Ice Breaker Questions for Meetings at Work

Open Your Meetings, Retreats and Trainings With a Great Ice Breaker Question

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Need ice breakers for your meetings at work? These are sample ice breakers that you can use to start out your meetings, retreats, team building sessions, or training classes. With the right ice breaker question, you can focus the group on the content of the meeting.

Or, you can decide that you want the participant warmup focused on laughter and fun. With ice breaker questions, you can, for example, schedule quick exchange activities throughout your retreats or training classes.

Advantages Ice Breaker Questions Bring to Meetings, Retreats, and Training Sessions

Ice breakers help your meeting participants get to know each other and they warm up the conversation between participants at the meeting. Once you use ice breakers to break the ice, the participant discussions flow comfortably.

They also provide an excellent opportunity to encourage more questions, exchanges, and sharing of experiences among your participants.

They encourage conversation which is typically slow when a group gets together for the first time. People are a little bit uneasy in the company of strangers and, even in the company of coworkers. They don't want to draw negative attention to themselves. And, they really, really, really don't want to sound or look stupid or uninformed.

Using Ice Breaker Questions at Regular Meetings and Retreats

For your regular meetings, where participants know each other—often very well from daily interaction, ice breaker questions can still serve a purpose.

You can use them to help get the conversation started and, especially when they focus on the topic of the meeting, they are a good way to move participants into the main meeting agenda.

For example, for a meeting on building successful work teams, an ice breaker question that would work well is, "When you have worked with a successful team, what factors were present in the working relationships?"

How to Facilitate Ice Breaker Questions at Meetings and Retreats

Here are guidelines about how to facilitate and use these ice breaker questions for meetings. Take a look at these guidelines before you use any of these suggested questions to open your meeting, training class, or retreat. You'll find helpful tips that will make your facilitation and the meeting successful.

Note that some of these questions are more suitable for participants who don't work together and are meeting for the first time. Others are more suitable for people who work together regularly. Some of the questions will work in either situation.

Note also, that the choice of an ice breaker question that you use in your meetings, retreats, or training sessions is limited only by your imagination. These samples are offered to get you started. Work with a few of these and developing your own ice breaker questions will become easier.

Ice Breaker Questions for Meetings at Work

  • What's rocking your work world today?
  • What do employees complain about in your organization?
  • What are you most worried about at work this month?
  • What characteristic do you value the most in your coworkers?
  • What is the most important personal attribute that you bring to your job?
  • What are you most excited about in relation to your job this year?
  • What's one work-related skill that you'd like to develop, especially if you could do it easily?
  • What coworker characteristic do you find most irritating?
  • What's the one word that you'd like to hear from your boss?
  • If your workplace was a tree, what kind of a tree would it be and why?
  • What one factor or facet of work do you complain, moan, and groan about the most?
  • What's the single most important factor that you would change about your job?
  • What is the most significant factor, that your organization has control over, that interferes with your success?
  • What is the single most significant factor, that your organization controls, that is fueling your success?
  • If you were the king of your workplace, what are the three missing factors that you would add?
  • What coworker habit drives you crazy or bugs you the most?
  • Describe the work culture in which you could most successfully contribute your best work. How far from your ideal is your current workplace?
  • You often hear that people are an organization's most important resource. Is that true for the organization that employs you?
  • How much money would you need to win to walk away from your current job?
  • What are the circumstances that would have to happen in your current job that would cause you to secretly job hunt?
  • When you have worked with a successful team, what factors were present in the working relationships?
  • When you have worked with an unsuccessful team, what contributed to its failure?
  • What are the three key characteristics of the boss for whom you would do your best work?
  • What characteristics must a work assignment have for you to love the assignment?
  • Describe the personality of a coworker with whom you could be best friends. Share why?
  • If your workplace was a car, what kind of a car would it be and why?

More Recommended Ice Breaker Questions for Meetings and Work

These are additional sample questions that you can use to start out your meeting, retreat or training class. In the right circumstance, use the chosen ice breaker question as the focus or content of the meeting.

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