The Dos and Don’ts of Workplace Icebreakers

We’ve all encountered our fair share of embarrassing workplace icebreaker games, which end up making people feel even more nervous and uncomfortable than before the game started. Icebreakers are important to get the creative juices flowing and ensure that everyone is at ease with one another; if they start off on the wrong note, it can put the entire session in jeopardy. To put an end to those awkward attempts to break the ice, we’ve compiled a list of Dos and Don’ts that will help any management team to get their group feeling relaxed and ready to conquer anything.

DO:

– Use your workplace icebreaker to help introduce employees to one another, get them chatting, find some common interests and, most important, share names! Many people can go an entire session without finding out someone’s name, and name badges are impersonal. Use your icebreaker as a great introductory session to other participants.

– Keep it simple. Icebreakers are intended to be ten-minute exercises that help people relax – they don’t need to spend half of that time having complex rules explained to them! The simple activities are often the best, and the most effective.

– Choose something that everyone can relate to and enjoy. If in doubt – go for a musical icebreaker. Everyone likes music in some form, and it can be a great way for groups to form connections with each other before they get down to the hard work.

– Be enthusiastic. Whatever happens, if you don’t endorse your icebreaker, your team will never get on board with it!

DON’T:

– Don’t come up with an icebreaker that will put people on the spot and make them feel uncomfortable. Encouraging someone to stand up and make a fool of themselves in front of the group might give everyone a good laugh and will certainly break the ice, but it doesn’t set the right tone for a productive session.

– There’s no need to limit icebreakers to the beginning of a session. They can be used to give a much-needed boost to bunch of flagging delegates who are starting to droop before lunch. Energise your team with a quick five-minute icebreaker.

– Don’t be afraid to mix it up if your icebreaker isn’t working. If people aren’t on board with your idea, cut it short and try something else that might get them all onside. There’s no point in continuing with a flagging game – it’s a waste of time for all involved and no one will feel any more comfortable than they did before they started. 

St Barnabas House

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3 Reasons Why Music Is The Best Choice For Team-Building

When it comes to choosing a team-building activity that will help an entire workplace to bond and work more coherently as a group, it’s important to choose a task that the vast majority can get involved in. Many are put off by terrifying team-building assault courses, and those dreaded orienteering residential trips always end with one team stranded out in the open countryside when their compass fails.

What’s the one thing that brings people together like nothing else? What is one area of culture that almost everyone has some form of interest in? That’s right – music. Whether you’re into classic rock, 18th century operettas or conventional mainstream pop, you’ll find some form of music fan in everyone, making it the ideal task for team-building activities. Take a look at our top reasons why music is the best way to unite your team:

  1. It’s energising. When you work as a team to create your own music, it’s bound to be an energising experience. Nobody wants to be the person that pens a heartfelt ballad with a totally straight face, and while it’s encouraged that people take their music tuition seriously during the session, it’s also good to have a little fun. Writing a witty song and performing it to workmates, or nailing a performance with your colleagues is a fantastic way to energise the group and give them a real morale boost.
  2. It breaks down barriers. Those with very diverse workplaces, with a range of cultural backgrounds, ages and personalities, will often find that choosing a team-building exercise is hard. Music transcends all of those things – it doesn’t matter whether you pair up a twenty-one-year old graduate with a fifty-year-old manager; if they’re working on something musical, they immediately have a common ground and can use it to their advantage.
  3. It boosts creativity. Being dynamic, creative and open to new ideas is important in many businesses nowadays, and nothing encourages open-mindedness like creating new music together. Employees can discover new creative channels they didn’t know, they can improve the way in which they communicate ideas in a group, and they can think outside of the box to produce something very special to perform for their colleagues.

So there you have it – music is the definitive way to unite your team at work and ensure that they come out of the team-building activity refreshed, rejuvenated and with an open mind as to what they can achieve when they work together.