This week I’ve handed the #weeklydigest over to a client. Lisa Angus is Head of Human Resources at Transcend Packaging. We have been working together for some time on a cultural change program. As you know I am all for sharing inspiring ideas and when Lisa mentioned this great idea to me, I felt it was something that could be implemented by all of us simple, cheaply, and quickly.
Over to Lisa.
If you could be any Marvel character, who would you be?
If you could take a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?
What’s your go-to for a mood boost?
Got you thinking, haven’t I? That’s exactly what these icebreaker questions do for our employees here at Transcend. From discussing our favourite place in the world to our greatest personal achievement in the last year, one simple question posted on the canteen’s whiteboard creates a buzz that reverberates throughout the entire building.
Icebreakers are a fun, interesting way to get people talking. Even Shakespeare, in The Taming of the Shrew, used the term “break the ice” to summarise how a few social niceties can melt even the trickiest of characters.
Icebreaker-generated conversations have the ability to create thought-provoking but light-hearted conversations, inspire feelings of empathy, encourage collaboration and make people feel part of a team, as well as creating a feel-good work culture that is interested in and cares about its employees.
Not only do these questions generate fun, internal conversations, but they allow employees to share more about themselves than they might do otherwise. From their favourite Marvel character to their special talents, employees are encouraged to divulge fun facts that allow us to celebrate their triumphs with them.
These questions have allowed us to step beyond one-word greetings into in-depth, hilarious discussions. Sharing experiences, funny stories, ideas, knowledge, and laughter is helping to create genuine, long-lasting connections between our team members. After all, magic happens when you engage people in discussions and these icebreakers are the perfect opening. What are you going to ask ?
Isn’t that what we are all striving for in our relationships.
It’s all about KNOW | LIKE | TRUST. Taking someone from being unfamiliar to familiar, the developing the relationship from intimate to meaningful.
These simple conversation starters are helpful in finding shared values, common ground, things to bring people closer together. The simple act of getting to know someone, like some and then eventually trust them helps bond a team. As Patrick Lencioni talks about in ‘5 dysfunctions of a team’ Trust is the foundation of all good teams.