Icebreaker Games: Teamwork Icebreaker

Businessman building house of cards
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Icebreakers are exercises that are designed to facilitate interactions. They are often used at meetings, workshops, classrooms, or other group functions to introduce people who don't know each other, spark conversations among people who don't typically converse or help people learn how to work together. Icebreakers are usually formatted as a game or exercise so that everyone can relax and fun. Some icebreakers also have a competitive element. 

Why Icebreakers Help With Team Building

Icebreakers games and exercises can help with team building when they require everyone in the group to work together to accomplish a specific task or goal. For example, the group may have to work together to conceptualize and implement a strategy to achieve the task. This sort of teamwork can improve communication among group members and may even help to energize and motivate a team. 

Every Team Needs a Leader

Icebreakers can also 'break' down barriers among participants who are at different places in the chain of command in an organization - such as a supervisor and the people they supervise. People who normally don't take the lead on a team may have an opportunity to do so during an icebreaker game. This is empowering for many people and may help to identify people in the group with leadership capability and potential. 

Teamwork Icebreaker Games

The icebreaker games shown below can be used for both large and small groups. If you have a relatively large group, you may want to consider splitting the attendants into several smaller groups.

Although each game is different, they all have a common goal: get the group to complete a task within a specific amount of time. If you have more than one group, you can add a competition element to the game by seeing which team can complete an assigned task the fastest.

Sample tasks to try:

  • Build a house of cards using 10 cards.
  • Form a line according to height (tallest to shortest or shortest to tallest).
  • Think up and write down 20 words that start with the letter "T".
  • Create and write down 5 questions that have the same answer.

After the icebreaker game ends, ask the teams to describe the strategy they used to work together and accomplish the task. Discuss some of the strengths and weaknesses of the strategy. This will help all of the group members learn from each other. As you play more and more icebreaker games, you will notice that the group tries to hone their strategies to improve from one game to the next. 

More Icebreaker Games for Teams

A couple of other icebreaker games that you might want to try to encourage teamwork and team building include:

  • Team Building Puzzler - This game encourages multiple teams to compete against each other in a puzzle building competition.
  • The Ball Game - This classic group icebreaker is a great way to help people in small or large groups build trust and get to know each other better.
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Your Citation
Schweitzer, Karen. "Icebreaker Games: Teamwork Icebreaker." ThoughtCo, Feb. 16, 2021, Schweitzer, Karen. (2021, February 16). Icebreaker Games: Teamwork Icebreaker. Retrieved from Schweitzer, Karen. "Icebreaker Games: Teamwork Icebreaker." ThoughtCo. (accessed January 31, 2023).