The 10 Best Icebreaker Activities for Any Work Event

Activities for Meetings, Training, and Team Building Sessions

coworkers meeting with each other and laughing
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Are you interested in trying out some of the top icebreaker activities? These top-10 activities have proven popular in meetings, training classes, and team building events. Get your participants off to a good start by using these icebreaker activities in your own workplace.

Even in your regularly scheduled, weekly meetings, a brief icebreaker makes a difference in the resulting employee conversations.

Use these sample icebreakers to build strong, effective teams of employees. Instructions and suggestions for how to make the most of these icebreaker activities are included with each icebreaker. 

  1. Find 10 Things in Common: In this icebreaker, you find ten things that you have in common with the other participants in your group. You start by telling them that simple cop-outs such as body parts are not allowed. Find out how to lead this fun icebreaker.

  2. Meet and Greet Meeting Ice Breakers: Looking for simple, fun ways to have your meeting participants become comfortable greeting each other? Here are two to try that require a bit of advance preparation, but they're fun—and the advanced preparation really isn't too bad.

  3. The Best One-Word Ice Breaker: This is becoming a new favorite icebreaker. After using it for a couple of years, it works well in every meeting, training, and team building session on any topic. In a team building session on the topic of conflict resolution, participants were asked to start out the session by saying what they think of when they think of conflict. In a second example, in a session on culture, the participants were asked to describe their current culture in one word. Why not try it out? It's definitely fun for participants.

  1. The Five of Anything Ice Breaker: You can use any number for this fun icebreaker that quickly allows participants to share interests. Make the interests germane to your session or let your participants learn more about each other. This icebreaker is easily customized to your meeting's needs.

  2. Fun and Funny Ice Breakers: Want to laugh with participants as you break the ice at the beginning of a training class, team building session, or a meeting? These icebreakers are fun and funny, and while they may not introduce the topic of the meeting, they have their own place in the world of warming people up to hold discussions in meetings.

  1. Speed Meeting Ice Breaker: Have you ever attended a speed dating session? They were quite the rage for a while. This icebreaker was modeled on the concept of speed dating. It lets you meet a large number of meeting participants in just a short amount of time. It's fun and gets your participants moving physically around the room for an added warm-up advantage. Check it out.

  2. Your Favorites—An Ice Breaker: From pets to food to flowers, everyone has favorites. That's what makes this icebreaker so much fun. Participants can't get it wrong. It embarrasses no one and the participants don't have to disclose deep, dark secrets. It's fun to hear the answers from your colleagues when they list their favorites. The key is to keep it light so that participants are comfortable sharing. Stay away from topics such as religion and politics to succeed every time using this icebreaker. See how.

  3. Energizing Questions: Need an icebreaker that encourages reflection and sharing? These thoughtful questions warm up your meeting while allowing participants to share something -important to them. Here are many examples of questions you might like to use. They're easy to customize for your meetings. They are easy to choose from depending on the mood you'd like to foster in your meeting, training, or team building session.

  1. Three Shining Work Moments Ice Breaker: Originally developed to lead a session on team building with police officers—think of unsmiling, expressionless cop faces—to understand the importance of this type of activity that was scheduled right before the cocktail hour, this icebreaker/team building activity worked so well, that it has been used over and over with different groups. This icebreaker enables participants to reflect on their years of work or education and pick three moments to share with their small group of teammates. These are the shining moments that people remember when the stars and sun seemed to align and they produced their best work, their finest moments, and their career successes. You won't hear a pin drop while participants think of the three moments to share. Here's how to lead this meeting.

  1. Your Personal Best: A Magical Team Building Activity: In this icebreaker, you ask the participants to think back over their careers and identify a moment when everything that is great about themselves was operating in high gear. They're asked to share that moment with a small group. The secret is that it is probably the first thought that came to their mind when they heard the instructions. You'll never find any participant who doesn't have a moment to share. See more of this icebreaker that allows people to share their personal best.