Crapola growth-oriented work-zoom get-to-know-you activity needed
May 4, 2021 7:06 PM   Subscribe

Okay maybe it's not crapola. I and another person at this law firm have been tasked with hosting an all-hands meeting. I'm a librarian here; our little department has recently been enveloped into a new group with such as recruiting, applications training, etc. My presenting partner has little interest, but the task is ours, so I want to find two 20-minute exercises.

But what? They have to be interactive for approx. 30 people, they have to be foolproof on Zoom, and it can't cost any money.

posted by goofyfoot to Work & Money (10 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The only thing I still love on Zoom is when people log into a meeting and their dogs or cats are all up in their business, so I vote one of these activities is everyone introducing their pets (or sharing their favorite animal if they don't have a pet).
posted by deludingmyself at 9:21 PM on May 4 [2 favorites]

I participated in a get-to-know-you activity where the host asked everyone to grab their favorite mug and share its story. It was actually really fun; most people had a mug that they had purchased as a souvenir or received as a gift, and one person who didn't was able to adapt by sharing a special pint glass instead. It gave everyone a chance to talk about themselves a bit without feeling too invasive (or facing the question I personally dread: "what are your hobbies?"). And it was fully Zoom-proof; just turn on your camera and mic, hold the mug up, talk for 1-2 minutes, and the it's on to the next person.
posted by neushoorn at 10:41 PM on May 4 [19 favorites]

I also vote for some kind of show-and-tell-activity. We had some fun doing "the weirdest object in your house" and had the other team members guess what it might be used for, if that wasn't intuitive. Lends itself to hobby-talk, but doesn't necessarily force it.

I imagine Marie-Kondo "something that gives me joy" vs "something I've finally decided to get rid off" could also work. It can trigger interesting conversations for people who feel like sharing, but it also gives everyone the option to keep things fairly superficial which is key with that kind of activity, I think.
posted by sohalt at 2:26 AM on May 5 [3 favorites]

The professional version of speed dating... give the entire team a prompt to answer (e.g. what are you looking forward to most this summer), then split the team into groups of 4-5 into separate breakout rooms. Allow ~5 min of discussion time per question. Repeat with different questions and different groups.
posted by oceano at 2:55 AM on May 5

Thirty is a lot for a Zoom show and tell. Is there a way to use breakout rooms instead? Maybe shuffle people around?

If friendly competition is encouraged, how about trivia / Jeopardy? You learn a lot about people from the random factoids they know.
posted by basalganglia at 3:02 AM on May 5 [1 favorite]

In my year-long experience enduring this type of event, my takeaway is: some folks live for this stuff; the rest at best tolerate it; at worst, actively look for ways to back out. (disclosure: I am one of the latter). However- it's pretty much the only option for this. (I hated these events in-house also, so I am really biased.)

Will you require cameras-on for the entire event? This gets REALLY wearing if it approaches 1 hour. It's tough to be "on" all that time. People need to hop off to pee or whatever.

So my reply here is more about planning and logistics. Communicate expectations up-front about camera-on/off and things like that. Some WFH connections are poor and the only way to maintain call quality is to do audio-only.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 3:26 AM on May 5 [4 favorites] has a bunch of these types of exercises and you can search by in-person or virtual. Definitely worth checking out. Good luck!
posted by meindee at 4:41 AM on May 5 [1 favorite]

We did one where you were supposed to grab something within reach of where you were sitting that tells the group something about you, and then share it (we weren't told ahead of time what the activity was going to be). It turned out fine. I hate these kinds of things but it wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting.

I really like the mug/pint glass idea above, as far as these things go. Not too personal but lets people share something about themselves.
posted by jabes at 6:19 AM on May 5

My favorite icebreaker is "what's in a name," where each person tells the story behind how they got their name - or if they would rather not talk about themselves, they can share a story about a name in their family or the name they gave a child or pet.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 8:31 AM on May 5 [1 favorite]

One thing I did with a group of folks at work was set up a collaborative playlist on Spotify and let everyone add a few songs. It was fun seeing people’s musical tastes come out. You could even give folks some suggestions, like “one song you loved when you were a teenager” or something. Then y’all can do breakout rooms or whatever and talk about the songs, why you picked them, etc
posted by itsamermaid at 7:53 PM on May 5 [1 favorite]

« Older How do I record the Today Show to my Mac?   |   Heating without gas Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments