The Ultimate Energizer Guide - How to get your teams going again

A week before your team has the functional unit testing and Go-Live of a new software solution. The team and you are a bit stressed with last minute changes and meeting the deadlines. On top you get invited to a workshop and you do not even know why you should go. At least they gave you a rough agenda. Business as usual: one presenting the others listening, but are they really present or with their heads at the go-live? 

Changing the scene... 

It’s Thursday 1st June 8:45 am. Go-Live of our product is nearing, too. Tribe leadership and a ScrumMaster team which I am part of prepared an open space for our quarterly two-day workshop for 60 people. But there are not only flipcharts, but also sports decorations. Participants entering do not wear suites nor shirts. They wear sports gear from their favorite sport. Each one entering causes smiles. We also have about 20 new joiners. Their first such workshop and they are as surprised as some readers might be by now.  

It works 

We expected such reaction and after a welcome we start the day off with an energizer (Speed dating, for more details see the guide below). The at first reserved newbies start to feel comfortable. They forget about testing and go-live stress and are completely submerged in the workshop and its content. They are looking forward for day two of the workshop and feel part of the tribe. These two days were not business as usual, and I assure you that it was productive thanks to the various energizers we set at different points. 

Energizers take about 5-20 minutes and can help you on different levels 

  • They stimulate the circulation and promote concentration and attention of the participants 
  • They focus participants' attention on a common goal or put them in a mindset for a special challenge 
  • They promote participation, as everybody is involved 
  • They help individuals meet others in a nonthreatening, fun way and create a good atmosphere 
  • They build a safe space and release tension 

I use them frequently and I can tell you that teams or departments who use energizer wisely have a considerable higher productivity. It is not only about having fun. Always remember to link the activity to your current challenges or learnings you want to tackle or goals you want to reach in the meeting or workshop. It is crucial that you explain upfront what is in there for the participants and why you invite them to a “game”. If it is their first rodeo, start with an easy one and check the feedback of the group. To help you on your journey I conducted the ultimate energizer guide by categories. 

Getting to know each other 

CIRCLE WAY

  • Duration: 2-15 minutes 
  • Needed: nothing 
  • Difficulty: low 
  • Place: remote or onsite 
  • Group size: 3-100 

A classic, but very effective way to help people arrive in a meeting and create the atmosphere you need. The participants and you form a circle, and you ask a question. This can be from “How do you feel today?” to “If you could go for a beer with any celebrity who would that be?” Then you just go clockwise until everybody answered the question. Important is that you remain in this order, so everybody has his/her fair share of speaking. 

Special tip: If you have a big group, you can ask for one word instead a whole sentence as an answer. You can already set the mood for the meeting. For example, I once had a working session to enhance UX of an app. Therefore, my starting question was “When did you experience outstanding performance of an app and how was it?” 

SPEED DATING 

  • Duration: 5-20 minutes 
  • Needed: nothing 
  • Difficulty: low 
  • Place: remote or onsite 
  • Group size: 5-100 

This is a great start if group does not know each other very well. Happens often in remote working times ;) You have a room in which everybody can move freely. You tell people to walk around and anytime they meet someone they have to ask and answer a set of questions. After finishing the walk to their next date. 

Special tip: If it is about getting to know teams, you can give all teams a flipchart and some teams a fix point and the remaining teams walk from team to team taking their flipchart with them (they usually have wheels).  

CIRCLE INTRODUCTION 

  • Duration: 15-20 minutes 
  • Needed: nothing 
  • Difficulty: low 
  • Place: remote or onsite 
  • Group size: 5-20 

This is an icebreaker without moving. You stand in a circle and each participant has two minutes to get to know her neighbour and the other way around. Afterwards each one of them introduces the other to the group. 

Special tip: Let them find out a fun fact of their neighbour to share with the group or if you want a special question which meets the tone of the upcoming meeting or workshop. Time boxing is key and give signals, so no one misses any step. 

THE HUMAN KNOT 

  • Duration: 10-20 minutes 
  • Needed: nothing 
  • Difficulty: medium 
  • Place: onsite 
  • Group size: 5-100 

This energizer is great for team building and problem solving. Participants stand in a circle and grab the hand of someone who is not next to them. The group then has to untangle themselves without letting go of each other's hands. 

Special tip:  

TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE 

  • Duration: 10-30 minutes 
  • Needed: Flipchart and post-its 
  • Difficulty: medium 
  • Place: onsite and remote 
  • Group size: 5-10 

This energizer is great for team building and getting to know each other. Participants take turns standing up and telling the group three statements about themselves, two of which are true, and one that is false. The group then has to guess which statement is the lie. 

Special Tip: You should consider letting everybody write their three things down on post-its or a miro board. This way everybody remembers all things easier via seeing and hearing and the presenter can camouflage the lie better.  

