Knowing when and how to pop Icebreaker questions is one of the most important interpersonal or social skills you can have in the contemporary world. This is so important that if you master it, you will have almost no problem at all with starting conversations and keeping them going smoothly with family, friends, and co-workers. It helps to soften all forms of stiffness in people, break their silence, and make them relaxed enough for some good interpersonal communication. If you want anyone to feel free with you when you want to get them talking, then you have to be ready to understand the power of Icebreaker questions and master their usage.
The workplace is one of the places where Icebreaker questions are highly needed. The truth is that sometimes workplaces can be so boring when everyone is still new and minding their businesses, and it can get so awkward that no one is talking to each other because they’re probably shy. However, it is absolutely important for co-workers to be comfortable with each other because this helps to strengthen team spirit. There has to be a really good level of interaction between co-workers for business to get done and this is where the power of Icebreaker questions comes into play. To help people loosen up whether in the office or at work-related retreats and conferences, the use of these questions will be very effective.
What Are Icebreaker Questions?
To understand what an Icebreaker question is, you have to, first of all, understand what the term break the ice means. The term break the ice simply refers to doing or saying something in order to reduce the tension or awkward silence between strangers who have just met and make them more relaxed with each other in order to get some kind of conversation going between them. The ‘ice’ here just means the protective shell shy people tend to get into when they go to events of new places which makes them reserved and limit interaction. When you break that ice, you have succeeded in getting them to open up and get more relaxed so that conversation can flow.
One of the best ways to break the ice is by asking questions. It is this set of questions used to break the ice that is now referred to as Icebreaker questions. Essentially, icebreaker questions are those questions that have been specially designed with the intent of making members of a group, or people who have not met before, get familiar with each other and, therefore, bond better afterward by making conversation between them flow seamlessly. When you ask the right Icebreaker question at the right time, you are sure to create the right atmosphere for unbreakable interpersonal conversation.
Best Icebreaker Questions To Ask Your Co-Worker
Being able to bond with co-workers is something that will help you enormously at your workplace. It does no good at all to feel out of place or very awkward in the office especially when you’re new there. When your co-workers laugh with you, talk with you, and bond with you, it helps you to get yourself together and get your work done.
One of the only ways to achieve this relaxed atmosphere at work, and with your co-workers, is by asking Icebreaker questions. On your first day at work, or when you’re meeting a co-worker for the first time, the use of these questions will ease all the tension you feel in your chest.
- So, how did you get to start working at (put the company name)
- You seem so relaxed and so good at your job. How do you manage it?
- So, how long have you been here and what has kept you going?
- So, I’m curious. Can you tell me what your favorite office chore is?
- Apparently, you’re so good at this job and I’m fresh here. Do you have any ideas for me to get started?
- What’s the one word that you’d like to hear from your boss?
- When you were only a kid, what kind of job was your dream job?
- You have probably heard of the existence of different kinds of jobs. But, what is the worst kind of job that you have ever heard of?
- You have so many co-workers. So what trait do you admire the most in them?
- If you were allowed to meet with any historical figure of your choice right now, whether living or dead, who would you like it to be?
- You look like you would love vacations a lot. But if you were to pick only one place to go to on vacation for the rest of your life, what place would that be for you?
- I really like the sound of your name. Can you please tell me what the name means?
- What would you say is the most challenging aspect of your job?
- What do you think is the most important personal attribute that you bring to your job?
- What was the best job you have ever had? Is this it?
- What is your favorite office machine?
- What is one goal you’d like to accomplish during your lifetime?
- If you can go back in time and change history, what would you change?
- If you were allowed to trade places with someone, anyone at all, for one day, who would it be?
- If you were to get a superpower right now, what aspect of your job would you use it for?
Icebreaker Questions for Work Retreats
Corporate work retreats are very important for any company. Every once in a while, companies organize retreats for their workers in order to promote the feeling of teamwork between them and also build a greater feeling of understanding among the employees. Corporate retreats can happen once or several times in a year and are usually very effective in helping employees gain some problem-solving skills.
During these corporate retreats, there is usually a coordinator who keeps the events going. It could be the team leader or the chairman or CEO. Basically, someone needs to be at the podium making sure that what needs to be done at the retreats is done. These coordinators often need to set the atmosphere right by reducing the tension and getting participants calm and relaxed with each other. One of the main ways to do this is by asking Icebreaker questions.
- You all look so really smart! what is the secret? What should I know?
- So, if you can change anything about yourself, what would you change?
