Ever get one of those social media paste-and-fill-out quizzes that asks you to share some personal and often random information about yourself? Sure, we’ve all seen these and while they can be hilarious, they can also be a fun way to learn more about our friends and colleagues. But, this got me thinking that this could also be a useful method of getting to know our new employees and share a lighter side of our executive team.

Ice breakers UGH

Think about it. At nearly every new hire orientation session, someone inevitably asks each individual to share some tidbits with others, like:

  • Your name
  • Where you live
  • Where you went to school
  • If you have any special hobbies
  • How you found out about the company/job

Basically, just a bunch of information that is designed to help people find common connections with others who are new to the organization, at the same time as being an ice-breaker. We’ve all been there (some of us several times) and it’s ALWAYS incredibly awkward.

There is a better way

I’d like to suggest that instead, each person is handed a “tell me 10 things about you” list and take the time to fill it out and share this. It could be a lot more fun and productive than the former exercise.

Here’s my 10 Things I Bet You Didn’t Know About Tess list:

  1. I am the oldest of 4 sisters, and grew up in upstate New York.
  2. When I was a kid, I loved to draw and create my own little stories to share (yes, even then I was a writer).
  3. I love to sing and as a youngster was active in the choir, and I once played a role as one of Santa’s reindeer in a Christmas play in elementary school.
  4. Because my parents did not want to listen to the noise, I was not allowed to play the drums until years later when I bought my own set and played for 10 years in my 20s and 30s.
  5. Years later, I also once got dragged on-stage in a live rendition of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
  6. Helping people has always been in my blood; I knew that I wanted a career in either human services or human resources — although my mom wished I had become a nurse.
  7. I have a 26-year old son and he is the biggest blessing in my life. I cannot wait until he gets married and has some grandbabies I can spoil (hint hint)!
  8. In April of this year, I cared for my mom for 7 weeks in her home while she recovered from open heart surgery. I was grateful to be able to work from a laptop during this time.
  9. I have worked from home for 12 years now, and have written for clients in multiple countries including Australia, The UK, Norway, Switzerland, Ireland, India, South Africa, Canada, and of course the good old USA.
  10. Coaching others is a huge passion of mine – there is nothing like helping others discover themselves, their talents, and make their dreams come true.

So there you have it! None of those ‘how many tattoos do you have’ or ‘how many boys did you kiss’ kinds of answers. I prefer to keep it professional.

Let’s hear from you! Tell me some interesting things about you – can you think of 10?


Tess Taylor

Tess Taylor is the Founder and CEO of HR Knows

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