CATCH THE BALL AND TELL ME… 

  • Duration: 15-30 minutes 
  • Needed: Ball and open space 
  • Difficulty: low 
  • Place: onsite and remote 
  • Group size: 5-40 

Clear a space big enough for everyone to walk around. One person holds a ball and after asking a question he throws the ball to another person. She answers the question and asks another question and throws the ball again to receive an answer from the person catching it. 

Special tip: You can predesign questions or ask for questions in a special field to mentally prepare participants to the workshop ahead. 

I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER 

  • Duration: 15-30 minutes 
  • Needed: paper and whiteboard 
  • Difficulty: medium 
  • Place: onsite and remote 
  • Group size: 5-80 

Have each participant write down their name and an obscure fact about themselves that few people know about. They throw the paper with the info into a bowl and the moderator picks one at a time just reading the obscure fact and the group has to guess who it is. 

Special tip: You can play this game in ways: one way is to have everyone just guess and see how many they get right. Afterwards they could discuss first impressions and stereotyping. The second method is to have everyone work on the sheet throughout the meeting, and offer a prize to the person with the most correct answers. If there is a tie, have a faceoff to see who can remember the most without looking at his or her sheet. 

THE HUMAN SCAVENGER HUNT 

  • Duration: 15-30 minutes 
  • Needed: Post its and “treasures” 
  • Difficulty: medium 
  • Place: onsite and remote 
  • Group size: 5-10 

This energizer is great for team building and getting participants moving. Divide the participants into teams and give each team a list of items or tasks to find or accomplish within a set time limit. It could be finding an object in the office or completing a challenge as a team. 

Special tip: in the remote version the moderator asks the participants to get up from their desk and find something in their apartment or house, like “something orange” or “something flexible”. Each round people who fail to deliver, turn off their camera until a winner is found. 

FUN FACT MANIA 

  • Duration: 10-30 minutes (depending on group size) 
  • Needed: pen and paper 
  • Difficulty: medium 
  • Place: onsite and remote 
  • Group size: 5-70 

This energizer works well to lighten the mood and get to know your coworkers. 

In the remote version you use an online whiteboard. In the onsite version, each participant writes a fun fact about themselves on a post-it or paper. The presenter reads them out loud and the group hast o guess to whom the fact belongs. 

Fun Fact: the bigger the group the longer it takes. To mitigate taking up too much time, I ask participants upfront for fun facts and create a cool PowerPoint presentation in game show format to add the special flair. 

DID YOU EVER? 

  • Duration: 5-15 minutes 
  • Needed: nothing 
  • Difficulty: medium 
  • Place: onsite and remote 
  • Group size: 5-70 

This warm-up is well suited for community building with people who do not know each other well yet. You think about a few yes or no-questions and make sure to underline common things in the team. You can also allow participants to ask questions. The questions can be something like: “Anyone who has a dog or is a dog lover.” “Anyone who has tried skydiving.” If the answer is yes people raise their hands. Ensure that everybody had a chance to identify each answer and carry on with the next question. You can also transform the game into “Never ever have I…” (but this should be done when the group knows each other better). 

Special tip: In the remote version everyone takes a post-it or a piece of paper and covers the camera of the laptop. Be aware that in MS teams in default settings you only see up to 8 people at a time. Those participants who match this statement take the post-it off the camera for a short moment and cover it before the next question. 

WHAT’S IN THERE? 

  • Duration: 5-15 minutes 
  • Needed: nothing 
  • Difficulty: low 
  • Place: onsite and remote 
  • Group size: 5-20 

Have everyone pull out their wallet or purse and pick one or two items they always carry and explain why they keep them (pictures, tickets, receipts, etc.). 
Special tip: This energizer is not suitable for bigger groups, due timing and not wanting to share personal things with big groups. 

"IF I WAS...” 

  • Duration: 5-10 minutes 
  • Needed: nothing 
  • Difficulty: low 
  • Place: onsite and remote 
  • Group size: 5-20 

This energizer is great for getting to know each other. Gather the group and give a category. Each team member is invited to complete the sentence “If I was a (category), I would be…”. For example: category car  If I was a car, I would be a VW van – always on the move and mostly seen near beaches. 

SHOULDER TAPPING 

  • Duration: 5-10 minutes 
  • Needed: nothing 
  • Difficulty: medium-high 
  • Place: onsite 
  • Group size: 5-15 

Great for learning names and focusing a group if it has too much energy. Ask the group to stand in a circle, shoulders nearly touching at the sides. An impulse is passed around the room. The tricky thing with this game is, that this impulse switches between two variations. Start the round with calling out someone’s name. That person must touch a should of one of their neighbors. The person touched must call out another person’s name. And so on. After a few test rounds (the game is much harder than it sounds!), announce that people who make mistakes are eliminated until there are two winners.  

