I can see myself in front of a woman I just met with a list of deal breaker questions: “If my toddler is a strong-willed nightmare, will you A) quietly judge me, B) pour me another glass of wine, commiserate and laugh at my tales of woe or C) act concerned and then suggest I lather both my baby and I down with essential oils? As technology connects us more and more through our computers and gadgets, we can often become disconnected with the people sitting right next to us in PTA meetings or park benches. Some of us are lonely as hell, simply because we’re at a different stage of life than our most beloved friends. Now it seems our neighbor is more apt to call CPS on us when our kids play in the backyard while we cook dinner than come over for coffee and keep an eye on them while we hop to the corner store for some milk.Pick wisely, we only have 30 seconds.” Do I really need timed sessions of quick interviews to find someone to hang out with me? That doesn’t make our growing use of social media a negative, but it can have an impact on how we create (or struggle creating) friendships within the world around us. Sometimes our desire to have connections with other women causes us to spend time with people who don’t jive with our personalities, share our values or support our parenting choices.I’ve been talking about top teams and ways to get them aligned in the past few weeks.Last week we ended with the Secret Ingredient that Ties Top Teams Together, where the bottom line is that people need to really know each other before they can become a high performing team. Speed dating A non evasive team building activity to kick off discussions about personal relationships is a speed dating exercise in which you request team members to answer a number of different speed dating questions.It’s natural to arrive a little nervous to a speed dating event, particularly if you have never been speed dating before and don’t know what to expect.Trust me, after the first speeddate or two (and after the first drink or two!It could be they’re a little weird, passive aggressive or vaguebook on Facebook until we just can’t anymore!
Dating nights are fun, so always go with an open mind and a big smile. Unless you’ve got a job as a lion tamer or professional champagne/bacon taster, it’s best to leave out the details of what makes you similar to every other person in the room.The key is the first questions, which needs to be the toughest one, the one that everybody wants to know the answer for and the one that people gossip about. As the audience gasps and holds their breath at the audacity of me to ask the question everybody wants asked but nobody dares to.Then, I keep on digging deeper with follow up questions that doesn’t let the boss off the hook but forces him/her to explain their actions and address the consequences. Personality Tests Personality tests like MBTI or Belbin are great, non intrusive ice breakers, in which team members get an insight in the personality type and preferred styles of their colleagues.This exercise as well as the next two exercises can’t be done straight of the bat and require some team gestation time. Mask Exercise This exercise asks participants to draw one of the mask they wear.It’s used to help people go deeper into themselves or to break open a “stuck” group.One of the best dating tips I give guests is to avoid talking about work too much at singles nights. Although it’s nice to hear what people do to get a sort of background picture, don’t spend your precious 4 minute speeddate explaining how you’ve just taken on a new really complex finance modeling system which is bound to boggle and bore your date.