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Wrangling employees or members of a project for a team meeting can be a difficult assignment. Make team meetings more enjoyable by creating an opening activity before beginning discussions. Openers, also known as icebreakers, serve as a positive and nurturing format for getting team members engaged with one another. Create bonding and intimacy in a professional setting by preparing an opening activity that is fun for all involved.
Door Opening Questions
Gather everyone in a group or circle and begin with an icebreaker for finding common ground. Pick questions such as, "What is your favorite television show?" or "Where did you grow up?" Go around in order answering the question, allowing time for discussion among team members if they find commonalities. This exercise will point up common interests or help strengthen bonds of team members already working together. Another idea is to ask five questions, having everyone write down their answers and then sharing them with the group.
Two Truths and a Lie
If the team is smaller than 20 people, consider this game as an opening activity. Everyone has a turn at telling two truthful things about himself and one lie. The group must decide which statement is false. Participants should keep the lie as close to a truth as possible by not going "over the top" with a completely implausible statement. Each person should write down which statement they consider to be a lie -- and why.
Pretend someone in the group has just found a wand which possesses magical powers of changing three things about the person who holds it. Pass the wand around so everyone in the group has a chance at saying what he would change about himself. As each person states his desire out loud, discuss with him why the change is or is not important. Encourage participants to share changes they would like among the team or in their work environment. This purpose of this activity is to show everyone in the room that some frustrations are not only common but shared among the team.
Divide the group into pairs, with partners who know the least about one another. Prepare a handout ahead of time with 20 questions on it. Have the duo sit facing one another and time this activity at 15 minutes. Interview questions should be about jobs, families, hobbies, favorite activities outside of work, travel and leisure. After the time is up, reconvene as a group and have the pairs take turns introducing one another to the group, armed with new and insightful information about their partner.
Anne Kemp has been writing since 1998. She is a columnist for the "Frederick News-Post." a newspaper that is circulated in the D.C.-metro area, and she also writes a blog for FNP Online. Kemp attended the University of Maryland at Baltimore County and is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English at the University of California, Los Angeles.