32 Icebreakers to Kick Off Your Meetings and Energize Your Team
We’ve all been in the bad meeting…
You’re left wondering why the meeting was called in the first place and why the same four people are dominating the conversation.
In any meeting, in-person or virtual, it’s important to kick things off by letting everyone get their voice in the “room” in order to have a productive and inclusive conversation.
At Zingerman’s we love a good “icebreaker.” Sure, already know each other, but an icebreaker helps us get to know each other even better and is a fun way to invite everyone to share about themselves.
A good icebreaker question is one that is inclusive, where everyone can answer. If you ask, “What’s your favorite region of France?” Well… that’s a question that only people who have been to France or who are familiar with French geography can answer. Even the common favorite, “Which do you prefer: mountains or beach?” makes an assumption that someone has been to both when in reality, that’s not always the case. So, it’s important to make questions broad and inclusive.
If you’re now thinking, “Well, what CAN I ask?”… don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Here are some of our favorite icebreakers taken right from our meeting notes…
- 1. When brushing your teeth, do you wet the toothbrush before or after you apply the toothpaste?
- 2. If you could live in any sitcom or TV show, which one would it be?
- 3. What’s one thing about you that we wouldn’t know just by looking at you?
- 4. Which season is your favorite?
- 5. If you could eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?
- 6. Most memorable trip/vacation/field trip that included some kind of history…
- 7. What 3 foods would you have if stranded alone on an island?
- 8. Who would play you in a movie about your life?
- 9. If you could own any type of pet, what would it be?
- 10. What song sums up your mood today?
- 11. Name the one famous person that, if they came into work, you would lose your ability to be a good employee?
- 12. When you were a kid, what age did “grown ups” seem to be?
- 13. Who do people say is your doppelgänger?
- 14. How do you eat an apple?
- 15. How do you keep your energy high?
- 16. Have you ever seen a ghost?
- 17. If you were a potato, how would you like to be cooked?
- 18. Favorite road trip snack?
- 19. Pumpkin Spice everything or Pumpkin Spice nothing?
- 20. What media have you consumed recently that you would recommend?
- 21. Are you an early bird or a night owl?
- 22. What’s your go-to at-home clothing item?
- 23. Oxford commas? Do you use them? Believe in them?
- 24. What is your favorite keyboard shortcut?
- 25. Tell us about your dream doughnut.
- 26. What do you call out when someone knocks on the door of a public restroom when you’re in it?
- 27. What fictional family would you be a member of?
- 28. Break it down… When you look up into the night sky: % wonder-eyed, % terrified.
- 29. On a scale from 0-10 (0 being not at all and 10 being besties) how well do you know your neighbors?
- 30. What is your most used Emoji?
When someone is leaving the company or team you can ask “What is your favorite memory of working with _______? ”
If someone new is joining the team you can ask “What is one team norm we have that _______ should know about?”
When done right, the icebreaker can really raise the energy of the collective and get things off to a great start! If you have some favorite icebreakers from your team, we’d love to hear them! Shoot us an email at [email protected]
Don’t stress about the “perfect” icebreaker – the more offbeat, the funnier they are, and we can all but guarantee that the energy in the room will go up!
Want to learn more about running and great meeting and keeping team energy high? Here are some resources you may find interesting…
[Article] Creating Good Organizational Energy
[Webinar] How to Make Your Meetings More Effective
[Webinar] Tips and Tools for Better Remote Work