Team Building Exercise: Break the Ice & Be a Hero

How do you reach great feats and save the day? With a team, of course. Where would Batman (nay, Gotham!) be without Alfred? Doesn’t Super Mario need a little help from Toad and Luigi on occasion? Of course!

These great partnerships did not magically appear. Ok, maybe there was a little magic involved, but these relationships took time, just like any other team.

Whether you’re part of a dynamic duo or an entire league of extraordinary people, teams need chemistry. Team building exercises will energize you and your co-workers.

In the real world, chemistry isn’t guaranteed and doesn’t come as easy as flirting during the third period. On the first day of work, or during the inception of a team, most people appear shy and reserved, needing a little push to interact with their colleagues. It’s imperative that things start off on the right foot. Team exercises can help with that!

To get people talking without their walls up, here’s a fun and light-hearted way to introduce your team to one another and start the team building process.

This is also an excellent way to incorporate a spy-themed TeamBonding event into your upcoming conference or meeting, such as School for Spies (the nation’s most prestigious espionage training academy) or a Scavenger Hunt.

The Imposter

Ice breaking tools:

  • Index cards
  • Pens (only a few)
  • Team members (ALL of them)

How to “Break the Ice”:

(1) Create Your Identity

Have each team member write their full name, accompanied by 3 interesting facts about themselves on an index card. Be sure to only provide the team with a few pens, that way they’ll have to interact with one another to complete this portion of the task.

Most people will be thinking, “I’m not about to stand up in front of all of these people and talk about myself” but that quickly dissipates when they find out they’ll be reading someone else’s card. It’s more effective this way, and more fun!

(2) Randomly assign cards to each team member

Each team member will play the role of an Imposter, and read the information off the card they were given, except for the name. For example:

I graduated high school at 16, I love Cheez-Its, and I can make a song out of any situation. My name is…

After each brief introduction, the card owner will stand, say their name to the group and claim their card from the Imposter. This is critical; otherwise, your team members will learn the wrong things about the wrong people.

If your team has been introduced before and are at the acquaintance’s stage, an added level of intrigue would be to allow team members to guess the identity on the cards before the big reveal.

(3) Ice = Broken

By impersonating team members, the fear, first day jitters, and that elevator-ride-like awkwardness go right out the window and are replaced with a laid back, fun, and interactive environment which provides for a perfect team building foundation.

Now your team is ready to start storming! What are your favorite ways to break the ice? Do you have any favorite team building exercises for work?

Jad Jichi

Team Contributor


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