We all have endured a cheesy icebreaker activity. Just the word “icebreaker” can send people running for the door!
But they exist for a reason. When done correctly, they can foster true connection within your team. But you’ve got to have finesse. Maybe instead of breaking the ice, we can slowly thaw it out.
Your employees want to know you have a personality, and they want to know you care about theirs! They know when you’re being genuine and when you’re just checking a box.
This one exercise that has worked magic for me over the years. It is just a simple question. It’s a routine, so all my employees know to expect it. I begin every meeting with a silly question like “What’s your favorite candy bar,” and we go around the room and share, chat a bit about why one is superior to the other, then move along with our business.
Here’s what makes this different than just shooting the breeze with my employees. I write all this data down. Yes, data. Maybe in a few weeks on their birthday (I have everyone’s birthday written down too!) I make sure to have that favorite candy bar waiting for them on their desk after lunch.
It’s so simple, right? Maybe too simple? Don’t they see it coming!!
Here’s the thing—simple, predictable, silly, or however you want to describe these moments, these are relationship building! There’s nothing in this for me, besides getting to know someone and having a little bit of connection—but it shows that I care about my individual employees.
Maybe you hate small talk, and it doesn’t seem natural to you. New things always feel a little awkward! That’s ok! The effort goes a long way, and the investment is worth it.
To help ease your way into it, I’ve put together a go-to list of questions for you.
This is a simple way to start orienting your leadership around service.
I put together all my favorite getting-to-know-you questions in a free download for you. These tiny team-building moments can really let your employees know you care about them.