Take 5 minutes at start of meeting or after a break to get people talking to each other. Have participants pair up (with people they don’t know well if that’s relevant), tell them upfront it will be very quick exchanges with 3 people in total: this first pair and then you’ll call switch within 30 seconds, do the same question with a new partner and then you’ll call switch within 30 seconds and they’ll do same questions with that new partner. Have the person with the longest hair start (this is just a simple way to save time between the pair deciding who should talk first).
The purpose of these ice breakers can be numerous including:
- Facilitate interaction between people who don’t know each other well
- Generate rapport and connection between team mates
- Focus participants towards the attitude needed for the topic/meeting
- Get the energy going in the room
- Make your meeting memorable for participants as few do this type of activity
Some sample questions (you can make up your own):
- What was your favourite toy or game as a kid?
- If you could have any super power, what would it be?
- What change in your life has been most difficult/memorable/biggest for you?
For Getting to know each other
- Share 1 thing about yourself that you are good at personally
- Share 1 thing about yourself that would surprise your partner
- What are you most proud of in your life?
- Describe your ideal day (longer than 1 minute)
For suggesting how you want people to be in the meeting:
- What is present when you feel really engaged?
- What do you feel most proud of recently at work?
- What excites you about (this topic)?
- What’s the most creative thing you’ve done in life?