Companies are growing fast, and new remote workers are finding it harder to feel connected to their new teams. Yet, it’s been proven that having a “best friend” at work is a helpful way to improve overall motivation, team morale, and engagement in work initiatives. So, as a manager, how can you help your teams feel more connected? The answer is by using great icebreaker questions! We’ve thought long and hard about some of the most fun and interesting questions you can try to get your team members more connected to each other through storytelling, understanding career challenges, and learning about what helps them move forward, and we’ve put them all together in a list for you to try in your next few meetings!
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01-Why you should use icebreaker questions during team meetings
Regardless if you work in a physical office or you’re tuning in remotely, getting to know your team members is one of the most important parts of your role. If you don’t know whom you’re working with, you can feel isolated, unaligned, and generally disconnected at work—which can lead you to not like your job. On the flip side, if you prioritize spending a bit of time on team building, you can understand how to communicate with and work alongside your colleagues, making your projects more efficient and possibly even more fun!
02-Run productive team meetings
Increase meeting engagement and productivity with a collaborative agenda that the whole team can contribute to. Try using a tool like Huddles!
03-The best icebreaker questions
1.Fun icebreaker questions
- What breed of dog do you relate to the most, and why?
- Pitch your favourite vacation spot to the group in 30 seconds.
- If you had the choice to use one unconventional way of commuting to work (that is, not walking, driving, or taking public transit), which would you use? Some options are rollerblading, paragliding, skating, etc.
- What is the most adrenaline-inducing adventure you’ve ever experienced?
- What is one bucket list item that you want to complete this year?
- What’s the weirdest food that you’ve ever eaten?
- When was the last time that you went on a rollercoaster?
- If you could have any type of residence in any location in the world, what would your dream residence type (for example, apartment, bungalow, or mansion) be, and where would it be located?
- What do you think is an underrated game (board game, video game, card game, sport, etc.)?
- If you could only wear one color of clothes for the rest of your life, what color would that be?
- What movie or TV show character do you relate to the most, and why?
- What reality game TV show do you think you could realistically win?
- What is one discontinued TV show that you think ended too early, or that you’d like to see make a comeback?
- What category of trivia would you be the best at, and why?
- What song would you sing at karaoke?
- If money was no object, what would you do all day?
- What superhero power would you want to have, and why?
- What’s the tallest building you’ve ever been in, and how did you get there?
2.Icebreaker questions for small groups
- How did you get started in the industry? Did you get into this industry intentionally or unintentionally?
- What was something that was a fun surprise or thing to learn about when you first started in the industry?
- Who was a person that inspired you in your field of work and how has it helped you grow in your career?
- What is your Myers-Briggs personality type, and how do you think it affects how you work within this team?
- If you were to design a crest that represents our team, what three elements would you include on it?
- What are two things that this group has helped you learn?
- What is one piece of advice that you’ve never forgotten?
- What is one thing that you want to spend more time doing in the next six months?
- What is the biggest learning curve you’ve overcome in your career so far?
- If you were asked to cook a signature dish for the group, what would you make? Share about what makes your signature dish special, if you can!
- What is a motivational quote that you live by, or think of often?
- Who was one of the most interesting people you’ve ever met, and how did you meet them?
3.Would-you-rather icebreaker questions
- Would you rather only drink coffee or tea?
- Would you rather only live in a cold climate or only live in a hot climate?
- Would you rather only drink or eat as a means of getting nutrition for the rest of your life?
- Would you rather only win $150M once, or get $5M every year for the rest of your life?
- Would you rather sleep outside in a forest or a desert?
- Would you rather meet your favorite music artist or your favorite author?
- Would you rather work in a small group or a big group?
- Would you rather be the #1 expert in something in the world, or know how to do everything to a mediocre degree?
- Would you rather be 12 feet tall or 1 foot tall?
- Would you rather never be able to know the current time or never be able to know your current location?
- Would you rather never be able to listen to music or never be able to read books again?
- Would you rather only eat sweet or savory foods for the rest of your life?
- Would you rather visit the North Pole or the South Pole?
- Would you rather use Windows or Mac for your computer?
- Would you rather have a big social network that you don’t know as well or a small one that you know very well?
- Would you rather have a private plane or a private boat?
- Would you rather be able to fly or live underwater?
4.Icebreaker questions for meetings
- Share the “rose,” “thorn,” and “bud” of your day. The “rose” is the best part of your day, the “thorn” is the most difficult part of your day, and the “bud” is the part you’re most excited about in the future.
- Share a meme about how your day is going so far.
- If you could give one piece of advice to someone newly starting this project, what would it be and why?
- What is an important lesson that you learned the hard way recently?
- What is one thing at which you’re unbeatable?
- If you had a magic button to bring you anything you wanted right now, what would you want to be brought to you?
- When was the last time you did something for the first time?
- Where do you go to get creative inspiration?
- Do you prefer working in a busy, café environment or a quiet, library environment?
- If you had to describe this company as an animal, which animal would it be and why?
- In your opinion, what is one underrated or overrated thing about this industry?
- If there’s one dream company that you’d want us to earn as a customer, which would it be and why?
- What has got your attention today, and why?
- What was the last marketing advertisement that truly motivated you to purchase?
- What is a useful productivity hack that you’ve tried recently? How did it work out?
- What is something that has gone better than you expected it to this week?
- What is the single most important thing to help you navigate a challenge at work?
04-How to start good icebreaker questions
There are a few tricks to getting your team engaged in answering icebreaker questions. For example, planning your questions in advance and including them at the start of your meeting agenda allows attendees to see them ahead of the meeting and start thinking of their answers. Also, try to keep the answering time on each question relatively short so you can still focus on your talking points for the call—the bigger your group is, the shorter the answer time for the icebreaker questions should be. However, smaller groups can afford to spend a bit more time on each person’s answers. Likewise, if the meeting’s focus is specifically on team-building activities, you can opt for questions that require more of a storytelling approach that helps team members spend more time getting to know each other better.
Enabling teams to get to know each other can have a lot of positive impacts on new hires, distributed teams, and anyone else who might have less opportunity to connect organically. Depending on the type of team bonding you’re going for and how much time you have available, you can opt for more fun icebreaker questions or ones that are more aligned with career development. Hopefully, this list of questions gives you some inspiration on how to integrate icebreaker questions into team meetings. You can also modify the questions in this list to better suit your team’s needs, or ask your meeting participants for inspiration to keep them engaged in the team-building process!
Author: Alexandria Hewko