Breaking the Ice with Positive Vibes

Photo by Cherrydeck on Unsplash

In the framework of the Entrepreneurial Operating System is a standard format for team meetings, called the Level 10 Meeting. The basis of which is to hold your team to a standard high enough that it is consistently rated, by all participants, to a score of 9 or higher (on a scale of 1 to 10).

In this framework, each L10 meeting follows a series of proven steps meant to elevate their team to the most effective and efficient meeting possible. And each meeting begins with an ice-breaker. Trust me, if you’re rolling your eyes thinking of some cheesy team-building activity, I hear you. I thought the same thing. But, the truth is, it works.

The Premise

Ice-breakers exist for a reason. Whether you’re a person who enjoys getting out of your comfort zone or not, you’ll have some type of reaction. Like a pitcher’s warm up, where each step and movement is vital in getting their body and arm to the condition it needs to be in to throw a 96 mph fastball, we should be looking to prepare ourselves in the same way mentally.

Personal and Professional Best

The standard segue in the EOS framework is for each person to share their personal and professional best from the week prior.

Why does it work? Positivity.

Especially coming off an odd 2020, where many people have been stuck in what Adam Grant calls the languishing stage of mental health, it’s so important to remind your team (and family and friends) just how amazing they are.

“Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield. And it might be the dominant emotion of 2021.” — Adam Grant

It’s a lot like keeping a gratitude journal. Research has shown that thoughts of gratitude can rid our minds of toxic emotions.

It’s the responsibility of a leader to elevate their team and to unlock their highest potential. By urging the members of their team to look back and think of something great, fun, or interesting, it will brighten the mood in the room.

Have Fun With It

At our company, University Tees, we often have a new person run our sales meeting each week. That person is responsible for bringing a fun/interesting segue. Here are some go-to questions…

  • Favorite way to eat a potato
  • Favorite travel destination
  • Is a hot dog a sandwich?
  • If you could shrink ANY animal to dog size, what animal would you keep as a pet?

It’s just a great way to get a meeting started. For my team and I, our sales meetings are on Mondays and a good segue can set the tone for the entire meeting, day, and even the entire week.

The Ultimate in Positive Vibes

While my team changes up our segue from week to week, whenever we meet for a large or important meeting, like a quarterly planning session, the ice-breaker is always the same.

We always ask each person to share a few highlights from the previous quarter or year.

Think of the possibilities!

Reader, think of all YOU have accomplished in the last 365 days. I’m sure it’s incredible. And if you wrote them out and reviewed them, I’d be willing to bet you’d be smiling thinking of the memories.

It was a difficult year. But you survived. You’re here. And you’re reading about personal development and about how you can get better.

So let’s do our part to keep raising each other up.



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Christopher Perry

Christopher Perry

Chris is a Sales Director at University Tees. He is a published writer, reader, lifter, and learner, and finds joy in helping others realize they aren’t alone.