Go beyond typical team icebreakers
When you have a team of people who’ve never worked together before, it can be eye-opening to do an icebreaker that goes a level beyond typical get-to-know-you stuff. Sure, it’s fun to learn who would play someone in the movie of their life, but here are some team icebreakers that will help reveal deeper aspects about who people are, what they value, and how they like to work.
Best Project/Worst Project
Ask each person to write down the best project they’ve ever worked on and the worst project they’ve ever worked on and what made it so in each case. You’ll reveal some danger zones the team needs to avoid in the future and understand where each person sets the bar for greatness.
My Favorite Duo
Have each person describe a working relationship that really brought out their best. Dig underneath what made the duo so effective — did they have shared values? Complementary skills? Was there a creative tension that pushed both people in a good way? You’ll learn about what each member of your team truly values in a duo.
Hopes and Fears
If the project you’re kicking off is exploring new and ambiguous terrain, have each person write down a “hope” and a “fear” about the work ahead — and keep those visible throughout the project. Documenting both, from the very beginning, can help the team stay on track to achieve the hopes and avoid the fears.