Now that most of us have been meeting virtually for over three months, I am seeing that the novelty of working at home has worn off. Remote workers are settling into a cadence of independent work, meetings, and informal collaborations. Unfortunately, it looks like this will continue for at least another quarter or even to the end of the year.
Even though some are returning to the office with appropriate social distancing and sanitation measures in place, other employers are “splitting” the workforce with staggered days/hours/shifts with everyone coming in and out of the office at different times.
Even the split schedule creates a bit of a challenge for the “team” to get together as one – and everyone ends up on a periodic virtual call!
While the tendency is to make this meeting all about the team’s business, I strongly suggest a fun icebreaker to kick off the meeting.
Another one of my favorite virtual icebreakers is the “Show & Tell” Activity.
Remember grade school when you were asked to bring in your most treasured possession and share it with the class?
Ask each team member to bring in (or wear) something significant and then have each person share the item and explain the significance in 30-60 seconds. (You gotta give ’em a deadline, or this will take forever!). Note: this works best if you mention this in the agenda as “prework” or even send a special reminder so people don’t forget. In a pinch, at the beginning of the meeting, you can take a minute and ask everyone to go get their item or picture of that item.
Here are some show and tell ideas:
- Your favorite item
- An artifact from a vacation, trip, or adventure
- A picture of your favorite place to vacation
- An audio clip from your favorite song/band
- Your first concert
- Paraphernalia from your favorite sports team
- Copies of your favorite recipe
- A picture of one of your ancestors
- A picture of your pet, or your actual pet
- Your favorite Halloween costume
- Favorite funny home video clip
- Your baby photo
- Something interesting that sets you apart from others
- Your first job
- Your first…..
Or you could ask them to wear their favorite:
The ideas are endless! What’s your favorite show & tell?
For more information about how to lead your team in the virtual environment, use these resources.
KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CPF | Master, CSP is a high-stakes meeting facilitator and professional panel moderator. She’s been facilitating teams of executives and managers in making better decisions and achieving greater results for over 20 years. She is the author of the award-winning book, Boring to Bravo: Proven Presentation Techniques to Engage, Involve and Inspire Audiences to Action.