When it comes to meetings at work, sometimes you are stuck with a tough crowd! You know what I’m talking about, that crowd that rarely participates in answering questions, aside from that one guy.
Just how do you get them to come out of the shells? I’ll tell you how: Ice breaker questions! For work, this means questions that are funny, random, but clean. It also never hurts to make it relevant somehow to what the meeting is about!
Ways to Get People Involved
Ice breaker questions for work are a great way to kick off any meeting, boost some moods in the room and get a few chuckles going! (of course, it’s always good to serve up some coffee and bagels, too!) Just what kinds of questions would make for good ice breaker questions for work environments?
Before I delve into the examples, let’s read over a few tips, shall we?
- Target specific people: Although they shouldn’t know that you came up with the question specifically for them, as a boss or supervisor, you’re already well-aware of those who don’t typically participate in group discussion or meetings. Know who they are and be prepared to crack them wide open!
- Add humor: Some of the best ice breaker questions involve a bit of humor, whether it’s general humor or even an inside joke! Getting them to laugh first is a good way to get them to talk after.
- Make them relevant: While it’s easy to get carried away asking funny questions, you will probably find it a good idea to somehow incorporate the questions into the meeting if it’s before a meeting.
- Throw yourself out there: If you find yourself having a hard time getting those lips to move, either answer your own questions yourself first or offer to start by answering a few random questions from the employees!
- Give incentive prizes: Don’t tell anyone that you are going to do this, just do it as you go along and everyone will catch on! It can be a new pen, paperweight, company-branded anything, or even a sweet treat!
Sample Ice Breaker Questions
Now that you have a few tips for ice breakers, let’s look at a few example questions that could be appropriate for work. Make sure you read through the whole list and take some down that could potentially work for you! Also, it should help you to get a few ideas of your own.
- Are you a morning person or a night person?
- If you were a plant, would you be a tree, shrub, flower, vine or weed, and why?
- What workplace goals do you have for yourself this year?
- If you were any computer program, what would you be and why?
- What flavor coffee would you be?
- What vegetable would you be?
- How is a raven like a writing desk? (Alice in Wonderland reference)
- What object do you hold in your hands most often?
- If you could choose an alternative form of seating for your desk, what would it be?
- You like your coffee how you like your…
- What is the most stressful part of your job? (People love to vent!)
- What could improve your outlook on your work?
- What attributes do you bring to the workplace?
- Would you say you’re more of a Homer Simpson (The Simpsons), Peter Griffin (Family Guy), or Stan Smith (American Dad) when it comes to work?
- Is there anything irritating or distracting about your current work environment?
- What are some of the best stress-relievers for you at work?
- If you had complete control over the office, what three things would you change?
- Describe an obstacle involving work that you had to overcome, and what you did to overcome it.
- If you were to describe your thoughts as a filing system, would you say you’re more of a filing cabinet, or paper-all-over-the-desk kind of person?
- Do you prefer memos or meetings?
- If your workload was comparable to terrain, would you describe it as a bit rocky, smooth with many hills, smooth and flat, or non-navigable?
- Do you prefer to work in solitary or in groups?
- What would make you more productive in your work?
- What do you love most about your job?
- What is your ideal vacation spot?
- What is the wildest thing you have ever done?
- What is one story you are following in the news and why?
- What is one thing that you have been recognized for in your life that you are most proud of?
- What is one personal goal you hope to achieve in the next five years?
- If you were any bird, what kind of bird would you be and why?
It’s good to get a mix of work-related and general questions in there because you don’t want the meeting to feel as stressful as that first interview they had to attend to get there!
It’s meant to be fun and crack them open, get them participating and feeling comfortable so you, the speaker, can get your messages across.
Michael Scott's Fundamentals of Business on The Office
Indro Neel from India on May 24, 2020:
Nicely written! These questions will definitely make working meetings more engaging, less boring.