ice-breaker-activities

Article #1: Ice Breakers – Speed Dating Style.

Three fun, fast, informal team building ice breakers anyone can commit to memory.

What’s the relationship to speed-dating?

Speed-dating is a fun and efficient way for a group of people to rapidly interact with each other . The informal, and perhaps even absurd, nature of the speed-dating environment, combined with the time pressure of the ticking clock helps remove the professional barriers. This gives them the opportunity to bond on a more personal level.  What’s great about this format is that it’s an easy model to adapt to many locations and situations so it’s perfect to base a team building ice breaker on. It’s also memorable, which immediately makes it more useful than 90% of the other ice breakers you’ve ever played and forgotten!

ice breakers speed dating 1

Adapting the model to your advantage

Teams are like a fluid, they are constantly changing and adapting to the environment around them. If you’ve just found yourself in a new team environment why not help mould the next change into a positive one by introducing  one of these three light-hearted ice breakers.

The three games suggested below require minimal set up, are easy to communicate and most of all are lighthearted and fun. Practice them through in your head so you have them ready to call upon at short notice…just remember: “Team building, speed dating”!

GAME 1: Who would you…and why?

Benefit:

Different colleagues will definitely know some people better thank others. This is a nice way to introduce colleagues in a positive light as this game ensures participants will naturally choose peoples positive attributes.

Steps:

The pair have 1 minute (30 seconds each) to pose each other 1 question based on the following format:

“Who would you…and why?”

Their answer must include someone from the office that their partner knows.  Questions can be varied and creative.  For example,

  • “Who would you let borrow your brand new Ferrari and why?”
  • “Who would you let babysit your children and why?”
  • “Who would you want on you quiz team and why?”

Run the segment for 1 minute, let them know to swap over after 30 seconds.  At the end of the round change partners and repeat for as much time as you have.

GAME 2: Which is the lie?

Benefit:

Learn something unexpected about your colleague.

Steps:

  1. Firstly, have everyone come up with 3 “facts” about themselves. 1 is true (e.g. I’ve got a black Labrador named Bruce”), and the other two is a complete lie (e.g. “I used to play badminton professionally for my mother country”).
  2. Use the speed dating format, one at a time each pair has half the time to read out their statements and be questioned by their partner who is trying identify the true fact.
  3. Run the segment for 2 minutes, let them know to swap over after 1 minute.  At the end of the round change partners and repeat for as much time as you have.

GAME 3: Who are you?

Benefit:

The inquisitive nature of this ice breaker help lock non work related facts about their colleagues in their  short term memory.  The repeated interview format then moves that into long term memory.

Steps:

  1. Pair the group off and give 5 minutes for both people to interview their partner with non job related questions. 5 minutes is a long time so each person should aim to get 7 facts from their partner.  Explain that shortly everyone will have to do a quick “presentation” to the group about their partner.
  2. At this point put everyone’s name in a hat and get people to draw names keeping them hidden.
  3. Now go around the group with each person giving a quick 30 second “presentation”about their partner.  People need to pay special attention to the information about the people whose name they have drawn from the hat.
  4. It’s time for the speed-dating set up. Each time someone sits with a new partner they must try to determine the name of the person on their partner’s piece of paper. They do this by asking questions relating to the information they’ve heard about each person in the presentations.
  5. Run the segment for 2 minutes, let them know to swap over after 1 minute.  At the end of the round change partners and repeat for as much time as you have.

Round Up of all 3 games

Don’t forget to draw a quick conclusion by thanking everyone for taking part and end by asking the following question to the group:

“Who learnt something new about their colleague that they would be comfortable sharing”.

This is nicely round of the activity.

Summary

Informal ice breakers like this are quick, easy, fun and simple to remember. It is easy to see that you will really make yourself look good in the eyes of your team if you can do something like this at very short notice – just remember “Team building, speed dating” and hopefully one of the three games above (or something similar) will come to mind! What is more, you will at least partially achieve your goal of getting people interacting in a positive way with each other in a limited space of time (under 20 minutes).

If this blog makes sense to you, imagine what you could achieve with more complex team building exercises, more time and a professional team building group leader. Please give us a call to discuss whether our corporate team building service might be able to help you get your team bonding, building and operating at something like its full potential.