Virtual Icebreaker – October Surprise!

Try This Icebreaker at Your Next Virtual Meeting


With people working remotely, we understand how hard it can be to develop your team.  Here is a virtual icebreaker that is easy to deliver and proven to be effective.  Enjoy!

October Surprise! (approximately 10 minutes)

Here in Canada, our Thanksgiving holiday takes place in October.  Regardless of the date of your Thanksgiving – or if you celebrate the holiday or not – this icebreaker is a great way to set a tone of gratitude and appreciation in your team.

Step One: Before your next virtual meeting, email each team member privately with the name of one other team member.  Ensure that every name in your team has been given out – don’t forget anyone!  In the emails, instruct participants to come to the meeting prepared to share a few sentences of gratitude and appreciation regarding the person whose name they received.

Step Two: Start your virtual meeting by selecting someone to go first.  Have them unmute themselves and a) reveal the team member’s name that they were given, and b) share their thoughts of gratitude.  Once they are done, whoever they were talking about (the person whose name they had) will unmute themselves and go next.  This will continue until everyone has had a chance to both give and receive words of appreciation.  If a team member is missing, and as a result, someone goes without receiving kind words, simply ask the entire team to unmute themselves and offer some thoughts of gratitude towards that person.

Step Three: End the activity by sharing some words of appreciation and gratitude towards the team as a whole, appreciating the hard work they’ve put into navigating the past season with resilience.

Bonus Round:  If time remains, you can go around one more time and ask each team member to also share something they are excited about between now and the end of the year.

Have fun!

Tim Arnold

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