Three Great Ice Breakers to Jump-Start Your Team Meeting

by
August 25, 2015

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Sometimes, running a team meeting can feel like you’re swimming through a pool of golden syrup – slow, difficult, and at times, pointless.

If you’re struggling to keep the attention of your audience during team meetings or briefs, then it might help if you kick things off with something a little light-hearted – doing this can elevate moods, increase focus and relieve tension.

If you’re stuck for ideas, then here are three little ice breakers that might help you get your meetings off to a great start.

Ice Breaker #1: Did You See It?

This game is perfect for testing just how much attention your team members pay to their surroundings, and it can really help to increase focus if you’re about to share some pretty crucial information.

There are several variations to the game, but here’s the method I’m most familiar with:

  1. Before the meeting starts, write a list of observations you’ve made since starting work – for example, “the IT guy is wearing brown shoes today”, or “the middle lift is out of order”.
  2. Phrase these as questions – such as “What colour shoes is the IT guy wearing today?”, and write them all down on a piece of paper
  3. Copy the sheet so that you can hand one to each person who will be in the meeting
  4. Before the meeting kicks off, hand the sheets to your team members, and tell them they have 10 minutes to answer all the questions
  5. Give a prize to the person with the most correct answers

Ice Breaker #2: Animal Imitations

This is a bit sillier than the first suggestion, and is more suited to meetings where you want your staff to ‘loosen up’ a bit before things start.

This game is great for soaking up any awkwardness and boosting confidence, if you want staff to be lively and interactive during the meeting – great for meetings where the goal is to generate a lot of ideas, or to solve a complex problem:

  1. Get enough small pieces of paper so there is one for each member of your meeting
  2. Write a different animal on each piece of paper
  3. Place each piece of paper face down onto the seats – one piece of paper for each seat
  4. When everybody arrives, tell them to look at the paper on their seat, but to not share what it says with anybody
  5. For the next 10 minutes (or however long it takes for everybody to guess), team members cannot speak, and can only act like the animal they have been given. As you are the only person initially able to speak, you will have to make the first guess – once a person has been ‘released’, they may join in with the guessing.

Ice Breaker #3: Fact Or Fiction

This ice breaker is really good if you have a team that has not worked together before, as it helps them learn about each other in a fun and relaxed way. It’s just as effective though with established teams – learning more about each other is always a good thing, and this game can be a great bonding exercise.

  1. Tell each person in the room to think of an unusual fact about themselves
  2. Then, tell them to think of an equally unusual lie about themselves
  3. In turn, each person must state both the fact and the lie, and the rest of the team must vote on which is correct – if you have enough time, you can even allow other team members to ‘interrogate’ the person in the hot seat to encourage more interaction
  4. The person who fooled the most people in the room with their lie, wins

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