Great Team Building Icebreakers

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Sometimes, a team doesn’t need or isn’t quite ready for an in-depth set of team building activities.  Maybe it’s a team that is just forming after reorganization, or maybe it’s a team of individual contributors and teamwork is less essential to success. In these cases, team building icebreakers can be a great start. Consider some of these activities:

  • Create a Team Poster. Post chart paper around the room, and ask team members to create posters that capture a key concept (like “Innovation”), team successes (“Our Year in Review”), or describes team goals (“This Year, We Will…”). Provide color markers and other art supplies to spark creativity and fun.
  • Team Introductions. In this team building activity, participants pair up and share information about themselves. Then, each person takes turns introducing the other person to the full group. This is a great exercise during reorganizations, where it can focus on sharing team member expertise and background. It can also be used with people who know each other, where the introductions might focus on more personal information that others may not know.
  • Team Bingo. This activity is great for holiday parties and networking sessions. Create Bingo cards with trivia and facts about team members (like, “Someone born in Hawaii,” “Someone with 4 pets”). People talk with each other to fill in names that match the criteria – the items generally lead to deeper conversations and information sharing, making it a great team building activity.
  • Knowledge Sharing. In this activity, people move around and talk with each other, exchanging answers to two questions relevant to the team’s work: “I know about ….” And “I’d like to know more about….” The goal of the exercise is to connect people with complementary knowledge needs (e.g., match the person who knows about the new financial regulation with someone who would like to know more about those rules.)

These activities are all relatively simple to implement – most just need time on the calendar, and a little bit of preparation. People who know each other engage in teamwork more easily. Even casual events without an express goal can yield many benefits.

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