, why not try some of these 2 minute icebreakers beforehand. They are perfect for getting delegates thinking, particularly if the meeting is the first task of the day.
- Desert island. You can choose anything for this game, from games to films to books. Choose a category and ask each member of the team which entertainment they love and would take to a desert island with them.
- Worst careers. Ask everyone to describe their worst job and why. Could range from having to scrub the bins out to not getting on with the boss. Either way, it’s a fun way to get to know people and share a laugh.
- Would you rather? This is a good one if you have more space in your meeting room and want to get people moving. Divide the room into two sections and give delegates the choice of two options, such a beach holiday or skiing holiday. Ask people to move to the side they’d prefer. If your delegates don’t know each other, this is a great way to find common connections.
5 minute ice breakers
These 5 minute icebreakers are slightly more in-depth and allow the team to get to know each other better. Have these on hand to warm your team up and get people talking.
- Truth and Lie quiz. Everyone has played this at least once. Go around the group and ask each person to share 2 truths and a lie, and allow everyone to guess which is the lie. A good way to get to know team members and have some fun.
- Guess who. When delegates arrive, ask them to write down 5 words to describe themselves. Once this is complete, shuffle the papers and allow everyone to guess which paper belongs to which person. It’s always interesting to see what people think of themselves and a great icebreaker.
- Subscription challenge. Ask everyone to write down a few media sources they subscribe to. This could be magazines, podcasts or newspapers. Invite each person to put their answer in a bowl and take turns reading them out. The rest of the team must then guess which media source belongs to which person. This is an interesting one because it shows interests and hobbies which the team might not know about based on what people subscribe to.
Meeting warm up games
If you have a little bit more time, these ice breakers are great for a more in-depth game. Consider making time once a week for everyone to engage in a little team building activity before a staff meeting. See how doing this can change the dynamic of the meeting session and improve engagement.
- Scavenger hunt. This is a great one for before a meeting on a Friday. Split employees into teams and give each team clues to find prizes which you’ve hidden strategically around the office or even the car park. Prepare a little prize for the team which wins. You can go as simple or as complicated as you like with this one. If you want to encourage new bonds, split the teams so that delegates are working with people they don’t know well. This can encourage new connections in the workplace.
- Build a tower. Split your groups into 3 and give them 3 feet of tape, 3 feet of string, 20 pieces of dry spaghetti and a marshmallow. Ask each team to try and build the highest possible tower without it falling over. Give them ten minutes to complete this and award a prize to the best project.
- Speed dating. This one is ideal for a meeting which involves different departments within the company and you want people to mingle and ask questions. Split everyone into pairs and give 3 minutes per pair for them to quiz each other and find out as much about their professional life, skills and hobbies as possible. After the 3 minutes, sound a timer and get people to move to the next person. The aim of speed dating is for everyone to have had a good conversation with each delegate. When the meeting begins, ideas and conversation will flow much better.
Fun icebreakers for meetings
The word “icebreaker” causes so much shuffling and eye-rolling, so it’s important you find games that your team actually like doing. Meeting new people can be a little awkward at first, whether this be at a conference or workshops, which is why these games are so important. Ask your team to review the icebreaker games for meetings afterwards and see what they liked or what could be improved on. Use software such as TINYpulse to encourage feedback from the whole team. If you continue this as a regular thing, team members will become accustomed to them and will be willing to try new things. Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, so don’t expect to get it right every time. Experiment with simple team building activities to find techniques that work for your team dynamic that people will love.
Meeting rooms in Oxford
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