You ever turn up to a meeting and say to yourself, hey, this feels awfully like every other meeting I’ve attended? Meetings do tend to follow the same format. You do your intros, you inject some small talk, maybe run through an agenda and then depending on how productive the meeting was, you run through next steps. This formula isn’t always the most inspiring for creativity, so we’re going to look at some fun icebreakers you can use to get the creative juices flowing, create a positive atmosphere, help people relax and break down barriers.
An easy way to wake up the brain and get everyone’s attention is a quick quiz. We’re not talking a meticulously planned out quiz here, with five different rounds and a quizmaster. No, we’re thinking three or four random questions just to get people thinking and in the right mindset. Don’t make them too difficult, make them easy enough for people to know the answer and feel a sense of accomplishment. If they’re too hard people will feel defeated before the meeting has even began.
Here’s an interesting one to get an insight into how people think. All it entails is choosing a word, say ‘ocean’, ‘dog’, ‘work’, ‘meetings’, choose any word you want (keep it safe for work). Then you go round the group and ask the next person to say the first word that comes to mind when they hear the chosen word. This continues, like a chain reaction until everyone has said a word. We guarantee you may hear surreal associations and it will get people thinking creatively.
This one’s simple, ask the question, if you could go back in time, what period would you go to? You might discover some aspiring gladiators amongst the group or cave people or medieval knights, whatever you discover it’s a great way to break the ice and ask a thought-provoking question.
Ahhh this classic. Would you rather be a penguin or a meerkat? Would you rather have eight legs or eight arms? Would you rather be in this meeting or somewhere else? (maybe skip this one). The possibilities are endless. The important thing to remember here is you don’t want to ask any questions could make yourself or others look bad, that defeats the fun element.
Try and get people to ground their answers in their real-life skills. If someone has impeccable time management skills; their superpower would be control time. Someone has brilliant communication skills; their superpower would be they could read minds. As a bonus get people to pick a superhero name that they can be referred to for the remainder of the meeting. This is great because not only will it most definitely break the ice, but it will also get people thinking creatively about their strengths.
Some bonus ice breaker questions:
Less of a fun icebreaker and more of a practical one. To get your next meeting off to a great start why not ask what people hope to get from the meeting. Depending on the answers you get this will help you steer the meeting and increase productivity. It will also get everyone thinking about the topic in hand and provide a sensible starting point for a discussion.
There’s plenty more fun icebreakers we haven’t touched on, think creatively about how you’d like to start off your next meeting. Give these a shot and see how you get on, you never know it might just lead to your best meeting ever!