20 Oct Icebreaker Questions for great team bonding
Making conversations with strangers, especially to your clients and employees is not a piece of cake. However, we have different tactics to get the conversation inflow. If you work at a firm or for a company, you must have winced at the word in the title, ‘icebreaker’. All people working under their team leader know what are icebreaker questions for work.
We have all tried to escape the icebreaker question from the manager or a coworker who’s always trying to get to know the team to enhance the workforce’s productivity altogether.
Hesitantly or unarguably, one needs to realize that icebreaker questions for work are important and adds to the team’s development. Let us give you an example where you’d be finding icebreaker questions for teens. Suppose an intern just joined your team to learn from you.
However, you want him to relax and communicate just like other team members. What would you do? Will you instruct him to? Will you give him a day off? A big NO. All you have can do is avoid the awkward silence and interaction with the intern by throwing out for icebreaker questions for work.
Asking random icebreaker questions can make long boring meetings a little bit interesting. Everybody loosens up when the manager or a coworker throws random icebreaker questions out of nowhere. It helps all the team members to be in their right mind before they can move on to the big project that’s awaiting. In addition to that, the workforce is most anxious and nervous at the start of the social hour or any networking event. Random icebreaker questions can help the team feel relaxed.
If you manage a remote team, where the coworkers reside in different regions of the world, you can start the day or the meeting by asking fun icebreaker questions in the chat. This way, all the distant work colleagues get to know each other more personally. The relation, which was only limited and confined to work can turn into a beautiful bond or even friendship. Moreover, by asking fun icebreaker questions, you strengthen the work culture that your company/firm represents.
The key to building a rapport is to ask fun icebreaker questions for adults to your team. The icebreaker questions do not only ease up the tension between employees but also help everyone to interact and raise their opinion. In simpler words, asking fun icebreaker questions brings long-term benefits to every team pulling the projects successfully.
As for a layperson, you might be wondering, ‘what’s an icebreaker question’? How am I going to know if my manager asked an icebreaker question? Is it humorous? Is it informative? How can I distinguish between random icebreaker questions and other business-related questions? Well, we will start with its basic definition found in most of the books, and all over the internet.
What is an icebreaker question?
Icebreaker questions are a series of non-frequently asked questions designed to make the team members familiarize themselves with each other and the team’s work culture. Not only do the questions help to loosen everybody up but also help to create a great bond and even friendship among the team members.
While random icebreaker questions for adults range across multiple topics involving family, hobbies, work interest and personal life, fun icebreaker questions involve humor, personal opinion on something, a funny yet memorable memory, etc.
The power of asking the right icebreaker question gets underestimated by many firms, and unfortunately, in many work cultures. A list of well-executed icebreaker questions will help your team bond faster than ever.
What makes good icebreaker questions? – The qualities of good icebreaker questions for work
There have been millions of conversations on online forums to formulate a list of good icebreaker questions for work. However, one does not find them good enough to be used for his team. In that case, you should make your icebreaker questions for adults.
But, how will you ensure if the icebreaker questions are right for your team? Easy! Just look for the following traits and you would find yourself looking at a list of fun icebreaker questions for your team:
Good icebreaker questions are open-ended
Good icebreaker questions give a choice to the team member to speak up. They do not end on yes or no. Even if the questions include a yes or no, one must be asked to draw an explanation of why they chose that particular option.
Good icebreaker questions for work focus on experience, work interest, and career wishes
Icebreaker questions draw out interesting responses from every team member. While employees might be hesitant to answer personal icebreaker questions, they won’t be hesitated in telling people about their work experiences, work interest areas, and wishes. The team would be developing and increasing the capacity to think creatively altogether.
For instance, ‘What position would you like on this firm and why?’ is a good icebreaker question.
Good icebreaker questions help the team to understand their utmost goal- To bond
Good random icebreaker questions usually nurture work relationships. For instance, if you have less time for a project but want to break the ice, simply ask a question that directs towards the goal of the team.
Good questions do not force the employees to initiate a discussion. Instead, they create a sense that each person has his interest, wishes, career possibilities, personal life, preferences and he wish to work with the rest of the team professionally and productively.
In addition to that, good icebreaker questions do not scratch under the surface. They are not intrusive but helps the team members to discuss a topic in detail (such as work trauma, post-work stress, depression, work burnout, team dynamics, values, work culture, and ethics).
Good icebreaker questions are safe
Good icebreaker questions are safe and do not, in any way, give off a feeling that the person is being judged for his interests and opinions. They execute on certain ground rules such as respect for cultural difference. But, to bond the team, you can rephrase the question and ask it more appropriately.
Good icebreaker questions inspire the employees to share
Icebreaker questions are thought-provoking and push the team members to start a discussion. They encourage the team members to initiate a conversation with their colleagues regardless of whether the answer was right or wrong.
Good icebreaker questions are appreciative as well as reflective
While most of the icebreaker questions for adults are related to their prior experiences, good icebreaker questions focus on the past as well as the future. They are balanced between being appreciative and reflective. They appreciate the employee for sharing prior experience but also encourage him to envision the future with the team.
Include ‘would you rather questions’ and ‘get to know you questions’ as much as possible. For instance, if you need to foster a discussion about leadership, your question should start with, ‘I would be a better leader if…’.
10 good icebreaker questions that you need for great team bonding
A list of well-executed questions includes, ‘would you rather’ icebreaker questions, ‘get to know you’ questions, fun icebreaker questions, etc.
Here are the 10 best icebreaker questions that will bond your team together:
What was your first job?
This question gives the most interesting responses by the team members, as well as the employer. Employees are always eager to find out more about their bosses. It would be hilarious for them to know that their employer’s first job was delivering a pizza. While it pretty much seems like a straight-forward question but the responses stand out.
