Read through our list of ice breakers to give your team the edge they’ve been looking for. When it comes to building your ideal team, sure, conversations with new people can be awkward but we have some actives to help get you through that.
As the leader of the group, announce to your peers that they’ll be exiled to a desert island for a year. They’ll only be allowed one piece of music each, one book (that cannot be used for fire kindle) and one luxury item (that is not a boat) to leave the island. This kind of icebreaker works well for team building and problem solving, as you not only have to find a way to survive and stay entertained, but teammates will learn about each others tastes and interests because of their choices.
The leader of the group should be knowledgeable of the company’s selling structure to make this icebreaker work. Have your team come up with the exact same selling structure by making an acronym from a short, but random word. To increase the challenge make have the word being used as an acronym be progressively longer with each additional round. This allows your team to continue their problem solving skills while flexing their creative muscles.
This activity works well for groups working in a retail or food industry position as it has you practice product knowledge. The first player starts the activity by saying that they bought something from the store that starts with “A”. The next person is tasked with not only naming one feature about the product, but starts the next piece by declaring that they bought something from the store that starts with the letter “B”. This activity continues until the alphabet is complete. Be extra careful with the letters ‘Q’, ‘X’, ‘Z’, and possibly ‘W’. If you’re short on time, use the five vowels and ‘Y’.
To quickly break the ice in groups that are reluctant to talk about themselves, have all the team members fill out one thing about themselves and have the team leader shuffle the cards before starting the activity. The team leader will hand out the index cards, but this time the person who is tasked with talking first will be reading the information about someone else. It’s up to the team to find out who the “real” person is. After a time limit of thirty to sixty seconds the “real” person who originally wrote the card will stand. Continue until all the index cards have been read.
This lighthearted exercise can work out well as it’s heavily inspired by grade school teachers getting used to their new students. Write down different prepared foods on index cards. For example, a sandwich with all the tools needed already available. One by one, have the team give you ONE direction how to make the food from start to finish. Don’t stop should one team member get a step “wrong”-the next team member is then tasked with fixing the error of the last suggestion. Depending on how well the team is collectively solving the problem, getting back on track should take two or three turns minimum. Rotate suggestions until the team has the “prepared” meal. For an extra challenge, the team has to figure out how to make the meal in a number of turns. For an increased challenge the same team can only give one direction in that amount (choose the food wisely if you plan on doing this exercise).
For each round, a team member has to collaborate with the team leader before that particular member has to talk to the group. Each team member has thirty seconds to get their life story out. The team leader would have taken note of a certain part and by the end of the time limit so he or she can quiz the team on one part of that person’s story. This immediately breaks the ice because the team interacting with the quiz would have had to pay attention to answer correctly and the one telling the story during the time limit has an opportunity to stump their peers with an obscure fact.
Have your teammates take turns guessing what brand that each person’s articles of clothing is being worn. Start with simply a shirt, pant and accessory combination, but you can expand to multiple accessories. To increase communication between multiple team members, have the one chosen as the model walk down a “runway” while two other teammates go back and forth about what they might be wearing. This icebreaker not only points out a personal sense of style, but can go over dress code guidelines and possible ideas of what can be worn to work.
Best & Worst
Have the team collectively choose what they think is the best feature about a product (or the best benefit from their services). Then the team leader chooses someone from the group to figure out what could make that feature even better and one person from the group to make it intentionally worse. To continue this exercise the team now chooses one feature from their product or service that needs work – the decision has to be unanimous. This time, two more teammates are chosen with one trying to figure out how to make that feature worse while the other has to make it better. This exercise can be tough to figure out at first, but it gives the team a chance to learn more about the product or services that they offer to customers.
Each team member is tasked with drawing their ideal business card with the title of their dream job (or exaggerated version of their current position) at the bottom. The team leader then shows the team the business cards and gives the card’s creator a chance to exaggerate to the fullest of what they do, then stop and explain what they really do. For example, if someone wrote “Independent Finance Ambassador” when they’re really a cashier lead, the cashier lead first explains what they do in an extremely inflated manner then dials it down and tells everyone how they really contribute to the team.
Having the participants stand in a circle, the team is tasked with counting to the number ten one by one. However, one person must randomly call out ‘1’ to start and if two people call out ‘2’ (or any of the numbers thereafter for that matter) at the same time the whole group has to start over from the very beginning. This exercise continues until ’10’ is reached. The goal is not only to break the ice, but to see how the team can prepare and execute a challenge on the spot. Set a timer between two to five minutes for extra difficulty.