Teams with the strongest relationships often have the most successful outcomes and highest levels of productivity, as team members feel comfortable leaning on one another for support.
But for many teams, conflict and differences of opinion can drive a wedge in team dynamics, which can easily begin to impact your team’s efficiency and quality of work. So, how can you prevent this from occurring?
Well, strengthening relationships using team-building questions is a good place to start. Asking questions that allow team members to bond over their commonalities and understand one another on a deeper level can lead to improved teamwork.
Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of 100 different questions for team-building to help you out. Let’s take a look.
As a team leader, you should treat team-building questions as an opportunity to help team members get to know each other while also prompting creative conversations on various topics. While not all of these questions are work-related, they can help people find common ground, which will ultimately strengthen your team.
Team-building questions can vary widely in terms of their purpose. But overall, they serve as a team-building activity that allows people to get to know one another in a very low-stakes context. They provide an opportunity for everyone to share information about themselves, even if they might ordinarily be more quiet or reserved.
Why waste time on team-building questions that oftentimes have nothing to do with work? Well, good team leaders know that building strong relationships among team members is key to improving team outcomes.
In case you’re still not convinced let’s take a look at a few of the top benefits of integrating team-building questions into your project activities:
Some teams — especially ones that are remote or hybrid — often struggle with effective communication. Starting team meetings with a few team-building questions can help start a casual dialogue that encourages communication in other work areas.
Team-building questions and exercises help team members find common ground, which strengthens their relationships with one another. This typically makes people feel more comfortable working together and leaning on each other for support.
Some team-building questions are more creative, prompting participants to broaden their thinking. Hearing team members’ answers also encourages them to consider alternative perspectives that could result in more creative project outcomes.
Helps in avoiding conflict
Team-building questions provide a glimpse into coworkers’ personalities and modes of thinking, which can be incredibly helpful when navigating situations that may result in conflict.
We’ve all been asked icebreaker questions — usually when you find yourself in a new context with people you’ve never met before.
But, contrary to popular belief, these types of questions don’t need to be reserved for these rare occasions when you’re meeting a large group of new people. Instead, asking your team icebreaker questions on a regular basis can be a fun and beneficial activity.
You might be wondering how you can introduce these questions regularly in a casual way. Here are a few ideas:
- Write a question of the day on an office whiteboard and encourage your team to record their answer underneath.
- Occasionally ask icebreaker questions in company Slack channels. You could even create a channel solely dedicated to team building, providing a space where people can regularly engage with these questions. Tools like Slack also allow you to set up polls for further team engagement.
- Ask a team-building question at the beginning of your weekly team meetings.
- Encourage your team members to go on virtual or in-person coffee breaks with each other so they can ask some of these icebreaker questions and get to know one another.
- Incorporate team-building questions into conversations during team outings, whether that be company happy hours or an employee retreat.
- Start your performance review meetings with questions that can help relieve stress or encourage employees to consider their role within the team.
There are endless possibilities regarding the team-building questions you can ask your team members. Be mindful that the cultural background of each team member might impact how comfortable they are answering certain questions.
Don’t forget that situational context will have a large impact on which questions are appropriate to ask too. For example, personal questions might feel out of place during casual conversations.
For this reason, we’ve broken our questions down into 10 different categories with 10 questions within each to give you a variety of options to choose from.
When asking questions for team building, general icebreaker questions are a good place to start. These tend to strike a balance between funny, personal, and serious and are a great way to bring people together who have never met before.
- If a genie gave you three wishes, what would you wish for?
- What’s the number one thing on your bucket list?
- What emoji most describes your personality?
- If you could have a dinner party with anyone, living or dead, who would you choose and why?
- What’s one of your unpopular opinions?
- What cartoon character do you most relate to and why?
- Which time period would you most want to live in?
- If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three items would you bring with you?
- Are you a cat or dog person? Do you have any pets?
- If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you’d buy?
From dream job to greatest achievement, there’s a lot that you can learn by asking your team more serious team-building questions. These types of questions tend to be more reflective and may have more of a professional tone.
Because these questions tend to have more substance, they’re helpful in building trust and paving the way for more meaningful relationships. The following questions might also be insightful to include during interviews with potential job candidates.
- What’s your greatest professional achievement?
- What was your dream job when you were younger?
- How do you approach work on days when you’re not feeling motivated or inspired?
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
- What strategy do you use to overcome challenges at work?
- How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance?
- What’s a skill you’re currently working on developing?
- What motivates you?
- Have you ever experienced a career setback that you had to bounce back from?
- What’s a personal habit or routine that’s contributed to your career success?
Think of personal background questions as an opportunity to learn more about where each team member was raised, the unique experiences they’ve had, or what they’re passionate about outside of work. These questions should still be lighthearted and should avoid delving into overly personal matters.
- Where did you grow up?
- Have you had any interesting or unique jobs before joining our team?
- What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
- How do you like to unwind after a busy day?
- Do you have any siblings?
- Favorite family tradition?
- Do you speak any other languages?
- Are you a morning person or a night person?
- Are there any mentors who have influenced your career or personal development?
- What’s your earliest childhood memory?
Would you rather questions tend to be some of the best conversation starters since the answers are so subjective and will differ by team member.
