Team Building Icebreakers

Team Building Icebreakers

Suppose you have ever been in a new environment with new people you had to collaborate with. In that case, ice-breaking activities were done to initiate conversation between you and the other participants. This article will look at team-building ice-breakers.


Most organizations have adopted team building as a mechanism to ensure the highest level of productivity is achieved. Team building is described as a management technique used to promote the effectiveness and performance of the workgroup through various activities. The main premise of team building is to achieve the organizations vision and objectives by creating unity among team members through activities that encourage collective engagement. It is therefore important for an organization to instill a sense of oneness in its members. After all, a house divided against itself cannot stand. To achieve the best results in any team-building exercise, these exercises must come after icebreakers. Icebreakers are activities or games that welcome attendees and warm up the conversation among participants. Icebreakers facilitate talking, cooperation, and sharing among team members. This article will look at team building icebreakers, which will ensure a successful team-building exercise.


Related: 33 Icebreakers to use in your training

If you have ever been in a new environment with new people that you have to work with whether it be on a professional level or an academic level, chances are an ice-breaking activity was done to facilitate familiarity between you and the people you were supposed to work with or collaborate with. Icebreakers play a role in introducing people and breaking the tension that is usually there with strangers. It is important that the activities don't get too personal or get participants caged up.

Some activities may trigger feelings of anxiety especially with introverted participants, it is, therefore, important to create a level playing ground for all participants to ensure that they are comfortable. Icebreakers also play a fundamental role in helping employees to interact without the restriction of authority and roles. This encourages a more intimate/professional relationship that encourages inter-departmental collaboration. Above all icebreakers help in creating stronger teams. Having a solid and united team is pivotal in any organization. With the impact of covid -19 on the world, ice-breaking activities are no longer limited to physical activities. There are several icebreakers that can be done virtually.

This article will look at team building icebreakers that can be done physically, and virtually as well as those that can be done either physically or virtually.

Related: Why Icebreakers Are Crucial To Team Dynamics


Two truths and a lie


In this activity a participant makes three statements about themselves and the other team members have to guess which one is a lie. It is a fun activity and is very effective when it comes to loosening people up. This can be done physically and virtually.


The Envelop Please

In this activity participants write ten facts about themselves and put them in an envelope, the group leader then picks an envelope at random and reads out the facts. The participants have to guess who is being described without the person who wrote the facts revealing themselves. This


Tall Tales

With this ice-breaking activity, a participant starts a story and the next participant has to continue the story from where the last participant ended it. The story has to be coherent. This ice-breaking activity facilitates collaboration whilst having fun.



This is a popular game where people have to guess what the other team member is trying to describe without the team member who is leading the group saying what it is. The participants are given limited time to guess. This helps take the edge off and helps participants be more comfortable.


Thought-Provoking Icebreaker Questions


This activity involves putting pieces of paper with different questions such as:


What is your greatest fear?


If you could travel where would you go?


If you could be a superhero what powers would you have?


Each participant will pick a paper and answer the question on it. This is most suitable for physical engagements


The Hot Seat

In this game, the participants will select one team member who will be on the hot seat. The rest of the team members can then ask the participant on the hot seat a question each. However, facilitators must be wary of this game as it may trigger feelings of anxiety in some participants.


Exorcise the Demons

This activity involves brainstorming ideas as a group, once having brainstormed participants have to write down the worst ideas they can think of. After a few minutes, each participant has to share their favorite worst idea. This game helps people resist self-censoring when real problem solving begins. This game also plays a significant role in boosting psychological safety.


A Scavenger Hunt

This is a fun activity that encourages collaboration and problem-solving. In a scavenger hunt, participants are divided into different teams. All teams are given the same clues and they have to figure out where the hidden treasure is. This game reveals the different strengths each team member has and it also facilitates collaboration, all in good fun.


Office Trivia

This has to be specific to the office that you are working in. A person who knows the office best has to formulate the questions and then quiz the participants. This game reveals how much people know about the organization and can reveal a lot about the weak points in the organization.


Speed Dating Icebreaker

In this activity, you pair participants who do not usually sit together or work together. You then give them 3 minutes where they have to find out as much as they can about each other on a professional level. This encourages the burning of boundaries in an organizational setting.


Conclusively the essence of icebreakers is for participants to have fun and get comfortable around each other. The facilitator must always highlight the objectives of the exercise and also create a level playing ground to ensure that all participants enjoy the activities. Ice-breaking activities such as the Hot Seat as well as random talent shows might trigger feelings of anxiety. It is therefore important that facilitators be wary of such games.

Mutsawashe Musvaire
This article was written by Mutsawashe a Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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