Teamwork preparing energizer 

THE ALPHABET GAME 

  • Duration: 15-30 minutes (depending on the rounds) 
  • Needed: pen and paper or flipcharts 
  • Difficulty: low 
  • Place: remote and onsite 
  • Group size: 9-100 

This energizer is great for creating focus and getting participants to think on their feet. Participants are divided into teams and given a letter of the alphabet. The teams then have to come up with as many words as possible that start with that letter within a set time limit. The team with the most words at the end of the time limit wins. 

Special tip: watch out if you have a diverse group of mother tongues. Don’t put all English speakers in one group, when English is the game’s language. You can also add a topic the word has to relate to. This is especially great if you want to condition the team to let’s say creative thinking. In this case you only allow words that are related to great inventions (like pyramid, Pythagoras) or which must be genuine, e.g., things in my freezer: a penguin, an Eskimo.  

SURVIVAL ON THE MOON 

  • Duration: 15-30 minutes 
  • Needed: nothing 
  • Difficulty: medium 
  • Place: onsite and remote 
  • Group size: 5-50 

This energizer is based on a NASA ranking for items which are most important to survive on the moon. So, you draw the following situation for the participants: You are part of a crew on a spaceship. Due to technical issues you to perform an emergency landing 200 miles away from the moon base. 15 items survived the emergency landing. Which are the most important to reach the moon base? They go into groups and have 10-15 minutes to rank the items by importance. Afterwards they present their results (5 min). Finally, you reveal the NASA list. Here are the items: 2x 100lb oxygen tanks, 20 litres of water, stellar map, self-inflating life raft, signal flares, 2x 45 calibre pistols, food concentrate, magnetic compass, one case of dehydrated milk, solar-powered FM receiver-transmitter, 50 feet nylon rope, portable heating unit, box of matches, parachute silk and first aid kit including injection needle. 

Special tip: Don’t let the participants know that there is an official NASA list, they might google it. Observe each group in their interactions and point characteristics out after the energizer that propelled or dampened their success. 

EGG PARACHUTE  

  • Duration: 15-30 minutes 
  • Needed: 1 meter tape, 20 DIN A4 papers and a raw egg per group 
  • Difficulty: medium 
  • Place: onsite 
  • Group size: 10-60 

You form groups of 3-7 people, depending on the total group size. Each group receives an egg, 1 meter of tape and 20 DIN A4 papers. The goal is to let the egg fall from a certain height without it being damaged. The groups work in iterations. This means that first you do a round of planning and preparing the parachute. Afterwards the moderator tests each solution from a lower height and the teams start over again improving their solution, as the moderator increases the height until only one egg is unharmed. Ensure that you chose a place that is easy to clean. The cleaning staff and your insurance will thank you for that. 

Special Tip: You can change the materials and exchange the egg with other fragile, easy-to-clean materials (e.g., water balloons). After the game ask the winning team about their road to success and how the iterations played a part. This way if your workshop is about agile ways of working you can demonstrate the Deming Cycle perfectly. Bring a measure with you to have concrete numbers. This adds professionality to the contest.  

PANTOMIME  

  • Duration: 15-20 minutes 
  • Needed:  
  • Difficulty: medium 
  • Place: remote and onsite 
  • Group size: 5-100 

Just like good old Charly Chaplin. You prepare some facts and chose a person that will present one to the rest of the group by only using gesture and mimic but no voice. Like in other energizer you can use this opportunity to raise associations with the working session ahead. This makes it easier for participants to start off with the work afterwards. 

Special Tip: You can make a competition out of it and create groups. 

THE WORD LADDER 

  • Duration: 5-15 minutes 
  • Needed: nothing 
  • Difficulty: medium 
  • Place: remote and onsite 
  • Group size: 9-100 

This energizer is great for building focus and creativity. Participants are given a word and then have to come up with a new word that is related to it. The next person has to come up with a word related to the previous one, and so on, creating a "ladder" of words. 

Special tip:  

THE MARSHMALLOW CHALLENGE 

  • Duration: 5-15 minutes 
  • Needed: marshmallow, spaghetti and tape 
  • Difficulty: medium 
  • Place: remote and onsite 
  • Group size: 5-80 

Anyone who had a training with borisgloger consulting knows this energizer. This energizer is great for problem solving, creativity and teamwork. Participants are given a bag of marshmallows and a set of building supplies (spaghetti and tape) and are asked to create the tallest free-standing structure they can within a set amount of time. The construction cannot lean against anything! 

