Ideas and Games
"Play is the highest form of Research"
- Albert Einstein
Think that Friendships and Fun in the office is an F-word? We don't blame you. It takes consistent time and a little bit of nudging to change your company culture. Here are some of our favorite simple ideas to start Friend-Building on your own.
The Friend-Wheel: Simple Portable Fun
News flash for you. People really like spinning wheels. But they don't necessarily like learning about other people, especially if they are an introvert or are just plain shy. So instead of forcing friendships like some 1st grade teacher, think about ways you can integrate the friend-wheel with your own set of custom questions. Do you run a charity golf tournament? Could you buy two employees lunch who have never met each other before? Could you use it as part of employee on-boarding? Could you take it to a recruiting event and get away from all of the normal boring interview questions?
The friend wheel allows you to integrate Friend-Building questions that are one of the 4 ingredients to the science of friendships. Connect correct answers on the wheel to your shared activity, and all of a sudden people will be way more interested in going through the questions you choose than simply talking at your normal mixer or company happy hour.
Highs Low's and Betcha Didn't Knows
A simple ice-breaker that you can do to kick off a weekly meeting, or during a random conversation in the hallway or the lunchroom. You choose the time frame: Is it for today? For the week? For the whole year? For your entire career? Each person goes through their highs and lows, and then every once and a while some magic kicks in during the Betcha didn't know section, where hopes, dreams, and nudge talents can jump out when you least expect them. This is also a nice game to play in "silo situations" where people from different departments, different buildings, or even different ranks in the company are interacting for the first time. A "betcha didn't know" in front of an executive or boss can carry a lot of weight and start to break down what we often refer to as "vertical relationships" which are always a big part of office silos. Don't push too hard on secrets or sadness, but do challenge your team to bring some true "betcha's" to the table, and you might be surprised what you learn.