We know how difficult it is to devise and manage icebreaker dynamics and how important they are to boost your team’s performance. Have office or home office meetings become boring and endless? do you need ideas for coordinating fun and collaborative work meetings?
In this article, we’ve gathered the best icebreakers for team building exercises that will help you boost productivity in the office, improve team integration and achieve results in a fun way after each session.
Get your notebook ready, because you’ll want to take notes on everything.
Online ice-breaker dynamics: livening up your online work sessions
If you’ve ever had a remote meeting, you know that it’s almost impossible to keep them entertaining and productive. However, online icebreakers are designed to help you do just that, so they can be very useful for efficient meetings from home.
But not all icebreaker activities can work online, some require participants to be present. So, which icebreaker dynamics could you apply? Here are some of them.
1. Two truths and a lie
This is a perfect icebreaker activity for meetings, especially if they are online. In it, each participant must tell two truths and one lie, and the rest of the participants will have to guess which of the statements is false.
As an icebreaker it is ideal because it helps the team get to know each other, overcome their reservations and have fun; which will allow the meeting to be much more effective afterwards.
2. Group story
do you like to create stories? This icebreaker dynamic consists in that, the organizer must start the story with a sentence or short phrase, then each of the participants must add their own phrase, until the last member finishes it.
An icebreaker dynamic that works wonderfully in large groups.
3. The icebreaker dynamic of the favorite shirt
Everyone has a favorite shirt, ask participants to wear their favorite shirts and explain why they are their favorite. This icebreaker serves to give the meeting a more spontaneous feel and relax your participants.
4. Three powerful questions
Many work teams have trouble relating to each other because they don’t know each other well enough. The solution is simple: help them build trust.
In the three-question icebreaker, each participant writes down three interesting questions he or she would like to ask a group member, who then has about three minutes to respond.
5. what is the name of the movie?
If your team finds it difficult to intervene in meetings, or you have participants who are reluctant to speak up, you will need this icebreaker. To set it up, separate the team into two groups. The first group should think of a movie and send a message to a participant in the second group, who will have to act out the movie for his or her colleagues to guess what it is.
Icebreaker activities for large groups
Organizing and encouraging large groups doesn’t have to be complicated, in fact, these team building icebreaker activities are precisely designed to use numbers to your advantage.
6. whose story is this going to be?
who doesn’t have a crazy, embarrassing or funny story? In this icebreaker, each participant must write a true, personal story and put it inside a hat where it can blend in with the rest.
The organizer should take a story at random and read it, and each participant will have to guess which of his or her colleagues wrote it. An icebreaker as fun as it is intriguing.
7. Questions + Jenga
To organize this icebreaker, you must put a question in all the blocks of a Jenga. Each time a participant removes a block, they must answer the question.
If you want this dynamic icebreaker to be a success, make sure you write the right questions that are personal and fun, but respectful.
8. False fact and true fact
Personal facts always cause a lot of intrigue; humans are naturally curious. That’s why this icebreaker dynamic for groups is so effective.
To perform the icebreaker, all team members must tell something true and something false about themselves, and the rest of the team members will have to guess which fact is false.
One of the best ways to connect with anyone is to find the things they have in common, this icebreaker helps the team discover these details. In this activity the group is challenged to find out what its participants have in common, but they must be personal details.
10. Movie Day
The seventh art brings us all together. This icebreaker is simple, just organize a movie day with all team members. It can even be online, but leave a chat open for participants to talk and share their impressions. A perfect activity to avoid burnout at work.
Simple icebreakers: 10 perfect activities for quick sessions
what if you don’t have much time for long activities? Then opt for simple icebreakers. You’ll see that in just a few minutes the meeting will have become much more participatory.
11. Share a joke
Not all types of humor will work in the office, but funny jokes will always have their place, as long as they’re appropriate. In this short icebreaker dynamic, just ask each member of the group to tell a joke.
