In today’s ever-changing industry, CPAs must develop and implement people skills. It’s especially more pertinent as remote working has become and looks to become more a part of the norm.
Companies expect their employees to work in teams towards a common goal but also to build and maintain a sense of culture. Many companies have struggled with the human side of their culture in these remote environments, especially when on boarding new hires or incorporating newer hires that had not had a chance to get a sense of the people they will be working with.
A great way to begin building that sense of culture, especially amongst newer hires is with an icebreaker. On the surface it may seem silly. But as trivial as an icebreaker may seem, it can help in many ways such as:
Leading to insights into the lives of those you’re working with
Helping people be more comfortable with each other
Sparking more creativity and the willingness to share ideas
The next time you are leading a team meeting or a networking activity, try one of these fun icebreakers:
Two truths and a lie
Have each person think of three things about themselves. Two have to be true and one has to be a lie. Each person shares when it’s their turn and the people in your group guess which one is the lie. Lookout for some shockers!
This one is a little more involved, but you could easily search the web for human bingo cards for this one. Or, if you have the time or creativity, you can create your own. Each square on the board says something like, “traveled outside the country” or “has more than one sibling.”
With gameboard in hand, the group begins networking and asking each other about themselves. Once you find out that the person you’re talking to marks a square on the board, you write their name in the square and move on to another conversation.
This one is not only a good way to find out more about your coworkers but there also great conversation starters for a deeper dive if time willing.
Would you rather
For this one you can again easily search the web for fun would you rather questions or come up with your own. One person asks the questions such as, would you rather have x-ray vision or magnified hearing or would you rather lose your keys or your cell phone, and the group responds one way or the other. Have a few people share why if you’re looking for more insights.
Toilet paper game
If you’re in person, grab a roll of toilet paper ahead of time, and if you’re doing this virtually, tell each person to come to the meeting with a roll. Next, instructed everyone to take as many or as few squares as they’d like. Then going around the group, have each person on their turn share one thing about themselves for each square that the person had taken.
Everyone starts with one fun size package of M&Ms or Skittles. Designate a category for each color candy. For example, for every red one, tell us something about your childhood, and for every blue one, tell us about something you do well.
For each piece of candy, they will share one thing about themselves for each designated category.
Create your own fun
There are endless variations of icebreakers. So, it none of these appeal to you, be creative and come up with your own.
Be enthusiastic and open minded! You spend at least 40 hours a week with each other, the least you can do is to spend a little time to get to know each other to help you be better communicators, develop meaningful relationships and most importantly, make you better teammates.
This article is brought to you by the AICPA Diversity & Inclusion Team. For inquiries about this or other D&I topics, contact Diversity@aicpa.org.