Three Minutes About You is an icebreaker that allows team members to get to know their peers deeply in a very short period of time, thus acknowledging our differences and getting to know each other’s personalities and backgrounds as an important step to embracing diversity.
Time: ~10-15 minutes
Three Minutes About You Icebreaker is a good fit for:
- New teams – this will let people get to know each other
- Teams that work together for a long time – in this case, people might go deeper in opening themselves up
- Introverts (and extroverts, of course, too) – as people will be talking in pairs, without a lot of attention, and everybody will have their time to talk
- Round 1. Ask people to break up into pairs and after a signal tell their partners about themselves in a free format: facts, descriptions of themselves, personal traits, likes and dislikes etc. – 1 minute each, then switch.
- Round 2. Ask people to change a partner. And now, explain that this time they need to do the same but not repeating any information they shared in the 1st round.
- Round 3 is the same as Round 2. Change a partner and share information that you have not shared during round 1 and round 2
- Use a sound signal after the first minute so that people would switch – to ensure that everybody in a pair gets their 1 minute to talk about themselves.
- Don’t tell right away that people will need to provide different facts and information in the next rounds – this will add some unexpected element and prevent people from picking information they were sharing in the first round
- It is a good practice to make a debrief after, asking people what they think about the exercise and what was the most surprising and interesting for them. Usually, what surprises people the most, is that they have been talking about some things about themselves that they have not shared before – like their dreams and projects.
The first round is usually quite easy, but with the second and especially third round, people sometimes get stuck – they don’t know what else they could tell about, despite just such a short time slot of 1 minute. What usually happens is that people go beyond some superficial information and open up at a deeper level. This creates a special bond between two people, and we understand better not only our peers but also ourselves.