12. Share a problem
Identifying and sharing difficulties is an essential step for each team to feel confident. This icebreaker activity focuses on sharing a problem with the team, which can be work or meeting oriented, and listening to feedback from the rest of the participants, with possible solutions.
13. Say something nice about your colleague
A kind word at the right time can make all the difference. To perform this simple icebreaker dynamic, each team member should share three positive traits about the colleague next to him or her.
14. Repeat the rhythm
In this icebreaker activity, the organizer should start by making a rhythm, then the next member repeats the rhythm, adds another rhythm of his or her own, and so on. A challenge for memory and attention, as fun as it is difficult.
15. Show your workplace
Even the International Labor Organization admits it, telecommuting can be quite difficult, keeping your team connected is a challenge when they are always apart.
This icebreaker seeks to regain that connection. Ask each participant to show off their workplace and share stories from day-to-day life. You’ll see how much it helps reconnect your team.
16. A bad experience, a positive perspective
Use this icebreaker dynamic to stimulate the search for solutions. Organize team members in pairs, have one of them share a bad experience, with work or in his or her personal life, and have the other one propose a positive perspective with a possible solution or learning.
For example, if one of the team members complains about how little time he has spent during the day, his partner in the activity could suggest downloading a weekly calendar that will allow him to better organize his time.
17. What if…
The famous “what if” is great for a large group icebreaker activity. In this one, every participant should ask another team member questions that begin with “what if…” and that are both wacky and fun. The answers will not only be entertaining, but will allow the group to get to know each other much better and lose their shyness.
18. Blind drawing
In this icebreaker, choose two people from the team and ask them to sit with their backs to each other. Then one of them must describe an object, ambiguously, and the other must guess what it is and draw it.
19. I agree, I disagree
This icebreaker dynamic consists of proposing an idea or work solution in the meeting, and each member must say whether he/she agrees or disagrees, in a simple way and without adding more.
The activity works as a kind of survey, allowing you to get a clear idea of what your team thinks about something in particular and steer the meeting in the right direction.
20. Many problems, many solutions
If you want your meeting to be as productive as possible, apply this icebreaker and ask everyone in the session to list the problems they will address.
Once they have finished, have them share these problems and have the rest of the participants offer as many solutions and options as they can think of. You’ll end up with a lot of productive ideas, making this an excellent icebreaker for improving meeting performance.
Integrate your team with face-to-face icebreakers
If you need icebreakers for face-to-face team building, the following activities can help.
21. don’t let the balloon fall!
This is a super simple and entertaining activity, which can be very useful as a collaborative dynamic and as a method to enhance the integration of work teams.
The exercise consists of giving a balloon to each participant, who must inflate it and tie it. Then, all the people must throw the balloons into the air and prevent them from falling to the ground. The exercise ends after a certain period of time or when the first balloon falls to the ground.
22. Balloons in teams
Continuing with the icebreaker group dynamics mentioned in the previous point, you can give it an extra twist and turn it into a fun way of team building. how does it work?
Hand out balloons of 4 different colors (or however many teams you need to form). Tell the participants to release them into the air and, as in the previous case, they must try not to let them fall to the ground.
After a certain amount of time (5 or 10 minutes), stop the activity and ask each participant to grab a balloon. The color of that balloon will indicate the team to which it belongs.
23. Passing the Gesture
This is another group integration activity that must be carried out in person. It consists of putting the participants in a circle and assigning a person who will start the dynamic.
This participant will look at the person on his or her right and make a facial gesture. The idea is that this person will do the same with the person on his right and this is repeated throughout the round.
When the gesture reaches the initial participant again, it is time to double the bet and make this icebreaker dynamic more complex. Now, this person must make a new gesture to the person on his right and a different one to the person on his left.
The mechanics is the same: the participants must pass the gesture to the person next to them. The complexity will appear when these gestures collide at a point in the round.
24. who is it?