- I know nobody wants to die, but if you could choose, how would you want to die?
- Looking at you, I know you all would like to travel the world. So, if you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?
- Tell your coworkers something you appreciate about your company.
- If you could choose any one person, living or dead, whom would you most want to be like?
- I want to know about your hobbies. What are your favorite hobbies?
- I’m not saying I would buy it for you but if you could eat your favorite food now, what would it be?
- I am sure that you have so many skills inherent in you. But if you were given the opportunity to instantly pick up a particular skill that you don’t have yet, what skill would that be?
- What would you say If I asked you to describe yourself using three words?
Fun Icebreakers For Meetings
- Just like me, you like an adventurous person who would like to travel. What countries have you traveled to?
- If you were to describe your team using one word, what word would it be?
- If you’re bold enough, share two things about yourself that you think no one at the table may know.
- You look like people who are in love with themselves. So tell me, what is the one thing you really like about yourself?
- Name one colleague who you think is the most likely person to escape alive from a deserted island.
- Were you excited about your first salary? What is the remarkable thing that you used the money to buy?
- If you were given the opportunity to invite any historical figure of your choice to become your teammate, who would that person be?
- Which of your team member is most likely to cry in the heat of an emotional moment? Name Them
- If you were given the chance to become the boss for just one day, what is the very first thing you would do afterward?
- Look around you. Which one of your team members do you think is most likely to start their own companies?
Team Building Icebreakers For Virtual Meetings
In the contemporary world, virtual meetings are getting so common. Since the coronavirus pandemic broke out, people have been forced to remain at home and work from there. This means that they have to resort to meeting online with coworkers and bosses in virtual settings where they can deliberate and plan activities. More and more people now find virtual meetings a viable alternative for staff and executives of companies.
Just like real-life meetings, virtual meetings also have coordinators who have to bring order and make sure the meetings are cordially observed. They also need to set the atmosphere right and get people relaxed, ease their tension, and make sure they are in the right mood to participate in and contribute to the meeting.
- So, I am really curious about something. Are you a morning or night person? Tell me about it.
- If you were allowed to change one thing about yourself right now, what change would you make?
- You look like you would like time travel. So, if you could go back and visit any time period, what time would you travel to and why?
- When last did you go on vacation and where did you go to?
- I’m curious. Tell me what your favorite activity to do on vacation is?
- If you were the king of your workplace, what are the three missing factors that you would add?
- If you all could choose an imaginary friend in the whole world, who would you choose and why?
- You probably like to eat a lot but if you were to eat only one kind of food for the rest of your life, what food would you like to be?
- If you had the chance, right now, to pick any living person with whom you can hang out for dinner, who would that person be?
- I want opinions. What do you think is the most important personal attribute that anyone can bring to their job?
- If you were given the chance to eliminate one thing from your daily schedule right now, what would it be?
- You look like you love to read. So, what is your favorite book?
- You look like a very fearless person. But have you ever feared for your life while on vacation?
- I am not saying I will grant it. But if you could 1 wish granted, what would it be?
- So, I’m curious. If you were to have an unlimited storage of one thing in the world, what would it be?
- For you, what has been the worst thing about working from home?
- Which of your team members do you think is the funniest?
- Which one of your colleagues is most likely to become a successful career as an actor?
- Do you love team building activities? Which one of the team building activity is your favorite?
- If anyone here can go on to have a very successful career as a talk show host, who would that person be?
How Long Should Icebreaker Game Sessions Last?
Breaking the ice, when you’re trying to get people to become more relaxed, should not take too long. The whole process could take up to 5 to 20 minutes depending on how receptive the people you’re trying to bond with, are. However, good Icebreaker questions are expected to make anyone soften up in no time.
The idea is for people to go from having their ice broken to engaging in the main topic of discussion. So, the discussion just progresses from the point of breaking the ice to other matters up for deliberating on. When it is for work-related matters, a person (probably the team leader), trying to break the ice at team retreats of conferences, simply goes from asking Icebreaker questions to presenting the work or seminar for the day.
Could Icebreaker Questions Lead To A Bad Outcome?
Icebreaker questions are awesome and they can help to ease people up and make conversations flow better. However, they can also go wrong and lead to a bad outcome. If the wrong questions are asked as Icebreakers and at the wrong time, they can lead to an awkward situation and make people even more tensed than they already are.
To make sure things go the right way, you can decide to answer the Icebreaker questions first when you ask them and thus make it easier for the others to answer. You should also keep it simple and fun so that people don’t think it is an exam they are being made to answer.