Not too long ago, I attended a series of non-technical lightning talks at work. One talk concerned meetings where few people know each other: “What’s the most effective way to grow a sense of familiarity, without using too much meeting time?”
Strategies ranged from using icebreakers to using anecdotes and various storytelling techniques to convey ideas and proposals.
I’ve included the suggested icebreaker questions below. The presenters suggested that we write down our answers. The idea: be prepared when these questions invariably come up at meetings.
While I think my answers will differ depending on the meeting, context, and even my mood, here’s what I wrote.
Your Name: Victor
Where You’re From: Southern California.
What You Do: I’m a machine learning engineer. I also run ultramarathons.
What You Believe In: That humans should spend a minimum amount of time outdoors. That everyone should travel far and frequently (and have the means to do so). That critical thinking, foreign language(s), and computer science should be universally taught during grade school.
What You Love: Achieving challenging goals. Reading, writing, or watching something well-written (including code).
Something Surprising: I was a fat recluse once.