Have you ever come across a celebrity?
It is a fun icebreaker question that taps into the celebrities or role models that your coworkers admire. People go crazy if they are fans of the same person. Personal likes and dislikes are great for team bonding.
Moreover, this question is great for making employees laugh. Imagine telling your employees that you dated Jennifer Lopez back when she was a model and not an actress.
What book are you reading currently?
Dedicated employees are always looking for something to read. Swapping books and novel recommendations is a great way for the team to bond. Learning other people’s interests likes and dislikes helps you to get closer to them.
What skill would you pick up at any instant?
With this icebreaker question, you might learn your employees’ future interests or how to aspire to grow in the future. For instance, you could learn that one of your employees like to learn French so that he can assist the French clients better.
Whose personality inspires you?
Knowing someone’s role model helps you understand a lot about the person’s preferences, influences, and outlook on work and life. This should be included in the list of icebreaker questions for adults so you can understand the type of people that your employees/coworkers value.
What is your favorite quote?
This question provides a fascinating yet significant outlook on an employee’s point of view regarding something. Asking an employee about their favorite line or quote is best to get to know them better.
Have you been surprised in a good way by anything?
While this question might be ambiguous, it helps to develop an intriguing personality of the speaker. It allows an employee to share their best experience, for instance, his call with a customer representative or a funny encounter with a clown on the street. This is a great question to ask people who already know each other a bit.
What would you choose if you had an unlimited supply of it?
This question might be superficial but it helps to get insights into what your employees enjoy outside of work. For instance, one can choose to have an unlimited supply of chocolate. You can deduce from this statement that the answerer loves chocolate. Maybe give him a chocolate bouquet on his birthday?
Which person had the most influence on your while growing up?
While this question seems a little bit personal but most of the children have happy memories. It could be anyone- the teacher, a grandparent, father, mother, or even a friend. You would gain a lot of knowledge about what touches or influences your employees. Moreover, the answer is always touching so, be ready to shed some tears!
Here are different icebreaker questions of different genre:
Fun icebreaker questions
- If you could turn to an animal for a day, what would it be and why?
- What is the weirdest food you have eaten and how did it taste like?
- Are you a night person or an early riser?
- If you could get stuck at one place, where would it be?
- Describe the perfect ‘boss’ in three funny words?
- Which place would you go to if you go invisible for a day and why?
- Describe your alter ego in 3 words?
- What is the worst movie you have ever watched in a cinema?
- If you could take a day off from work and spend an entire day with your colleague, whom would you choose and why?
- Who is your favorite childhood cartoon character and why?
- If you could eliminate one flavor of ice cream from this world, which would it be and why?
- What’s the weirdest pet peeve you have?
- What’s that one thing about you that annoys everybody?
- If you could afford anything in the world, what would you buy and why?
- What would you do if you got an ‘hour’ of fame?
- If you had to buy a present for yourself, what would you choose and why?
Icebreaker questions for teens
- What’s the baddest thing you have done in your junior school?
- Have you ever been in a fight with your best friend at school?
- If you could change your name, what would be the new name and why?
- Would you kiss a shark or an octopus?
- Would you be 8 feet tall or 3 feet short?
- Do you like to have your siblings around?
Superlative icebreaker questions
- What’s the hardest task that has been assigned to you?
- What’s the most expensive thing you have bought for someone else?
- Have you pulled a prank on a stranger?
- Do you have a childhood memory, if yes, what it is?
- Who is the kindest person you know?
- What’s the best compliment you have ever got about yourself?
Would you Prefer Icebreaker questions
- Would you prefer to go to the future to meet your kids or go to the past to see your ancestors?
- Would you prefer winning a lottery or earning a promotion?
- Would you prefer to be a spiderman or a batman?
- Would you prefer talking to sea animals or land animals?
- Would you prefer current music or music from the late 1980s?
- Would you prefer cash or gifts for your upcoming birthday?
- Would you prefer sending a text to your ex or make a call?
- Would you prefer stopping a villain or eliminating hunger from the world?
- Would you prefer camping or staying at a luxury hotel by the seashore?
- Would you prefer staying with an animal or a stranger for the rest of your life?
Benefits of using icebreaker question at work
- They can turn a rather boring or average meeting into a delightful session
- Icebreaker questions help to introduce yourself to others in a special and fun way
- They help to warm-up the tensive work environment
- Icebreaker questions help new employees to relax and help them to get the team better and quicker
- They help to motivate and energize participants to speak up
- Employees learn quickly about team bonding when they are involved and present mentally, physically and emotionally
- Icebreaker questions provide an active and practical learning environment to the employees
- Icebreaker questions allow the employees to share their personal experiences while learning from each other
- Employees learn differently: some through reflecting, some through listening and some through speaking, some by incorporating rhythm or some by solving work-related problems, so, icebreaker questions offer an opportunity to the employees to accept coworkers who have diverse styles to learn and move forward with their careers
- The facilitator or the team manager may throw a quick icebreaker question to assess how much the team knows about the project, how much they know each other, how much comfortable are they with each other and how much are they willing to work in a team
- They can reduce a new employee’s sense of isolation or anonymity, regardless of what the venue is
- They help to foster a flexible work environment and a shared sense of community and purpose
- They help to get everyone involved, even the passive employees who sit back and listen in the meetings
- They enable the team members to find out about the common things in them
- They help to develop employees’ interests in team bonding
- They help employees think outside the box
Icebreaker questions can be a powerful tool for you to bond your team at work and develop receptive and focused behavior among the employees. It also helps to prevent employee burnout. However, you must plan the administration and create a list of suitable questions for your employees, within the work culture boundaries.