Because these questions aren’t personal, they might be good to include at the beginning of team meetings or on an office whiteboard to encourage discussion and engagement.
- Would you rather eat your favorite food for every meal for the rest of your life or never eat your favorite food again?
- Would you rather have the ability to fly or be invisible?
- Would you rather have a time machine that only goes to the past or one that only goes to the future?
- Would you rather live in a world of perpetual summer or perpetual winter?
- Would you rather be the funniest person in the room or the most intelligent?
- Would you rather be a contestant on a dating reality show or a survival reality show?
- Would you rather be able to teleport anywhere instantly or read minds?
- Would you rather be able to speak and understand every language or master every musical instrument?
- Would you rather explore the depths of the ocean or outer space?
- Would you rather be able to run at 100 miles per hour or fly at 10 miles per hour?
In the same vein as would you rather questions, funny team-building questions are an excellent way to ease tensions and encourage laughter. Keep in mind that every team member will likely have a different sense of humor, so picking the right questions for your team is important.
- What's your most embarrassing childhood fashion choice or hairstyle?
- What’s your most memorable "you had to be there" moment?
- If you were a food, what food item would you be, and why?
- Do you have a favorite knock-knock joke?
- What’s a weird food combination that you enjoy?
- If you were a potato, how would you be prepared?
- Would you rather have to dance everywhere you go or have to sing everything you say?
- If your life had a blooper reel, what would be the funniest blooper on it?
- Would you rather have to always wear a clown wig or oversized clown shoes for the rest of your life?
- If you could have a conversation with any inanimate object, what would it be, and what would you ask it?
Entertainment-themed questions can help your team identify commonalities in terms of the books they read, the shows they watch, or what their favorite movie is. Questions about pop culture might also fall into this category.
- What’s your guilty pleasure TV show?
- What’s one movie that should not have had a sequel?
- What’s your favorite book?
- What was the last concert you attended?
- Do you listen to podcasts? What are your top favorites?
- What famous person would you cast to play you in a movie about your life?
- What’s your go-to karaoke song?
- What’s the last TV show you binge-watched?
- What’s your favorite board game to play with friends?
- Have you ever had a memorable celebrity encounter?
Values-based questions tend to be more thought-provoking questions that provide insight into each team member’s sense of purpose and their view on life. These questions are often serious, so they might not be appropriate for lighthearted, casual environments.
- What’s one thing you wish you could change about the world?
- How do you define happiness?
- If you were running for president, what would your campaign slogan be?
- What’s a personal motto or philosophy that guides your decisions and actions?
- What’s a value or belief you have that has changed or evolved over time?
- Is there a social or environmental cause that you’re passionate about?
- What do you view as the most important quality in a friend?
- Do you volunteer?
- What’s the most valuable life lesson you’ve learned in the last year?
- What teacher in school had the biggest impact on you and why?
Travel is a passion for many people, and as such, it can be a great way to foster connections among your team and share stories and experiences. Here are a few ideas of questions to ask.
- What’s your dream travel destination?
- If you could spend a year living in any city in the world, where would you choose?
- What's your favorite mode of travel: road trips, flights, or train journeys?
- Do you prefer a trip to the mountains or beach?
- What’s a unique cultural tradition or festival you've experienced during your travels?
- What's the most challenging travel experience you've had, and what did you learn from it?
- What’s your favorite trip you’ve ever been on?
- Is there a unique food or dish you've tried during your travels that you loved?
- What's the best piece of travel advice you've ever received or would offer to someone planning a trip?
- What's the most unusual souvenir you've ever brought back from a trip?
Debatable team-building questions serve to encourage healthy debate among team members. There’s no right answer to any of the following questions, and yet, many people feel strongly about their answers.
- Should a hot dog be considered a sandwich or a taco?
- Which should you pour first, cereal or milk?
- How many holes does a straw have?
- Does pineapple belong on pizza?
- Is water wet?
- What came first, the chicken or the egg?
- Can you cry underwater?
- Can a pop-tart be considered a type of ravioli?
- Is cereal a soup?
- If a tree falls in the woods when nobody is there, does it make a sound?
These questions encourage creativity, as they encourage your team to put reality aside and consider scenarios they’ve likely never thought of before. Your team’s answers will showcase their values and personalities.
- If you could be a fictional character from a book, movie, or TV show, who would you be?
- If you could have any job for a day, what would it be?
- If you could meet your future self, what would you ask them?
- If you could switch lives with someone for a day, who would it be?
- If you could be the best in the world at something, what would you choose?
- If you could spend a day as a professional athlete, which sport would you choose?
- If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
- If you could eliminate one global issue, what would it be?
- If you could have a pet from any species, which would you choose?
- If you could invent a new technology, what would it be?
All in all, asking icebreaker questions is a great way to encourage team building. Whether you’re looking to encourage connections with a new team member or help your entire team deepen their connections with one another, hopefully, these 100 questions will prove useful.
And if you’re looking for project management software to help keep your team’s work organized, Rodeo Drive can help you out. The tool allows you to create budgets for projects, plan your team’s activities, track time, and access reports on your team’s performance.
Don’t just take our word for it — join Rodeo Drive for free today to see how our tool can improve your team’s collaboration and centralize your workflows.