I recently gave a virtual workshop on Virtual Teams, and during the wrap-up, several participants mentioned the idea of starting to do a “Teach Me” icebreaker.
I’ve been mentioning this technique for years, so I was surprised it was a key takeaway. But then again, we are living in “working from home” times, and teams are desperate for connection and community. And this quick icebreaker provides a fun way to get to know your teammates.
What is a “Teach Me” Icebreaker?
It’s two minutes where one person on the team teaches everyone else something (anything simple!) in two minutes or less. While it can be work-related, many are not. My first teach me moment was “how to make a dirty martini.” I assembled the ingredients and got everything ready, including a little recipe card with a martini glass. At the start of the meeting, I showed the team how to make a dirty martini (shaken not stirred). Ninety seconds later, we had a laugh and proceeded with the meeting. While the topic (dirty martini) isn’t a surprise for anyone who knows me well, you’d be surprised at how creative your team can be!
I have found that people need a little inspiration so they can dig into their own life experiences and come up with their own “teach me” icebreaker:
- How to make a fluffy omelet
- Make an origami bird
- Tie your shoelaces so they don’t untie easily
- How to insert several lines into an excel spreadsheet (some want to keep it work-related, and that’s perfectly okay!)
Or, for a variation on the theme:
The Key to ____________ is……
The Secret to ___________ is….
How to ____________
Try a “Teach Me” icebreaker at your next meeting and make sure you rotate the role so each team member has a shot at teaching others something unique, interesting, or unusual about them!
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.