October 15, 2015
Whenever you’re in a new setting and the event leaders bring up doing a round of icebreakers, do you ever feel like the majority of the room moans or rolls their eyes?
In many cases, for me at least, this has definitely been the case. During my college orientation week at UMass we did numerous icebreakers and it seemed like a good portion of the group was disgruntled.
Of course, because it was my college orientation and I didn’t know a soul, I pretended that I was annoyed by the icebreakers as well. But in reality, I love icebreakers.
Icebreakers are a great way to find people who have similar interests as you – such as the kid who also loved the show Sons of Anarchy, and whom I now stop and chat with whenever I see him out on campus.
Icebreakers are also a great way to find people who have unique and unequivocal talents. For instance, during an icebreaker at a club event this past spring, I was introduced to someone who is ranked #4 in the nation for yo-yoing. Yo-yoing!
Most likely, I would have never learned any of these traits if I hadn’t participated in the icebreakers.
Do you believe the majority of people are actually annoyed by icebreakers – or are they probably just following the way of the crowd, like I would?
However, if you find that you have a hard time getting your team into the ice-breaking arena, maybe try switching up your icebreaker approach.
Instead of the generic, “Hi my name is Jill, I’m 20 years old, and my favorite color is blue…” consider going with some of our ideas listed below. These are sure to get your group out of their cubicle and into the workplace, where they can form bonds and build relationships with their coworkers.
4 Office Icebreakers That Work
#1 Like It. Pin It. Own It.
Our idea for this icebreaker is that when everyone first walks into the office in the morning, they choose a pin from the basket. This way, when people come up to your desk or see you in the kitchen area, they notice which pin you have chosen to wear and can strike up a conversation with you about your pin.
#2 Agree or Disagree
On a daily or weekly basis, have a different office member write a statement on a whiteboard that people can either agree or disagree with. When people walk by the board, they can sign their names under either side depending on whether they agree or not.
Take a mid-day break and organize an office bingo event. This game can double as a get-to-know-you exercise, and as a great way to break up the pattern of the work week. Prepare the cards ahead of time, and then pass them out and play! Everyone has a chance to win, but those who know their coworkers best have a head start.
#4 Coffee Pot
The game “Coffee Pot” is a fun, lunchtime game that can get the brain juices flowing, while also creating laughs amongst co-workers. This game is set up to resemble 20 Questions. It’s a great way to get your team engaged with each other, and can be done without much prep work. All you need is your coworkers!