18 Icebreaker Questions to Get to Know Your Team

Most teams want to feel connected with their colleagues.  One way to build relationships is to facilitate a short icebreaker at the beginning of team meetings or even in the middle of a longer meeting.  All you need is an interesting (and safe) question to learn new things about each other. 

Questions can be thought-provoking, reflective, creative, or funny.  Choose a question appropriate for your team meeting and invite everyone to answer. Here are some questions to get you started.

Deep Questions

If you want to build trust and learn about each other in a meaningful way, choose a deep question.  These questions are more serious and may require more time to answer.  It may be helpful to share the question prior to the meeting, so the team members have time to think about how they will respond.  Ideally, you give each person at least two minutes to respond during the meeting, including time for the team to ask follow up questions. 

  1. What do you need right now?
  2. What experience have you had where everything changed in the blink of an eye?
  3. What is the biggest trigger for stress in your life?
  4. What have you accomplished in the last year that you are proud of?
  5. Why do you think some people are successful in life and others are not?
  6. In what way are you strong?
  7. What item do you own that is not worth much money but has great value for you?
  8. How do you strive to be similar to, or different from, you parents?
  9. What did you get in trouble for a kid and how has that experience impacted you to this day?

Fun Questions

If you are looking for a quick, light-hearted icebreaker, choose a fun question.  The responses to these questions will be shorter and possibly funny.  They typically don’t require as much time to answer and there is not much, if any, need for follow up questions.  Use these when you want a fast-paced energizer.

  1. What are you looking forward to this week?
  2. If you had been able to choose, would you rather have been an only child or part of a very large family?
  3. What color do you feel like today? 
  4. If you were going to get a new tattoo, what would you get?
  5. What traffic sign best reflects your life right now?
  6. Which section in the bookstore are you most drawn to?
  7. What celebrity would you like to have dinner with?
  8. If you could instantly have one talent that you do not naturally have, what would it be?
  9. What is your favorite game to play?

Summary

A brief round-robin style icebreaker at the beginning of a team meeting can build rapport and energize your team.  Choose a question that is appropriate for your team’s level of trust and also the amount of time you have in your meeting. 

Source:  These questions are adapted from the book, 300 Writing Prompts, published by Piccadilly Inc.

About the Author: Leigh Ann Rodgers, Founder of Better Teams, is an IAF Certified Professional Facilitator with 20 years of experience in the human development field, Leigh Ann is a skilled meeting facilitator, trainer, and coach working across the globe to help leaders cultivate teams that are highly productive and positive. Learn about her Better Teams Model and Team Assessment here.

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