10 Great Team Building Questions and Icebreakers to Warm up the Room

shattered ice floating in blue water

Why get right to business? Start off your next meeting with some killer team building questions and icebreakers! These are great ways to help your team relax, have some fun, and get to know one another. The key here is to strike a balance between asking casual questions and getting meaningful, positive responses. Don’t ask your team who the weakest link in the office is—ask them who they’d want on their side in the zombie apocalypse! If you’re working with a brand new team and need an icebreaker or if you just want to start a meeting off on a strong note, the right team building questions will go a long way. Here are ten of our favorites:

1) If you never had to work another day in your life, how would you spend your time?

hammock hanging on a beach side villa in paradiseThis is a lot like the classic “if you were rich what’s the first thing you’d do?” question but with a slightly different spin. It isn’t asking how you’d spend your money, and it isn’t really telling your teammates that they’re hypothetically loaded—it’s just asking if there are hobbies that they’re so passionate about that they’d do them for free. This is a great team building icebreaker and it’s bound to start an easy conversation.

2) You just found out you could travel through time. What decade do you HAVE to see?

time machine going through a black hole in spaceThis is a great example of an accessible yet thought-provoking question. You can’t be right or wrong here—all you have to do is consult your own experience and opinions to come up with an answer. This should get plenty of conversations going! Who knew Rob was into ‘60s counter-culture?

3) What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

father and son sitting on a ledge during sunsetOkay, maybe this one seems a bit cliché, but it can really show what your teammates are all about. Some might be sentimental, others might be a bit more practical–regardless, this team building question will give them a chance to talk about their lives and those who have influenced them.

4) Have you completed anything on your bucket list?

yellow sand pale dug into the sand at the beachThis is a great question. It’s okay if your whole team can’t answer it—the few who can will probably have some great stories that others can relate to. Let them have the spotlight for a moment before moving on to questions that engage the whole team. Most of these stories will have the rest of the team begging to hear more!

5) Your boat is about to sink and you can only take three things with you. What do you bring to the desert island?

small island floating in the middle of blue water in the oceanAnother cliché, but this is a great team building question to let your employees know what’s important to each person. Don’t worry about how realistic their answers are. To some people this questions is asking what their favorite movies are while to others it’s testing their survival skills. Just let them explore their options and playfully debate about why their items are necessary.

6) Are you a Morning, Noon, Evening, or Night person?

roman numeral clock embedded in a rockThis could be a good opener to get everyone warmed up to answering these icebreaker questions. It’s pretty simple but plenty of your team members will enjoy discussing their hatred or love for certain times of the day, their routines, and when they’re most productive or happy.

7) If you had to teach a class on one subject, what would it be?

professor writing on the chalkboard in front of classThis question could tell you a lot about the passions and interests of your teammates. Maybe Mandy wants to teach literary criticism. Maybe John always wanted to teach philosophy. You might even have a scientist or two in your midst! Regardless, this will do exactly what team building questions should: get your crew talking, connecting, and having fun.

8) Would you rather be the smartest or funniest person in the room?

Kristen Schaal performing at a comedy festival with arms spread outThis is the type of team building question that will fuel a lot of conversation. Once everyone puts their thoughts on ice, they’re bound to engage in a bit of playful debate about which one is the best and why. All of the pro-funny people might team up on the pro-smart people or one team will try to convince the other to get on their side. It’s a great way to get some relationships forming (at least within each team)!

9) What great books or movies have you watched recently, and why would you recommend them?

piles of books open and closed on a desk in a library

People take these things pretty seriously. Sci-fi lovers, horror fanatics, drama kings and queens, and action aficionados will all unite under their favorite genre’s banner. This will easily get your team talking among themselves about their favorites books and movies and it will help establish new friendships!

10) If you could experience one thing for the first time all over again, what would it be?

tall yellow roller coaster right as carts drop from the peakSome of them might have incredible childhood memories, favorite video games, movies, TV shows, albums, you name it! When it comes to favorite media, hobbies, or activities, everyone has that one thing that has a special place in their heart. This is a great way to figure out what it is!

Team Building Questions FAQ:

What are the benefits of using team building questions as icebreakers?

Well, it’s way better than making them introduce themselves or give short a personal presentation! Think about it: your employees are almost always the sources of a little comic relief during meetings and training sessions. Asking these questions gives them the limelight and helps everyone else unwind and warm up to one another. The right team building questions can also provide some really useful insights into the personalities of your team members and how they work together. And it’s a great way to increase your team’s cohesion while getting the room in a good mood before you start a presentation!

How do you use team building questions as icebreakers?

It’s a good idea to use these questions at the beginning of an event instead of in the middle or after it. You want to get everyone comfortable before you go back to business as usual, so break the ice right away! Don’t be afraid to change some of the questions we listed above. If you know the sense of humor or the particular interests of any of your team members, then tailoring the questions to them could encourage a bit more engagement. Also, don’t get hung up on how your employees answer the team building questions. Some might bring survival equipment to the desert island while others bring their phones and their favorite albums (even though there’s totally not an open outlet over there). Just let them have fun!

What are the best team building questions?

It’s going to depend on the group, but there are some qualities that all great team building questions share. First, you should never ask an awkward question. Don’t ask who the best looking guy or gal is, and don’t ask which two coworkers make the best couple! You don’t want to cause any rifts, and the last thing you need is a quarrel among team members who may have just met. You want the team building question to be innocent, easy to answer, and thought-provoking. If these criteria are met, it should work out really well! Good icebreaker questions share a similar structure as well. Notice how instead of asking “What’s your favorite decade?” our icebreaker put the person in a fun situation: they just found out they could travel through time—so where are they going first? That makes the questions a bit more thought-provoking and entertaining!

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