Creating a great team dynamic is something which rarely happens naturally but, when you get the chemistry and the relationships just right, amazing things can happen. Adding new players into an established team, whether that’s because you are merging business units or have acquired a new firm or been the subject of an acquisition, can unsettle the status quo quite considerably.
While a period of adjustment will naturally be needed, you can help your newly merged team to begin creating new bonds and productive relationships by introducing a few icebreaker activities. There are hundreds of team building exercises out there but, I think these four games and challenges in particular work really well where one or more teams have been merged.
Two questions and a lie
This is a fun ice breaker for those who don’t know each other or don’t know each other all that well – though you may find even those you do know quite well surprise you! The idea here is that everyone taking part in the activity has to share three statements about themselves, with two being true and one being false. The other people in the session can ask questions to try and determine what’s true, and what’s a lie. This one always brings a few laughs, especially if you have colleagues with a flair for the dramatic or a great poker face.
Jenga – with a twist
Who doesn’t enjoy the classic party game, Jenga? It naturally leads to a bit of competitiveness and conversation between participants so it’s a great ice breaker on its own for newly merged teams. You can also add an extra element to this by writing questions on some blocks or adding an additional puzzle or team challenge. This gets people communicating, helps participants to get to know each other better in what is commonly a social situation and can get those competitive juices flowing!
If you ever had scavenger hunts as a kid, you’ll know how much fun they can be. They work great as an icebreaker to introduce new teams to each other because they require team mates to work together to solve clues and be the first to the prize. To ensure that your teams aren’t comprised of people who already know each other, either put everyone’s name into a hat or bowl and have people pull a partner out at random or use bibs in different colours – everyone randomly picks a bib to determine who’s in which team.
Create an escape room
If you want to really push the boat out, either create – or book – an escape room. Escape rooms are incredibly popular right now and can be done physically or virtually. Divided into random teams, groups have to solve complex puzzles to break out of a room. It’s fun, gets people thinking and encourages everyone to work together as a team to find and solve the clues.
Have you tried any of these ice breakers? What are your favourite ice breakers when introducing new teams to each other?
Also published on Medium.