Special tip: This energizer can be played in rounds to teach people iterative working (Scrum principle and Deming cycle). You give a certain time to build, come back together to talk about your experience, give participants another slot to plan the next round. Normally I do 3 rounds. 

MY FAULT 

  • Duration: 5-15 minutes 
  • Needed: at least one ball 
  • Difficulty: medium 
  • Place: onsite 
  • Group size: 5-80 

This energizer is a great introduction to a healthy error culture and creates a lot of energy. Ask the group to walk chaotically through the room (not simply in a circle). Pass around a ball (something small and hard to catch that doesn’t hurt when you are hit by it!). Whenever someone doesn’t catch the ball, thrower and non-catcher must loudly scream “My fault!” and celebrate their mistake. After about a minute, ask the group to be more daring and instead of passing the ball from one person to the other, just throw it in the air and see if someone catches it. Ask the group to always be aware of the ball location for this.  

Special tip: Add a reflection in the end on error culture and what the awareness for the ball means translated into a work setting. With big groups you can add balls or split the group. 

ROCKING CHAIRS 

  • Duration: 5-15 minutes 
  • Needed: One chair per participant 
  • Difficulty: medium 
  • Place: onsite 
  • Group size: 5-20 

You want to foster the idea of working together and how important it is to coordinate your efforts to be successful? Then you need one chair per participant and build a circle with them. Behind each chair is a participant and they have to tilt their chair. The moderator gives signals (right or left). Now each participant has to move into the given direction and let go of their chair and catch the other chair before it falls. Coordination and timing are important. 

Special tip: If this results to easy for the group change the words, instead of right you say orange and add special commands. 

COUNTING TOGETHER 

  • Duration: 5-15 minutes 
  • Needed: nothing 
  • Difficulty: low 
  • Place: onsite and remote 
  • Group size: 5-60 

All participants are in a circle facing towards outside. This way they cannot make eye contact or cheat. As the goal of the game is to count to a certain number (normally the group size), but with the special twist that each participant can only say one number per round. If two people at the same time say the current number, the group failed and has to start all over again. Besides timing they learn trust and maybe derive tactics together even though they cannot see each other. 

Special tip: If the group tackles this task with ease, you can ask them to count again backwards. In the remote version people will have to turn off their cameras.  

OVERLAYING PATTERNS 

  • Duration: 10 minutes 
  • Needed: different looking balls or other throwable objects 
  • Difficulty: high 
  • Place: onsite 
  • Group size: 7-14 people 

Ask the group to stand in a large circle, one hand raised. Explain the following rules of the game carefully and redundantly, as they are rather complex: The group establishes a pattern by throwing the ball around the circle in a way that each person gets the ball exactly once. (That is what the raised hands are for – people who received the ball lower their hands). Each time you pass the ball, you must address the catcher with a word from a specific category (starting recommendation: name). People must the remember the two words that connect them with thrower and catcher and who they passed the ball to. Thus, the pattern is “saved” in the group mind. Repeat the pattern several times until it works fine. Then, establish a new pattern with a different ball and a different word category. Once that pattern is “saved”, overlay the pattern by using both balls at once. Repeat the process of forming a pattern with a third ball and category. Overlay them. Then ask the group to break the circle and walk around the room, still following the pattern.  

Tips: Ask participants to wait for eye contact after calling out to someone with the connecting word before throwing the ball. This will make the game easier (but still hard). Check if a pattern really works before moving on. If a previously saved pattern is broken by one person who forgot the key words or who their catcher was, the game becomes hard to facilitate! 

Reflection: What can this game teach us about cooperation within the team? (E.g. “Don’t just pass on work, be in contact about whether the work can be received.”, “Too much work in a system (high WIP) makes coordination harder”, etc.)  

Boost the energy of the group 

The Ball Toss: This energizer is great for getting participants moving and energized. Participants stand in a circle and toss a ball to each other. The facilitator can add different rules and variations to the game to keep things interesting. 

FAMILY MEIER 

  • Duration: 5-15 minutes 
  • Needed: music box and name cards 
  • Difficulty: low 
  • Place: onsite 
  • Group size: 5-80 

Great fun, inspires creativity and gets people animated. You will have to prepare cards for this game with family names. Families consist of Mom, Dad, Son, Daughter. The number of cards needs to match the number of participants. The fun part is that the names rhyme: Meier, Geier, Seier, Reier etc. (feel free to use other family names). Everybody gets a card and you play music. Meanwhile the music is playing the participants run around and without looking at their cards exchange them with people they cross. When you stop the music, they have to turn their card around to see who they are and find their family, BUT only by using their voice. No signaling! The family who first found each other and put themselves in the correct order (determined upfront by the moderator) wins. 

Special Tip: If you have big groups, expand the families. Add a baby or another son and another daughter. Do not add dogs or cats, people might not fancy being the family’s pet.  

