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New terms are popping up in our language:  Pandemic Fatigue, COVID Fatigue, Zoom Fatigue

Fatigue is defined as 'a temporary loss of power induced by continued stimulation.'

At a staff meeting, a manager reported the loss of a contract due to the client's "Fee Fatigue."  The client simply got tired of paying.   The partner in the room got red-faced, was mad and burst, "There is no such thing as Fee Fatigue!  It means the Perceived Value dipped below Fees Paid."  I always worked hard in my career to avoid fee fatigue by continually driving VALUE!

Combat Fatigue by Lifting VALUE.

Let's use the same strategy to fight Zoom Fatigue. 

Videoconference calls such as Zoom, Teams, Skype, Google Hangouts, Cisco Webex, GoTo Meeting, are the New Normal.  So let's just lift the Perceived Value over the cost by introducing a little fun!

Here's my challenge for you:  start your next meeting with a cool icebreaker.

People use 2 Truths and a Lie as an icebreaker.  Here's how that goes.  Each person tells the group 3 statements about themselves.  It's up to the group to decide which two of the statements are true and which one is false. 

My favorite 2 Truths and a Lie are:

  • Danced professionally in a modern dance company
  • Worked for George Lucas Industrial Light and Magic company
  • Jumped out of a perfectly good airplane in Wisconsin

Which one is the LIE?

2 Truths and a Lie is an amusing icebreaker and works well in most situations. 

An effective icebreaker works because it gets people VULNERABLE.  They share an AUTHENTIC fact.  There's a safe environment where they get to LIE about themselves.  And best of all, they are COMFORTABLE doing it!

Key Components of an Icebreaker:  Authentic.  Vulnerable.  Comfortable.

Bonus Component:  there's usually a bit of humor and laughter, too.

As the designer and moderator of an icebreaker, it is critical to create an environment where people feel safe AND the right level of discomfort where ice can actually break.  I've seen too many failed attempts at icebreakers going way too superficial, like skimming a stone on a frozen lake.  Shallow and a waste of time.

You have to break the ice and get to that vulnerable place.  Get people to tell an interesting story.  An effective icebreaker, moderated expertly, gets people leaning in and wanting to learn more about each person.  That's the beauty!

On one of my consulting engagements, my client counterpart surprised me with an amazing icebreaker.  We gathered the team to address some tough problems which had serious people and financial implications for people across the company.  Thousands of lives were going to change because of what we were going to decide in that 60-minute meeting.

As people came into the room, very few made eye contact with us.  They knew this was going to be tough.  You could feel them bracing for impact.  The weight of the coming decisions weighed heavily.

My counterpart closed the door and started the meeting.  "We're going to go around the room and I'd like each person to take 1 minute to share something they're personally grateful for and something they're professionally grateful for."

As each person responded, eventually there were tears.  People talked about their children, the abundance they feel and respect for our talented team. 

He ended the icebreaker by sharing research showing that gratitude electrifies the brain in a different way than problem-solving.  Preceding a problem-solving meeting with gratitude opens us up to creative solutions not necessarily available in pure problem-solving mode.   LOVE Neuroscience!

It was time to get down to business with smiles on our faces and gratitude in our hearts!

Diving Under the Ice

And finally, to share some of my vulnerability within comfortable limits, here is a variation to the 2 Truths and a Lie icebreaker = Count the Truths.  I designed this just for YOU in this blog post.  Here goes:  how many truths about me are on this list:

  1. Performed magic shows at my local Senior Center when I was eleven
  2. Met my wife on a blind date
  3. Worked in a plant that made light bulbs
  4. Got hopelessly lost on a 3 day hiking expedition in Kentucky
  5. Watched a tornado touch down from a lawn chair while camping
  6. Stopped to help a stalled motorist who turned out to be someone famous
  7. Sat next to Prince while watching a band at a bar

Put your answer in the comments section!

Even better, what would your 10 Truth/Lie statements look like?  I'd LOVE to get to know you better because EVERYONE has interesting stories!  Be bold!  Share and lie about your life!

Let's eradicate Zoom Fatigue and use a cool icebreaker to create Authentic Interactions and deepen our relationships….and have a little fun along the way!



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