We are big fans of check-ins at meetings at Mayvin and we have been sharing check-in / ice breaker questions weekly on social media. We have built up quite a library of them and thought we would share them here.
If you are new to check-in's, or unsure about them, check out our blog post on the subject here: What is is the purpose of Check-ins at meetings? . You can also listen to our in depth podcast discussing the pros and cons of check-ins here: Check-ins at meetings - a full and frank discussion. Another way to find out more information about check-in's is to read our Principal Consultant Tony Nicholls' book on Managing Change in Organizations which has a section about check-ins.
A lot of our check-in questions are metaphors and can also be used as ice-breaker questions.
General ice breaker questions
These questions are pretty straightforward. Some people prefer this type of question to a metaphor question, because they can be easier to answer. Other people quite like the metaphor because it makes you stop and think and because you can hide behind them a bit if you want to.
Some of the questions we have asked in this category include:
- What has gone well this week?
- Which 3 words describe your week (this is a very popular check-in question)
- Check in with a colleague and ask each other what was good and bad about your weeks
Questions related to food
Our minds have regularly turned to food when thinking about check-in questions to ask. Some of the questions we have asked in this category include:
- What sort of cake describes your week?
- Which take away order are you this week?
- Which sandwich filling represents your week?
- Which dessert best describes your week?
It might seem strange at first to describe your week in terms of a metaphor like this, but it can be surprisingly insightful.
Imagine your week has been a difficult one with moments of lightness. Perhaps you could describe it in terms of a multi-layered dense chocolate cake, which seems to take forever to eat, but with a very light and airy cream topping.
Ice breaker questions for your inner child
These check-in questions are quite fun and include:
- Which toy do you feel like today?
- Which super power do you wish you'd had this week?
- Describe your week with 2 truths and a lie
Questions inspired by your home or workplace
Feeling in a practical frame of mind? These ice breaker questions might be just the thing. They include:
- Which household appliance do you feel like?
- Describe your week in terms of electrics or plumbing
- What gadget do you need right now?
- Which wallpaper pattern describes your week?
- Which Google search describes your week?
Seasonal ice breaker questions
At certain times of year it can be fun to spice up the check-in questions with a festive theme. For example:
- Which halloween costume describes your week?
- Which festive film describes your week?
Ice breaker questions relating to the environment/ places
The world around us can be a great point of inspiration for thinking about how we are. For example:
- What type of weather describes your week?
- What type of flower describes your week?
- Describe your week in terms of swimming in a pool
- What beach best describes your week?
We often think around the question and don't always answer it entirely as intended. For example what type of flower, doesn't have to mean daisy or daffodil, it could mean one just about to open its petals, or one that has wilted slightly.
Music, literature and the arts related questions
The arts are a natural place to go to when thinking about feelings and make great check-in questions
- Which colour describes your week?
- Which book title describes your week?
- Which song do you want to boogie to today?
- Which hairstyle describes your week?
- If your week was drawn by an artist which one would it be?
- Which shape describes your week?