What are team meeting Icebreakers?
That's in the name itself! A lot of situations at work require one to break the ice first. Otherwise the meetings end up being too formal, cliched and boring. Breaking the ice before starting a group work helps everyone be at ease with each other and increase camaraderie.
Most managers and scrum masters use a combination of fun questions and simple games to kickstart a meeting.
Should you do Icebreakers in every meeting?
Well, Icebreakers are well suited for almost all kind of meetings! Personally I love using simple questions to lighten the mood and ensure that meetings are not too templatised! Unless the agenda is too serious, I would recommend to go ahead and use Icebreakers at will.
Some of the usual meetings in which managers (especially those managing a remote team) use Icebreakers:
- One on one meetings
- Sprint retrospectives
- Team meetings
- Monthly reviews
- Daily standups
- Weekly status updates
Special points for remote teams
- I always recommend remote leaders to embrace the asynchronous nature of remote work! Which means that you don't have to call a meeting for this. Ask questions in advance over email, a survey form (or a tool like Kaapi, of course!) and let people reply at their own comfort.
- Try to focus on simple Icebreaker questions vs complex games. You can play fun games once in a week too, but chat based fun conversations are the perfect way to simulate the office water-cooler!
Examples of good team building questions
You should always try to personalise them for your team, and make it contextual e.g. inside jokes! But in case you are looking for a pre-built library of such questions, you can read more at this article.