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Professional Ice Breaker Activities

In a professional setting, whether a corporate retreat or a formal board meeting, an icebreaker can help get the event started and ease any apprehension on the part of the participants. Icebreakers help spark conversation and allow coworkers who might not know much about each other learn about the people they work with every day

Professional icebreakers work particularly well to open up a meeting, promote socialization among employees and wake a group up after lunch.


Ice Breaker Activities


Name Tag Interview

This icebreaker is effective for a group of people who do not know each other well, perhaps in a situation where employees are meeting for the first time. Write each person’s name on a name tag and have half of the people draw a name tag out of a hat.

Pair up the individuals and give them 10 minutes to interview each other. Focus the interview on the person’s professional history. Each employee can ask questions about his coworker’s educational background, work history and career goals.

Next, allow each person to introduce his partner to the group, talking about the individual’s career goals. This icebreaker helps to identify commonalities among group members—perhaps they are members of the same professional association or went to the same college.


Pick a Penny

Pick a Penny is a creative way to learn interesting facts about coworkers. Have each participant select a penny and check the year on the penny. Next, go around the group and ask each participant to identify the year on her penny and tell a work-related fact about that year.

For example, if Casey selects a penny made in 1993, she can talk about how she was a senior in college that year, taking her last business classes before graduating. If you have a wide range of ages in your group, this game can be challenging, but let group members exchange pennies so that everyone has a story to share about their year.


Complete the Thought

This icebreaker provides insight into each participant’s work personality. Before the event, create a sheet that lists several open-ended questions, such as “I work best when,” “My biggest work pet peeve is” or “A helpful team member is someone who.”

After each participant completes his sheet, separate participants into groups and have them share their responses. They can choose the most interesting or popular responses with everyone. Learning about what type of professional environment promotes hard work can create a more efficient workplace.


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