Do you ever stop to consider what has been the best bit of your day? Do you know the best bit of your nearest and dearest’s day or that of your colleague?
I recently was on a touring holiday with a group of friends, one of whom suggested that at the end of each day we should share what we thought had been the best bit of the day.
He had learned about this from a mutual friend who made it a daily routine to ask his children.
Given that my friends and I were travelling together and experiencing many of the same things, you would expect pretty much a uniform response.
But that was not the case. Much to our surprise, our responses varied by quite a bit.
A kaleidoscope of views
The ‘best bit of the day’ ritual became something to look forward to, and sometimes we even paused to learn more about why a response resonated so much. Our personal experience reflected our individuality.
I kept a record of our responses so we wouldn’t forget. I used the app ‘Trello‘ on my smartphone to record the details. It was a quick and easy way to capture a few words from everyone.
Ultimately this record developed into an excellent summary of our holiday, offering a reminder of the different perspectives of the same event. Here’s an extract:
When I re-read my own entries, details that otherwise might have been forgotten conjure up memories and make me smile.
This simple idea can be applied elsewhere.
In the workplace
A colleague of mine adopted this technique for a quarterly meeting of knowledge managers from different organisations. Many of these people did not know each other. Here is the feedback:
Your suggestion of sharing ‘Best bit of the month/time since the last meeting’ was fantastic. I used it to get people going again after lunch to ward off the dreaded slump. You should have seen the look on the faces of some of our quieter members, but I persevered and gradually the sound level went up in the room and people started talking and smiling and re-engaging… It was a really nice discussion topic to get everyone back into the swing of things. Thank you for the idea 🙂
A simple technique
The ideal response should be instinctive, a gut reaction. It is after all a window into someone else’s viewpoint. It is not the same as asking for and getting feedback.
For example, the best bit of the day could be:
- Learning something new about another person
- Appreciating an even room temperature or a bright looking day
- Liking the fact that even when technology fails, conversation can still make an event a success
- Liking one particular slide in a presentation
- Liking a room because it has big windows overlooking a park or countryside
- Delight that people turned up on time
The key to this exercise is to keep the response short and quick.
So, the next time you are planning a meeting, out with friends or talking to your children, ask the question “What was the best bit of your day?”
You might be pleasantly surprised.