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Non-Profit Basics

Introductions and Icebreakers

BE CoachingI started working with a new company in 2015 and was surprised by the lack of personal introductions individuals made as I walked the halls of the company.  First instincts of course as a human hmm I wonder what’s wrong with me?  And then my thoughts focused on folks don’t like change, folks are wary of the new gal on the block, lots of folks tend to be introverted and its hard to step outside their comfort zone. Perhaps, they really do want to meet me and are unsure how to make the approach.

It’s a new year and I’ve made a resolution to step up and make sure I’m the one breaking the ice and introducing myself.

Being intentional to reach out to others and learn more about them is a goal I’ve set, in order, to create a more successful team environment.  In addition, the company shares a monthly birthday list. My goal: to send a quick birthday email to each person on the list this year. What a simple yet fun way to connect with new co-workers.

When leading a meeting it will be important to go around the room or table and have each person introduce themselves, even, if the individuals have worked with each other for years.  Adding a twist will create camaraderie and allow people to learn something new about their teammates.  One of the most basic icebreakers is having everyone say a few tings about themselves.  It gives everyone an opportunity to learn one another’s names, as well as a few interesting facts about the person, such as countries visited, favorite food, color or music they like to listen to.  Have fun and get creative with the facts that are going to be shared-the more obscure the facts usually the more engaged everyone becomes.

Tailor your icebreaker/introductions depending on the size of the group.  When hosting a large group consider the Talk Show Icebreaker, for this game you will want to split the group into pairs.  Ask each person to interview their partner.  One acts as a talk show host and the other acts as a guest.  The talk show show goal is to find two interesting facts about the guests.  Then the pairs will switch roles and repeat the activity.  Bring the group back together and have each talk show host introduce their guest with the two interesting facts.

Name tags whether company designed or a simple white tag with stick provides much needed assistance when trying to remember teammates and new connections names.  We are going to be securing permanent name tags for our leaders at the new company.  I plan on wearing mine throughout the halls to allow folks to get to know me and not be afraid to say hi if they don’t remember my name.  The name tag will be in place for networking, training and presentations I attend as well as conferences.  It is a simple way to be remembered.  Great branding for your company to the outside world as your logo will continue to be seen.  Remember to wear your name tag on the right hand side so when you give a firm handshake (that’s for another day!) you will turn your body slightly and have your tag easy to be seen and read.

Is it time to step out of your comfort zone and be the first to make an introduction when networking or simply starting to work at a new organization? Be intentional this year to be friendly and professional when breaking the ice and introducing yourself in a group or someone one-on-one.  Build your team in 2016 by starting meetings with a fun and friendly icebreaker.  As your team laughs and learns more about it each other the more you will see your team and organizations goals achieved.  Wear your name tag both inside and outside your organization so others can get to know you.

Making the Most of 2015

WOW ! It’s hard to believe another year has past.  Have you taken time to ponder the old year and reflect on your accomplishments  both personal and professional.  For that matter have you looked at your life timeline to chart your high’s and low’s over the last 3, 5 or even 10 years.  It is really important to understand where you have been successful in your life. And to review all the goals you’ve achieved as you get ready for another year.

Are you ready for the newest of a new year ?  Ready for the hope and promise that a new year brings?  Have you been thinking, how will I make this year the best ever??  Have you considered what you will need to do differently to make personal and professional changes??

Thinking in three’s usually helps get ideas rolling?  I enjoy asking my coaching clients these three questions.  I hope they help you in getting ready for a positive new year.

First question,  What do you really want?  Honing in on your goals and dreams will help to define your year and clarify the steps you will need to take. Keep it simple: two goals for personal and professional that can be achieved in the first quarter or first six months of the year and then one major goal that may take longer.  You may also decide to create categories within personal and professional, however, remember not to overwhelm yourself with too many goals too fast.

Second question, Where are you at, at this moment in time?  This is your reflection time.  Making a date with yourself for an hour or two away from the hustle and bustle  will allow you to reminisce and review the year and maybe even your last 3 to 5 years.  Understanding where you are currently will help you plot a road map for where you want to go!

Third question, Next best step(s)? Now that you are ready to move forward what are the next best steps.  Feel free to write down a few and then bounce them off a trusted advisor.  Taking those next best steps will move you in the direction you want to go.  Keep in mind that you may/will make adjustments along the way.  Being flexible and open increases your chances of achieving your goals and dreams.

We have heard it many times-life is a journey and not a destination.  Enjoy it!  Take time to breathe and stop along the way to smell the flowers.  In the end it’s the friends, family and strangers you meet along the way that forms the fabric of your success in life.  All the best to you and a Happy 2017!

“Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood…Make big plans, aim high in hope and work.”  Daniel H. Burnham


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