20 Icebreakers to Use at Your Next Meeting
Icebreakers are a great way to ease tensions and stress and help your team get to know each other. They can be a quick fun exercise, game, activity, or question at the start of any meeting. It can be a more involved deeper discussion that touches on a theme of a lesson or training. Many teams work remotely or hybrid, but many of these icebreakers can work no matter the setting. Here are 20 great icebreakers for your next team meeting.
10 Icebreaker Games
If you want to make the most out of your icebreakers, you'll want to choose an activity or game that gets every member of the team involved and engaged. These 10 icebreakers are a great way for the team to have a little fun as they get to know each other.
1. Tall Tales
Tall tales are an engaging and hilarious way to tell a story where each team member makes up three sentences of a story. At the end of the third sentence, it needs to start with the beginning of a plot twist before it moves on to the next person. A sentence such as "little did they know…" or "suddenly" are great ways to move to the next person.
2. Envelope Game
In the Envelope Game, every person writes down at least three facts about them and places them in a nameless envelope to place in a basket. Have one person select an envelope and read the facts aloud. Everyone in the group will work together to try and figure out what the facts in each envelope are about.
3. One Word
One word is a great game to start an open dialogue about the theme of a meeting. Team members can divide into groups, or it can be done as one large group. Have your team share one word that describes a specific topic. For example, if your meeting is on a project to bring in more engagement, you would ask them to share one word that describes engagement. It encourages the group to think in detail about the topic before you begin.
Trivia is a classic icebreaker everyone can get behind, and you can play this game in the office, remotely, or as a hybrid team. You can use an app host such as Kahoot or break out the old trivia pursuit. With trivial pursuit, each team member can select a category or roll a die to choose and read the question to one person at a time to prevent any stressful moments with people talking over one another or even shouting.
5. The Marshmallow Challenge
The marshmallow challenge is a more involved icebreaker that encourages team building and bonding through problem-solving and creativity. In the office, you divide your group into teams and give each team 20 sticks of spaghetti, a yard of tape, a yard of string, and one marshmallow. The objective is to build the tallest standing structure with the marshmallow on top.
6. Scavenger Hunt
This can be done virtually, in the office, and as a hybrid group. Scavenger hunts are a great way to introduce new team members to others while also getting them accustomed to the office. Create a shortlist of things people can find and split your team into groups. If you have virtual team members, create a list of items you might be able to find in the office and in an average home, such as "find an item that has the color purple in it."
7. Would You Rather
Would you rather is an easy and quick game that can encourage engagement and bring on a little lighthearted fun to a meeting. You can choose a few classic "would you rather" questions to ask the team and go around and have them answer. Some great examples of would you rather questions include:
Would you rather spend a night in a haunted house or spend a week alone in the forest?
Would you rather have seven toes on each foot or seven fingers on each hand?
Would you rather live in a hut or live in a cave?
Would you rather have a rock stuck In your shoe or always have wet socks?
8. The Superhero Icebreaker
The superhero icebreaker can come in many variations. It usually begins with asking the team, "if you could have any superpower, what would it be?" You can add a fun and unique spin to it. When someone answers the question, the next person has to assign a handicap to the superpower and tell the group what their superpower is. For example, if a person says their superpower would be to fly, the next person can say, "You can fly, but you can only fly 10 feet off the ground."
Pictionary is a quick-round game that may take a little longer to get through if you have a large group and want to allow everyone to draw. You can use the game or write out your own ideas for things your team can draw and set a timer for one minute. As the person chosen begins to draw, the rest of the team gets to work together to figure out what it is. It's a great way to encourage creativity, problem-solving, and engagement with team members to try and guess what the image is that the person is drawing.
10. No Smiling
The no smiling game is a great way to make your team laugh and create a fun and spirited team meeting. Have a joke book ready, and have your team take turns. The person chosen cannot smile for any reason. You can have the team take turns telling their favorite joke or pulling a quick one-liner from a joke book. Even if everyone is terrible at telling a joke, there's a good chance everyone will have a great time and lose themselves in laughter.
10 Icebreaker Questions
If you're short on time, you can choose a question for an icebreaker before you begin your meeting. You can ask your team any great inciteful question and go around and collect answers from everyone. They can help everyone learn something new about each team member. Some great questions include:
What is one thing you'd like to achieve on your bucket list?
What is one fun thing you've done this year?
If you could set a world record, what would it be?
If you could write a book, what would it be about?
What is one place you would love to travel?
What is your ideal downtime?
If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?
If you had a time machine, what time period would you travel to and why?
Where would you travel if you could visit a fictional world?
What is your walkup song if you were walking up to the plate in baseball?
No matter which icebreaker you choose, they help build a foundation for a strong relationship within your team. Stronger relationships within the workforce lead to higher productivity and happier employees for a healthier work environment.