Recently my company (of 10 people) moved to a new building, where we share the floor with another company (also of about 10 people). We don't share offices, just the coffee machine.

Because they receive clients in a meeting room next to the coffee machine, talking at the coffee machine is discouraged. That makes it hard to get to know them, even though we share a space.

To allow us to get to know each other, our team has invited them on a Friday afternoon drink, which invitation they happily accepted.

To actually get to know names and jobs, I was wondering if there are is any easy game-like thing we could do to encourage this. It should mainly be fun! Any ideas?

edit: In response to the comments: it doesn't have to be a game. Just something to 'guide' people. Regarding the culture: we're programmers, they have both programmers and advisers. We're in The Netherlands, which has a very open culture by itself.

  • Google "game getting to know". A fun one is dramatoolkit.co.uk/drama-games/item/getting-to-know-you/…, which is like a 'present yourself' exercise. I may look up some games later tonight when I'm at home. – Jan Doggen Apr 17 '14 at 14:11
  • 1
    Does it have to be a game? It's a small number of people who will have an opportunity to meet on other occasions. Are these people not very social? Hopefully there's one person who knows how to "work a room" and get things going. – user8365 Apr 17 '14 at 17:02
  • 2
    Whether and what to do here probably depends on the culture -- of the companies, of the professions involved, and of the locale. I can imagine professional schmoozers (like fundraisers and salespeople) going for games, while many programmers would say "wait, this invitation is contingent on touchy-feely games? I'm out!", with a spectrum between those. If you've thought about this as background to your question, could you edit it in? Thanks. – Monica Cellio Apr 17 '14 at 22:03
  • 1
    @MonicaCellio I've edited the post in response to your question. – Frank Kusters Apr 18 '14 at 6:32
  • what is the purpose of getting to know them? Are you working on the same project? Are you in unrelated fields? Are you mortal enemies? It helps to know the goal of the activity. – mhoran_psprep Apr 18 '14 at 11:19

Talking usually works :) but you obviously mean everyone learns everyone's name at the same time. Here's a couple ideas.

1) This isn't a big group thing, but a little more one-on-one. Say for the first drink, everyone needs to find someone of the other company and buy their drink for them. This will encourage people to ask the other person's name and drink order, and because they pair up it immediately initiates conversation. It is more one-on-one for sure, but then you don't have to remember 10 names all at once. And it's a little more adult than a "pass the ball and say your name" thing.

2) Have everyone pick someone and learn their name, position, and something about them. Then everyone can walk around in pairs and introduce their new "buddy" to another pair, including what you learned about them. Obviously you'll only introduce them to your new friend to your coworker, but then you'll learn another person's name at the same time.

I'm clearly not a big fan of group things. I find it hard to learn everyone's name at the same time, and if people aren't fans of public speaking, they definitely won't be comfortable. That's just my opinion though.


You should play games that allow people to tell others about themselves without necessarily having to actively do it, because some people are not that social and need other people to get them talking. Games like having someone ask a question like whether people like Windows or Apple and getting them to move to sides of the room, and then keeping coming up with categories until everyone is in a group or by themselves is always interesting. Once you run through a few different topics you'll find that people will remember someone by their combination of choices or having being singled out rather than trying to remember a name but still not knowing very much about someone.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.