Let’s face it, not everyone loves an icebreaker. As a coach, facilitator, development fanatic and extreme extrovert, I love a good icebreaker. But I’m fully aware that not everyone does. With that said, no one can deny that an icebreaker is a great way to get to know others, team building, and most importantly build relationships.

In the virtual and hybrid working world we are in, this is now more important than ever. We’ve collected a list of simple, work friendly team building activities that anyone can facilitate. As coaches, these are all centered around getting to know each other and building stronger workplace relationships. 

Take an assessment as a team!

At Ama La Vida, we have a leadership style assessment we’ve created that is great for all levels of leaders. It is a wonderful tool for self-awareness, but also great for team-awareness. 

We recommend:

After you’ve completed the deep dive, keep this information top of mind. Help to make it part of ongoing discussions. Use this as a tool to build relationships and keep driving the team back to their personal strengths!

Leaders Teaching Leaders

This one is especially simple to adopt with your current processes. Carve our 20 minutes of your normal staff meeting for a segment called leaders teaching leaders. The idea is every meeting the leader that is doing the teaching rotates so that everyone gets a chance. The leader doing the teaching should plan to teach a concept, tool, or skill to everyone else present. This is a great team building exercise for the team to see what each other’s strengths are and to allow everyone a chance to teach others on the team something they are passionate about. 

Ask powerful coaching questions

Similar to the previous example, carve out time in an exhibiting meeting.  Start with one question and go around the room or screen and ask everyone to share their answer.  Be sure the questions are open ended and allow for deeper discussion, not just a simple yes/no.  Try shaking up the order in which people answer so that everyone gets a chance to go first/last. 

A couple questions you may like to start off with are:
  • What is something you are really enjoying right now?
  • Who is someone you’d like to celebrate?
  • What is frustrating you today?
  • What challenges are you facing?
  • When do you feel the most empowered?
  • What is something that has surprised you in the last week?
  • What are you currently celebrating?

Create a team user manual

We love this one so much at Ama La Vida that we have our own user manual! This is intended to be a document where everyone can both share how they like to operate but also learn how others on their team best operate. Use the user manual to create discussion around how everyone can work better together and support each other. 

Here are the questions we have in our user manual:

  • What should we know about working with you?
  • What makes you tick? 
  • How will we know you’re not at your best?
  • What makes you excited?
  • What do you expect from those you work with?
  • How do you like to best communicate?
  • How do you prefer giving and receiving feedback?
  • What ticks you off?

Start/Stop/Continue exercise

I love this exercise and recommend it to my clients all the time – it has so many uses. It can be a postmortem or retrospective reflection. It can be a periodic check in tool. Or it can be a way to just start a conversation. You can use this tool for any project, team, leader, you want. Yes you can do a start/stop/continue on a “leader”.  The sky’s the limit!

Simplistically, it:
  • Gives teams an opportunity to review how they are doing.
  • Allows a chance to identify improvements
  • Give a space to celebrate successes
  • Provides time to talk about current business. 
  • Makes it easier for teams to clarify issues without the pressure of providing feedback when they may not be ready
  • Creates action and empowers the team to make changes for the better 
  • Drives momentum and team engagement
Conducting a start/stop/continue is simple. Just ask these questions:
  • What should we start doing?
  • What should we stop doing?
  • And what should we continue doing?

Take good notes, repeat back what was said, commit to taking action and follow up.  Teams will love this tool as it’s a simple way for them to provide feedback while also seeing change happen.  

Any of these simple exercises will help you to grow the relationship with your team.  All of these can be done in person, virtually or in a hybrid setting.  Get creative with the discussions you have and keep the conversation going! If you’d like more information on how Ama La Vida can support your team and team building, please connect with us

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Jennifer Maynard

Jennifer's story is filled with stories and smiles. As she enters 20+ years of business she is happy to say she has enjoyed many career fields, companies, roles, and personal pivots. She is very excited to now be a part of the team at Ama La Vida as a Leadership Coach. Jen was born and raised in the Puget Sound area (Seattle, Wa). At age 30 she took her first life pivot and moved to Charleston, SC. In 2014 she had her first and only child, Grace. Since then, she has lived, traveled and worked all over the globe. You can read more about her story here.

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