This exercise is ideal for use as an icebreaker activity for teams that are already integrated or have been working together for some time.
Each participant should write down on a piece of paper a work-related story that has happened to him or her, and that the other people (at least some of them) can remember. Then, the papers are mixed in a bowl. The person in charge of the exercise should take out a piece of paper and read the anecdote aloud.
The participants in the group dynamic must guess who is the protagonist of the story. this activity can be done for points or prizes if you want to give it some extra competition!
25. The quiz ball
This group activity for work teams has a high level of efficiency in achieving the integration of people.
The dynamic starts with participants sitting in circles and music playing in the background. Then, people start passing a ball to each other until the music stops. The participant who is left with the ball in his/her hand must introduce him/herself and ask a generic question. For example, “What is your most productive time of the day?” or “How do you like your coffee?”.
Then, the music plays again and the participants continue to pass the ball around. The person who has the ball when the music stops again must answer the question asked by the previous participant and ask a new question.
Undoubtedly, this is a simple and entertaining icebreaker dynamic that will encourage integration and creativity in the participants.
26. Untying the knot
In this icebreaker activity, each person crosses his or her arms and takes the hands of two other people. The goal is for participants to untie the knot that was created. What is the benefit of this activity? Mainly, it encourages cooperation and mutual help.
27. Task list
This is one of the simplest classic icebreaker activities implemented in work teams. It consists of making groups of 2 or more people and drawing up a list of unusual tasks that can be carried out in the place where the activity is taking place. The winning group will be the one that can complete the list of tasks in the shortest time possible.
This activity takes advantage of one of the main benefits of icebreaker activities: keeping the team entertained.
Icebreaker exercises to resolve conflicts
The following group dynamics for work teams, proposed by the blog Psicología y Mente, are perfect to achieve two objectives. On the one hand, to favor integration and “break the ice”; and, on the other hand, to resolve conflicts.
28. Cops and robbers
This icebreaker seeks to develop better team decision-making skills and encourage group collaboration.
For this activity, two groups must be formed: cops and robbers. The police group forms a circle and places a flag inside the circle. The thieves have to capture the flag without being intercepted by the policemen. If one is intercepted, the thief goes to jail and the flag is returned to its place.
One of the benefits of icebreaker activities of this style is that players learn to plan strategies as a group, using cooperation and creativity.
29. Barriers to solution
If you need an innovative icebreaker dynamic that teaches teams how to solve problems efficiently, then take note of this activity. Also, as explained in the blog, this exercise “helps to measure the group’s capabilities when faced with a problematic situation and describe alternatives to find the solution”.
To start the activity, each participant is given a sheet of paper to write down a work problem. The sheets of paper are then folded and placed in a bag or container.
Next, each participant will take out a sheet of paper and read aloud the problem. Another participant will simultaneously write down the problem on a whiteboard. Once all the problems are written down, one will be selected by a vote.
And now is when the real icebreaker activity begins. Groups should discuss the origin of the problem and identify two issues:
Functional forces: advantages or positive aspects of the discussed issue,
Dysfunctional forces: disadvantages or negative aspects.
To conclude this icebreaker dynamic, the possible ways to solve the problem will be discussed, considering the points analyzed previously.
This icebreaker dynamic for conflict resolution seeks to develop empathy in work teams through the representation of a real or hypothetical situation .
The person in charge of the team dynamics presents a conflict situation (with a description of characters, facts, conflict, etc.). Following this, different roles are assigned to some of the participants. For example, if it is a customer service situation, the roles can be:
Customer 2 (waiting to be served)
Customer service agent
Then, a role-play is carried out. Finally, both participants and observers proceed to discuss the situation and think of different alternatives to solve the conflict.
There are many ways to improve trust and teamwork, and as I’m sure you’ve noticed, icebreaker activities are great for doing so. Use any of these to make your meetings more effective and entertaining, and especially to overcome the challenges of telecommuting.