Ice-breaking is just a first step

I’m working on a table of contents for an ice-breaking book for McGraw Hill. At first I wan’t inspired by the topic, but I found my inspiration when talking with wise friends about what makes an ice-breaker matter. They used words like purposeful, and forward moving. Suddenly it all clicked in. I was a bit turned off by the plethora of meeting openers and activities that have little or nothing to do with the meeting at hand. You know, talking about your favorite pet as a child. But once we started talking about the deeper purpose of our proposed phrases, I felt inspired. 

None of us likes the word ice-breaker very much. For one thing, it focuses on getting rid of what we don’t want – ice – instead of what we do want – warmth and trust. And we want warmth and trust so we can get in alignment with each other. But alignment is only another step. Alignment is far better than working at cross-purposes, but it’s not as dynamic as synergy. Synergy taps into everyone’s creativity in ways that allow for forward movement.

So we go from ice-breaking to warmth and trust to alignment to synergy. I’d love to title the book Perfect Phrases to Melt the Ice to Create Alignment that Evolves into Synergy, but I know it won’t fly.

I’m sure once I’ve had more time to synergize with my buddies, the perfect title will come. I love the creative process, even if I often wish it would move more quickly than it does. 

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