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In Person & Virtual
meetings.

Connect because you can.

Intro

Let’s face it, between reading a book on the history of algebra, and attending the sheer number of meetings people are subjected to on a daily basis, most would choose the algebra.  Meetings suck and we get it!  However, meetings present an awesome chance to connect with others if used properly.  And doing so doesn’t have to take away from the agenda you need to get through.  In fact, these connections can happen in less than five minutes when you implement the Popcorn Pause!

How does it work?

At the beginning or end of any in person or virtual meeting, pick a question that everyone attending has to answer in ten seconds or less.  Giving only ten seconds to answer the question is key to the success of this exercise, so make sure you emphasize that time frame.  The point of the Popcorn Pause is to give those attending the meeting a quick glimpse into the lives of others, which they can then use as a conversation starter with that person at a later date.

For example...

 

At the end of your next meeting, let’s say you ask the question, “What is one place everyone dreams of traveling to one day?”, and Simone says, “My dream is to travel to Rome”.  At a later date, someone else who was attending that meeting may follow up on her answer the next time they speak with Simone by saying, “You were saying that you wanted to go to Rome some day, why is that number one on your bucket list?”  All of a sudden, these colleagues are now connecting on a topic they wouldn’t normally talk about because the team carved out less than five minutes of time at the end of a recent meeting.  A little effort, when it’s made, really can go a long way.

 

Note: 

 

When doing the Popcorn Pause exercise, remind people to save their comments on people’s answers for a later date in order to keep the meeting on schedule.  After Simone tells the team that she wants to visit Rome one day, it can be tempting for someone else to say, “I’ve been to Rome so many times, let me tell you about all of my favourite restaurants.”  If that happens, tell everyone that the Popcorn Pause is about learning quick bits of information that people can follow up on at another time.

 

Fun Popcorn Pause Questions!

*** Feel free to add your own questions too!

  • What country do you one day dream of traveling to?

  • What’s the name of the best book you have ever read and what was it about?

  • What is only one food that you could never live without?

  • Name the worst job you have ever had?

  • What is your favourite movie of all time?

  • What is one of your guilty pleasures?

  • If you could fix one problem facing the world, which one would it be?

  • No matter how silly it may sound, what’s one of your hidden talents?  Remember, it’s all about the fun of other people trying to guess!

  • Between a vacation of relaxing on a hot beach, or trekking on a rigorous adventure, which would you choose?

  • Name a past style you used to wear that makes you cringe today.

  • Name one artist that you think is totally underrated.

  • In a sentence or two, share one important life lesson you live by.  

  • In one sentence name something you no longer do that you are proud of.

  • What’s your favourite show to stream or watch on TV?

  • What subject do you wish people would talk about more often?

  • If you could snap your fingers and be good at anything, what would it be?

  • Name one person alive today, who is of a different background than your own, who you think is a great leader. (This question is posed this way to help avoid hidden bias)

  • In a sentence, what is one of your most embarrassing moments?  Keep it clean!

  • Have you ever written something that you’re really proud of?  If so, what was it?

  • Have you ever had a near death experience?  If so, what happened?

Wrapping up

Using the Popcorn Pause resource is meant to be an ember to what potentially can become a larger flame.  We understand the pressure people feel to attend multiple meetings throughout the day, and how much information there is to get through.  That’s why we designed this experience to take up only a few minutes, leaving little reason to not try it out.  Slowly, but surely, igniting these small embers of conversation will fan the flames of connection when people naturally ask others to expand on their answers in the future.  And that’s when the magic will happen!  Have fun!

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