BATTLE OF BOTTLES 

  • Duration: 10-20 minutes 
  • Needed: one bottle per 2 participants 
  • Difficulty: medium 
  • Place: onsite 
  • Group size: 5-80 

This is a more competitive energizer, requesting reflexes from its participants. You place bottles in a row and on each side of the bottle a participant. You position yourself at the top of the line and give commands. If you say shoulders, people have to touch their own shoulders with both hands. Same command and action for knees, hips and head. But when you say bottle, they have to grab the bottle between the two. 

Special tip: You can put post-its on their chest and each time they win, they get a mark. This way you can determine a winner. It is more fun if you create two groups and after each round you let people switch their opponents. The winner of each group goes to the finals meanwhile the others cheer for their group’s champion! 

DO YOU LIKE YOUR NEIGHBOURS? 

  • Duration: 10 minutes 
  • Needed: chairs in a circle 
  • Difficulty: low 
  • Place: onsite 
  • Group size: 5-60 

One of the funniest energizers. Everybody gets a chair in a circle facing towards the center. Well, not everybody. One person does not have a chair and is in the center. This person has to ask random people if they like their neighbors. The person asked can answer in three ways: “They are alright”, which means that nothing happens. Therefore, this answer is only allowed three times in a row. If she answers, “I love my neighbors”, both neighbors try quickly to exchange seats before the person in the middle can catch one. The person which is without chair occupies the middle afterwards. If she answers, “I don’t like my neighbours”, everyone has to get up and find a new chair which cannot be the neighboring chair. 

Special tip: you can add extra levels by adding specifics. Allowing people to answer “No, but I love everyone who (for example) wears orange” Then everybody wearing orange has to get up and find a new chair. 

FOLLOW THE HAND 

  • Duration: 5 minutes 
  • Needed: nothing 
  • Difficulty: low  
  • Place: onsite 
  • Group size: 4+ 

Ask the participants to get together in pairs. In each pair, ask one participant to become the “leader” and hold out their hand in front of their partner, palm facing the partner’s face. The partner now has to ensure that the distance and orientation of his face towards the leader’s palm is always constant while the leader moves through the room. The result will be a kind of dance. After a few minutes, ask the participants to switch follower and leader. (Ask participants to be kind to the other person and not make them jump around, get on their knees, etc.) 

GRENADE! 

  • Duration: 5 minutes 
  • Needed: ~1 ball/throwable object per 4 participants 
  • Difficulty: low 
  • Place: onsite 
  • Group size: 4+ 

 Set a timer for something between 10 and 60 seconds (don’t announce the exact time limit!). Ask participants to pass the ball(s) (“grenades”) around. When the timer hits zero, participants holding the ball are eliminated. When people drop the ball while trying to catch, they are counted as holding the ball until they successfully pass it on. (Ask participants to not misuse this rule by throwing hard or unfairly!) When playing with larger groups, adjust the number of balls from round to round to keep up with the shrinking group size.  

OLE! PENS BULL FIGHT 

  • Duration: 5-10 minutes 
  • Needed: one pen per person 
  • Difficulty: low 
  • Place: onsite 
  • Group size: 5-80 

Pens bullfighting is good as a fast energizer and a cheerful opening with familiar groups. There are a lot of laughters and people get moving. Plus, it's straight forward and needs no preparation. Each participant balances a pencil on one hand. To do this, the participants form the heavy metal fork with their hands and put pencils on the top of your little finger and index finger and balance them there. The hands look like bulls now. You have to push down the pens of the others. If a participant loses her own pencil, her hand goes behind her back. Only hand contact is allowed. So no pushing or touching the shoulder. Also, bulls don’t evade fights, same applies to the participants. If they meet a contender, they have to get into a fight. The last person in the group to balance a pencil on his hand is the winner. 

Special Tip: One thing to watch out for: this energizer is competitive, which spurs some groups, but puts others out of tune. So if your workshop is about working as a group on one mayor problem involving different teams, think twice if this is your energizer. 

SILLY WALKS 

  • Duration: 5 minutes 
  • Needed: space to walk around 
  • Difficulty: medium 
  • Place: onsite 
  • Group size: 3+ 

Ask the group to walk around the room chaotically. Call out a leader. This leader is asked to walk in an unusual way. Everyone is asked to copy that walk style. Call out new leaders every ca. 15 seconds.  

STOP, GO, UP, DOWN,… 

  • Duration: 5 minutes 
  • Needed: space to walk around 
  • Difficulty: medium 
  • Place: onsite 
  • Group size: 3+ 

Explain that in this game there will be pairs of commands like stop/go, up/down, clap/snap, etc. and that every time you shout a command the group must perform the opposite command. Let them walk around the room and start with a few easy commands. Then increase the speed. Build “traps” by chaining commands rapidly or adjusting your voice perfectly to the commands (like a soft, releasing “Ok, go.” after they stood around for a while clapping and snapping). Can be played as an elimination game where people that perform the wrong command are out.   

