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A Fun Way To Start Any Meeting: The “Awesomeness Report”

I’ve written a couple of articles on how to run a meeting (see the effective Daily Huddle approach that the Ritz Carlton and others use or an easy 3-step framework in my G.A.P. Approach To Running Meetings article).

Over the last year I’ve added a fun way to start a meeting: “The Awesomeness Report.”

My friend's son Clarke and his friend really got a kick out of watching silly adults (some were naked) in the Bay To Breakers Race.

It’s real simple, I just ask the person I’m meeting with:

“What’s something really awesome that’s happened with you lately…in any part of your life.”

I’ve found this to be a super-effective way to start a meeting because it virtually guarantees that you start off on a positive note  (and “positive things happen to positive thinkers” as a wise man once said).

Some Awesome Things People Have Shared With Me In Recent Meetings

“When I sneezed last week, my 22-month-old son said his version of ‘bless you.'”

“My 18-year old son was chosen by his soccer teammates as one of the two most inspirational players on the team…and a good friend of mine’s son was the other one chosen.”

“My son just starred in the school play…and he killed it!”

“I just got back from Bogota, Columbia — a University there invited me to do 12 speeches (3 or 4 per day) and I got to travel around with a bodyguard and a translator!”

“I taught my two twin grand-daughters how to ride a bicycle…it was even more fun than teaching my son!”

“I’m going to a personal trainer the last 5 weeks…and I’ve lost 15 pounds.”

“We were named Dell’s agency of record.”

“I just helped my Mom move out of our family home that she resided in for the last 37 years… a very cathartic experience…Mom is estatic!”

“I just jumped out of an airplane with my godson to celebrate his high school graduation last Saturday.”

“My wife just got her law degree…and so we’re both finally done with school!”

“My daughter just got back from spending her Junior year abroad in Rome!”

“We (Crowdstar) just announced $23 million in funding!”

“I had my 20 year wedding anniversary and got remarried again (to the same husband) in a church wedding this time!”

“I went to Mexico for 5 days with a gorgeous Mexican woman…her parents own a lot of real estate…and we got to stay alone in the nicest house (in Punta Mita) that I’ve ever seen…with a staff of 8.”

“I’ve decided to quit my job (as a venture capitalist) and run for mayor (of San Francisco).”

“My daughter just learned to read…and just like that…she now wants to read anything.”

“We’re on our third week of 2-hour training sessions for our team…so I can retire to the Caribbean one day!”

“I had this stock in an old Internet company and it was just sold to GenPact — so I have some found money!”

“I was finishing a triathlon the other day and my 5-year old daughter ran out towards the end of the race and said: “I’m gonna beat you, daddy” — and then proceeded to beat her dad to the finish line.”

I thought it was awesome when my friend's son Brennan so easily picked up my cat Fee (Fee did not find it as awesome)

“I just spent a week in Ireland for my grandma’s 90th birthday (with my kids!).”

“I quit my job and decided to pursue my own startup.”

“I went to Brazil recently and my son got to meet his grandfather for the first time.”

“My little boy turned 5 years old and has an incredibly happy, fulfilling time at school and positive check-up at the doctor’s.”

“My younger brother just had his last day in classes in the New York City Fire Department.”

I found it awesome when my friend's daughter Lydia was so excited to show me her new pet rat

“My business and I just got quoted in the Wall Street Journal!”

“We just sold our company…I think it’s time for a new job!”

“I just quit my job (after 6 years) and I want to pursue new work in an emerging market like Vietnam or Ghana.”

“I’ve had foot issues for awhile and this pilates instructor just helped me out — and now my foot feels great!”

“The new Transformers movie is coming out!”

“My daughter is now reading and playing the piano.”

“I just got interviewed by Bloomberg’s Game Changers TV show!”

“My son was just in a play about an island.”

“I just built a content-generating tool that helps create unique content for each product in our database.”

“He got a box at Hollywood Bowl (through his client) to see Phish when they come around.”

Two other things about The Awesomeness Report:

  1. It is an especially effective way to start a meeting with someone new…it’s a great ice-breaker!
  2. You have to be prepared to share your own awesomeness!