Getting to Know You(r Team)
As you know, it’s vitally important for the members of any team to be comfortable with each other—and getting to know each other better is key. It can be tough to know where to start sometimes, though. Over the past 20 years, we’ve run thousands of corporate team-building events, and we’ve seen first hand what gets groups talking, sharing, and laughing.
Here are five of our favorite ice breakers to use at your next corporate event, whether it’s a formal team-building activity or even a more casual get-together.
Two Truths and a Lie
Tell Us a Story
This ice breaker gets even more in depth, with players repeating a brief personal story told by another player. The person doing the retelling must try their best to repeat he tale as accurately as possible, earning points by using secret words or phrases from the original version of the story. For instance, Wendy tells Carl about the time she went scuba diving in Aruba and discovered the Lost City of Atlantis. Unbeknownst to Carl, Wendy has decided that “Aruba” and “Atlantis” are the important facts he needs to share. If Carl tells a story about the time Wendy went scuba diving in the Caribbean and discovered sunken treasure, he’s close—and now teammates learn that Wendy likes diving—but he doesn’t get full points. Sorry, Carl!
One of a Kind
We like to call this the Timbuktu Challenge. In this one, players reveal interesting details about themselves, the more unusual the better. You could learn about your teammates’ notable travels—who’s been to Timbuktu?—hidden talents, special skills, weird things they’ve eaten, and more. It’s fascinating to learn new things about your co-workers, and awesome when you find cool experiences you have in common.
The Monty Hall Challenge
We named this fun ice breaker after the long-time game show host. In our version, two teams meet up and someone reads out a list of items that they need to show to get points. Items could be “a watch with a second hand on it,” “an app that identifies birds” (those actually exist, by the way), a “driver’s license from Colorado.” Based on what players can come up with, co-workers learn all sorts of things about each other—like the fact that Joe from Accounting has a bird-watching app on his phone!
This one takes a little more planning than the rest of this list. Before your team-building event, ask your co-workers fun facts about themselves. Then you can put together bingo cards with, say, a free online bingo card generator. At the event, everyone gets a card and goes around the room trying to fill it in. Whenever you find a person who matches a box (“Born in Milwaukee” or “Ran a marathon”), that person autographs that box. Keep going until someone gets bingo!