ZIP ZAP BOING 

  • Duration: 10-15 minutes 
  • Needed:  
  • Difficulty: medium 
  • Place: onsite 
  • Group size: 5-60 

Just as much fun as the one above. It also makes people alert and gets the adrenalin pumping. You stand again in a circle. One person starts with commands, he has three options: ZIP which means it’s the turn of the person right to him, ZAP which means it’s the turn of the person left to him and BOING to send the next turn to another person in the round and pointing to it at the same time. The game carries on until one person misses his turn or speaks without being her turn. You can choose a pointing system or elimination mode. 

Special tip: Do a couple of trial runs to make sure everybody got the idea. If you want to ramp it up allow people to use their hands pointing as well, but to confuse others say other commands then the direction they indicate with their hands. 

PAPER ROCK SCISSORS TOURNAMENT 

  • Duration: 10-20 minutes 
  • Needed:  
  • Difficulty: medium 
  • Place: onsite 
  • Group size: 5-60 

No explanation needed for the part of Rock-Paper-Scissors. The twist is that you build groups of two. They have to compete with each other (Best of 1 or Best of 3, depending on the time). The twist is that the loser becomes the fan of the winner and while she goes to her next battle the other follows rooting for her. This way you have a paramount final with lots of fans involved. It is Squid Game without anyone being harmed. 

Special tip: Upfront put the battles in such an order that it is clear to them where their next opponent is. This can kill the game flow or take away lots of time. Marks on the floor can help in your coordination efforts. 

EMOJI GENERATOR-IMITADOR 

  • Duration: 5 minutes 
  • Needed: emojis 
  • Difficulty: low 
  • Place: remote 
  • Group size: 5-15 

This energizer is perfect to make all participants turn on their cameras. They have to, since you have a list of emojis that you show to the group, and they have to imitate the emoji. It is a fast energizer, but also requires trust in the group to show some crazy faces.  

Special tip: As an alternative, the participants can post emojis themselves. To avoid complete chaos, you should limit it to one or two emojis per participant and establish an order (if necessary). The warm-up game is also a great opportunity for a team photo (if the participants agree). 

Why should work not be like kindergarten or school? In the end we are still humans, just a bit taller and older. I believe that we are more productive when we do this in a collaborative fun way. I hope this list helps you to untap the potential of your team or department. If you think that any energizer is missing in this list: let me know and why? Have you tried an energizer from the list?

What was your experience? 

Bildquelle: Sam Cernik auf Unsplash

Agile Coach
Agile Toolbox
Scrum
Scrum Meetings
Steffen Bernd
April 21, 2023

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Undercover Agile für Versicherer: 5 agile Praktiken für Ihr klassisches IT-Projekt

Versicherung
Agile Prinzipien
Kundenfokus

3 überwindbare Hindernisse für Agilität in Versicherungsunternehmen

Versicherung
Change
Digitale Transformation
Agile Prinzipien
Kundenfokus

IT-Projekte in der Versicherungsbranche – Das Rennen um die Time-to-Market

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Agile Prinzipien
Selbstorganisation
Social Skills

Umgang mit Fehlern & Diversität – Erfolgreiche agile Teams #2

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Agile Toolbox
Produktentwicklung

Das Geheimrezept von High-Performance-Teams

Team
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Agile Prinzipien
Freiwilligkeit
Selbstorganisation

Konsent und offene Wahl: 2 Prinzipien aus der Soziokratie, die jedes agile Team gebrauchen kann

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Meetings
Social Skills

Der agile Adventkalender

Team

If You Compete, You Lose: 5 Reasons Why Collaboration is Better than Competition

Team
Agile Toolbox
Scrum
ScrumMaster-Praxistipps
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Selbstorganisation der Teams fördern: Ask the team!

Team
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Scrum
User Story

User Stories: Und am Anfang war die Funktionalität

Team
Agile Toolbox
Design Thinking

Who Recognizes the Truly Good Ideas?

Team
Agile Toolbox
Scrum
User Story

Scrum Essentials: Was nicht in die User Story gehört

Team
Agile Organization
Transformation

Pizza Is Not Dead, and Neither Is Agility

Team

Competition Was Yesterday – Community Leads to Success

Team

Video: Dev Team

Team

Team: Management

Team

Hilfe, die Koffer sind weg oder ein tolles Beispiel zum Thema Commitment

Team

Der alles entscheidende Unterschied im Commitment

Team

Team-Heterogenität als Chance

Team

Erfolgreiche Scrum-Teams ziehen an einem Strang

Team

Das Ideenkorbprinzip: Schnelle Problemlösungen im Team, die Spaß machen!

