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The Five of Anything Ice Breaker

My Favorite Simple Team Building Activities


Looking for a winning team building ice breaker that you can use for meetings, training classes, team building sessions, and company events and activities? My five of anything ice breaker makes group cohesiveness and cooperation a natural extension of the discussion when you use this team building ice breaker.

Five of Anything Ice Breaker Steps

  1. Divide the meeting participants into groups of four or five people by having them number off. (You do this because people generally begin a meeting by sitting with the people they already know best.)

  2. Tell the newly formed groups that their assignment is to share their five favorite movies of all time, or their five favorite novels, or their five least liked films, and so forth. The topic can be five of anything - most liked or disliked. This ice breaker helps the group explore shared interests more broadly and sparks lots of discussion about why each person likes or dislikes their selected five.

    While I generally recommend ice breakers that are related to the topic of the meeting, five of anything is a quick, fun team building activity that people really enjoy. No one is asked to leave their conversational comfort zone and I have never found a participant unwilling to share the answers to this type of question.

  3. You can also use this ice breaker for topical discussion. As an example, in a session on team building, you might ask, "What are five dysfunctional behaviors you have experienced when participating on an unsuccessful team?" Or, "Think about the best team you have ever been on. What are five key factors that made it your best or most successful team?"

  4. Tell the groups that one person must take notes and be ready to share the highlights of their group discussion with the whole group upon completion of the assignment.

  5. Debrief the team building ice breaker by asking for a volunteer to read their list of five of anything. Or ask the volunteer to list any movies, for example, that more than one person had in common and shared as their favorite. Then, ask each group to share their whole list with the whole group.

    Because people are almost always your best source for laughter and fun, the reading of the lists generates a lot of laughter and discussion. You can also catch the drift of the conversation in the small groups based on the transitions made from item to item.

  6. When the volunteer from each group is finished, ask the rest of the participants if they have anything they'd like to add to the discussion before moving on with the rest of the session.

This team building icebreaker takes 10 – 15 minutes, depending on the number of groups that need to report their discussion.

More Resources for Team Building and Team Success

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  4. Improve Workplace Communication
  5. Meeting Management
  6. Ice Breakers for Meetings
  7. The Five of Anything Ice Breaker

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