One of my favorite icebreaking activities is to have people craft their own 6-word memoir. You can tell a lot about someone in just six words.
My go-to 6-word memoir: Love is cookie dough ice cream.
Yes, I explain to my participants, I do love ice cream. And chocolate chip cookie dough is my favorite. But that’s not all. At my wedding, we had an ice cream cake (and one of the layers had… you guessed it… Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream). And one of my favorite days of the year is the first Saturday in February, which is also known as International Ice Cream for Breakfast Day (seriously, it’s a real thing… and it’s coming up… you’re welcome). I sit down to breakfast with my kids, and we eat ice cream. For me, love and ice cream are hopelessly intertwined.
You can get pretty deep with just six words.
I had a chance to reach out to some learning and development colleagues and ask them to write a 6-word memoir around their training careers. Some of these folks are pioneers in the field of L&D, or authors, or senior executives. Others are just starting out or have been working on the front lines of effective learning and development initiatives for several years. All of them have an interesting perspective. Here’s what they wrote:
JD Dillon: Building connections between people, not content.
Jane Bozarth: Thoughtful design matters more than software.
Shannon “The Learning Rebel” Tipton: Has. To. Be. A. Better. Way.
Julian Stodd: Question widely, fight inequality, lead humbly.
Zsolt Olah: Zsolt’s been through The Looking Class.
Melissa Milloway: It’s back to the drawing board.
Michelle Baker: Creative, collaborative learning is her jam!
Miranda Greenberg: Molasses to crunchy peanut-butter to almond-butter.
Marci Morford: Teenagers: no. Teaching: yes. L&D FTW. (Author’s note: FTW stands for “for the win”)
Brent Schlenker: Teaching is the best learning tool.
Kelly Palmer: Learning – the power to change lives!
Mike Taylor: Passionate curiosity shared to help others.
Kristin Anthony: Fell in and learned to swim.
Priscilla Shumway: Creative curious learner transforming trainers’ classrooms
Kirby Crider: ADDIE often looks more like ADAIDAADDIAE
Rachel Barnum: I’ve learned to work with everyone.
Scott Enebo: Curious facilitator encouraging discovery and reflection.
Tom Spiglanin: Facilitating knowledge sharing through incessant change.
Erin “E.J.” Peterschick: Connect the dots, and voila: trainer!
Matthew Guyan: Varied, growth, challenging, rewarding, frustrating, support.
Amy Warren: The pieces will eventually fit together.
Mary Cropp: Good idea! What’s the behavior change?
Casey Gulkin: Training fuels my passion for learning.
Ajay Pangarkar: Unexpected anticlimactic journey of discovery & change.
And of course, yours truly: I’ll take Mr. Sketch over PowerPoint.
Do you want to play? If you had to sum up your L&D career in exactly six words, what would it be? Let’s read your memoirs in the comment section!