Sustainability

Why Biodiversity Concerns Us All – 3 Facts

Sustainability
Finance

Running Ahead of the Regulators: 5 Ideas on How Banks Can Start Implementing the Green Deal Today

Sustainability

Expanding Renewable Energies: How Companies Can Actively Accelerate the Energy Transition

Social Skills
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Führung

Kommunikation im Unternehmen: Aussprache über Pain-Point-Mediation

Scrum4Schools
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Meetings

So führt ihr Scrum4Schools in der Schule ein #3 – die Treffen

Scrum4Schools
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Führung
Life
Social Skills

Trauen wir unseren Kindern mehr zu – auch in der Schule!

Scrum4Schools
Nachhaltigkeit

Retrospektive zum „Global Goals“-Projekt: Scrum4Schools an der IGS Süd #3

Social Skills
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Führung

Ein Unternehmer-Netzwerk entsteht #2: Erste Erkenntnisse aus Corona

Scrum4Schools
Nachhaltigkeit

Unser erstes skaliertes Schulprojekt: Scrum4Schools an der IGS Süd #1

Scrum4Schools
Change
Agiles Lernen
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Remote Arbeiten

Eine Scrum4Schools-Projekt-Rückschau mit Physiklehrer Ivan Topic

Scrum4Schools
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Interview
Nachhaltigkeit

Mit Scrum4Schools dem Weltraum auf der Spur

Scrum4Schools
Life
Social Skills

Die Zeugnisse stehen vor der Tür – Zeit zu feiern?

Scrum4Schools
Scrum4Schools im Unterricht

Scrum4Schools nachhaltig im Unterricht verankern: Die Deutsche Schule Bilbao zeigt, wie’s geht!

Scrum4Schools
Change
Agiles Lernen

Scrum4Schools: Unser Pilotprojekt in Niederösterreich

Scrum4Schools
Scrum4Schools im Unterricht

Fly Up – Scrum - Höhle der Investoren: Scrum4Schools im Fach Wirtschaft und Recht am Gymnasium Trudering (#1)

Scrum4Schools
Change
Agiles Lernen

Scrum4Schools - ein Projekt nimmt Fahrt auf

Scrum4Schools
Agile Schulentwicklung
Nachhaltigkeit

Agile nachhaltige Finanzbildung in der Schule: Scrum4Schools am Helmholtz Gymnasium in Essen.

Scrum4Schools
Agile Schulentwicklung
Agile Toolbox

Technik im Alltag - Scrum4Schools zu Gast in Langenzersdorf

Scrum4Schools
Agile Schulentwicklung
Agile Toolbox

Teamfähigkeit und Selbstorganisation trainieren – So spannend war der Scrum4Schools Workshop an der BBS Rohrbach

Scrum4Schools
Agile Schulentwicklung

Agile Teamentwicklung am Carl-Severing-Berufskolleg – ein Erfahrungsbericht von Bildungsgangleiter Philipp Schulte

Scrum4Schools

How to Implement Scrum4Schools Schools #2 - Create the Framework

Scrum4Schools

Scrum4Schools im alltäglichen Unterricht – Gespräch mit Informatiklehrer Dennis Busch

Scrum4Schools

So führt ihr Scrum4Schools in der Schule ein #5 – der Sprint

Scrum4Schools

So führt ihr Scrum4Schools in der Schule ein #4 – die Lerntafel

Scrum4Schools

How to Implement Scrum4Schools in Schools #1 - Basics

Scrum4Schools

So führt ihr Scrum4Schools in der Schule ein #2 – den Rahmen schaffen

Projektmanagement
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Mindmapping: So sprudeln die Ideen für Texte und Projekte

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So führt ihr Scrum4Schools in der Schule ein #1 – Grundlagen

Scrum4Schools

Scrum4Schools am Gymnasium Trudering – ein Erfahrungsbericht aus Lehrersicht

Projektmanagement
Agile Toolbox
Scrum
Scrum-Begriffe
ScrumMaster-Praxistipps

Sprechen Sie Agile? Den klassischen Projektplan in die agile Welt überführen

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Collaboration Hacks for Distributed Teams

Scrum4Schools

Scrum4Schools - auch die Schule darf Freude machen

Projektmanagement
Agiles Management
Agile Toolbox
Scrum
Enterprise Scrum

Das Management in Scrum

Projektmanagement
Change
Digitale Transformation

Agilität in der Logistik oder: Liefern wie Amazon

Projektmanagement
Agile Toolbox
Scrum

Meilensteine und Scrum

Projektmanagement

Agiles Projektportfoliomanagement

Portfoliomanagement
Project management

Too many projects? Portfolio management simplified

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Team

Wer kämpft, verliert: 5 Gründe, warum Zusammenarbeit besser ist als Wettkampf

Projektmanagement

Erfolgreiche agile Projekte jenseits von Anarchie und Kontrollwahn

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Mehr Formate
Agile Toolbox
Scrum
Scrum Values

Wie agiles Arbeiten die Kommunikation aus der Selbstverständlichkeit holt

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Change
Agiles Lernen
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Audio

New Learning heute für das New Work von morgen – mit Angelika Weis

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Life
Social Skills

Wettkampf war gestern – Gemeinschaft macht erfolgreich

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Change
Soziale Innovation

New Work Experience 2019 – ein Erfahrungsbericht

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Audit
Change

Agil im Audit: das Starter-Kit

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Agile Toolbox
Scrum
Team

Einfach liefern! Agiles Arbeiten aus Sicht eines Teammitglieds.

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Agile Toolbox
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Scrum4Schools: Lernen für die Zukunft

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Agile Toolbox
Scrum
Scrum Meetings
Retrospektive

Arbeiten wir uns gesund!

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Agile Toolbox
Scrum

Eine Geschichte von Freiheit, Zufriedenheit und gelebter Agilität

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Agile Toolbox
Scrum
ScrumMaster-Praxistipps

Who should be in (agile) HR?

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Agile Toolbox
Scrum
Scrum Values

Glauben Sie an die Seele Ihrer Firma?

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Agile Toolbox
KANBAN
Lean
Scrum

Der agile Baum als Orientierungshilfe im Dschungel der agilen Begrifflichkeiten

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Agile Toolbox
Scrum
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Produktivität auf Irrwegen: "Führen wir schnell mal Scrum ein!"

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Agile Toolbox
Scrum

Erfolgreiche Scrum-Implementierung? Dann nehmt eure HR mit!

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Agile Prinzipien
Selbstorganisation
Social Skills
Team

Freiwilliges Teilen von Wissen – Erfolgreiche agile Teams #5

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Agile Prinzipien
Selbstorganisation
Social Skills
Team

Doing vs. Being Agile – Erfolgreiche agile Teams #1

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Agile Prinzipien
Selbstorganisation
Social Skills
Team

Freude bei der Arbeit & Sustainable Pace – Erfolgreiche agile Teams #3

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Agile Prinzipien
Selbstorganisation
Social Skills
Team

Anpassungsfähigkeit & schonungslose Offenheit – Erfolgreiche agile Teams #4

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Agile Prinzipien
Selbstorganisation

Die agile Company im Selbstversuch oder: Wie agil sind eigentlich agile Berater?

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Agile Prinzipien
Selbstorganisation
Transformation

Conway’s Law to go: Warum passfähige und flexible Strukturen zu mehr Kundenzufriedenheit führen

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Remote Arbeiten
Change
Digitale Transformation
Agile Toolbox

Transformationsberatung im Remote-Modus #4: die Unternehmenskultur verstehen

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Remote Arbeiten
Team
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Workshop-Anleitung

So funktionieren eure Kreativ-Workshops auch im Remote Office

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Change
Life
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Video

Meetup mit Timo Daum: Quo vadis, Agilität?

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Remote Arbeiten
Meetings
Team
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Die virtuelle Weihnachtsfeier: remote Glühweintrinken oder echte Teamentwicklung?

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Remote Arbeiten
Change
Agiles Lernen

Homeschooling – gelingt mit Gelassenheit

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Remote Arbeiten
Change
Digitale Transformation
Meetings

Wie Sie Online-Meetings rocken 2.0: Die Einladung

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Remote Arbeiten
Change
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Agile Toolbox

Transformationsberatung im Remote-Modus #3: Artefakte einführen

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Remote Arbeiten
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Change
Digitale Transformation

Ein Jahr Remote-Trainings: Wie wir das „neue Normal“ erfolgreich integriert haben

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Remote Arbeiten
Change
Digitale Transformation
Meetings

Wie Sie Online-Meetings rocken 1.0: Der gute Gastgeber

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Remote Arbeiten

Absagen oder remote veranstalten: Unsere Meetups sind jetzt auch virtuell

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Remote Arbeiten
Agile Prinzipien
Selbstorganisation
Team

Das Logbuch als rasche Orientierung für verteilte Scrum-Teams

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Remote Arbeiten
Agile Toolbox
Scrum
Scrum Meetings

Sprint Review im Home Office

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Meetings
Change
Digitale Transformation
Remote Arbeiten

Transformationsberatung im Remote-Modus #2: Meetingstrukturen einführen