What Are Your Top Three?

#sol21- September 28, 2021

Some days are ugh and I was feeling that a bit too much yesterday, so today as the chair of a planning meeting I had a chance to open with a way to reframe my potential attitude.

“What are your top three?” I asked. “ Your top three whatever you want to share. It could be your top three songs, holiday locations, anything,” I continued.

“I can go first, as I had longer to think about this than anyone else,” I said. “ It may not come as a surprise to you, but I want to talk about reading. My favorite genres are historical fiction (because I always learn something and then often go off and research the parts that are new to me), mysteries (because once upon a time I thought I might want to be a spy because I am so nosy), and realistic fiction (especially about characters who are not “just like me” because I love learning about different lives/reactions, etc.).”

The rest of the team shared their own top three- we heard some more about genres, favorite local restaurants, favorite cuisines, favorite homemade foods, and favorite siblings. We all definitely learned a little bit more about each other and started off with a smile before we dug into the hard work of unit redesign.

Some days I resist inclusions at the start of meetings because I want to “cut to the chase”, but today it felt like a means to get me to focus on something I love and I needed that. It reminds me that other people may need that same entry point into other meetings so I should remember that when I want to rush to the main point, because maybe the start can be the bridge we need…

8 thoughts on “What Are Your Top Three?

  1. Erika,
    I’m feeling so ugh right now as my To-Do list is so long and I’m so tired. I awoke feeling I had anything to write but I did click here to treat myself to some great reading and your post was first! Thanks for the glimpse at your meeting and the wise advise to take time to share and engage. The work / the To-Do list will always be there. It’s important to take time to focus on what we love and share. Top 3 for me – I pick travel spots: I love visiting Storm King Art Center in NY because fo the vast outdoor space sprinkled with large art installations. I love the High Line in NYC because of the long-elevated garden path. I love snorkeling in Tulum Mexico. This mental break allowed me to travel vicariously. I hope I can visit these places again soon. Thanks for your post. You helped me write a little something and definitely lifted my spirits. Let’s both have a good rest of the week.

  2. The reflections about people and what they need resonate with me. I’m never sure about whether to plan an ice breaker, and I love the choice that yours offers. I also appreciate Sally’s comment above. Yes, the pull of the morning is strong, and I have to get to work, but top three: hmmm… current top three foods: rare tuna with great sauces, flourless chocolate cake, and warm bread with cold butter and apricot jam.

  3. So, true, Erika. I always enjoy these times to get to know others. I especially like the top three idea. Which a fun one. My favorite genre is historical fiction too.

    (Inclusion is a new word I learned from you last time you mentioned it. I have always called these icebreakers. I like your name better. )

  4. I can understand that your need to get to the task, anyone running a meeting knows how valuable the time is. Yet, as you pointed out, the inclusion element of the meeting is super valuable in the long run. The “Top three” was a new one for me. My top three for a good start of a day – a mindfulness moment, a morning walk, and a healthy breakfast.

  5. Time is always our enemy: Working against the clock, not enough time, time ran out and the list goes on. But sometimes, we have to stop the clock, and get back to who we are as people, not just cogs. I love this activity and may use it in class! 🙂

    My top three veggies /herbs in my garden: Butternut squash, so prolific and so many uses. When we traveled this summer, we found a place that had the squash all ready cubed and ready to cook. We gladly paid the premium for that little package! Tomatoes: In particular, striped romas. They are thick and nice slicers, they are good to can and put in salsas, and they are also prolific! And finally, basil! We’ve made so many things with the versatile little herb. I love pesto, so we’ve enjoyed it this summer AND we’ve frozen a bunch for future enjoyment as well! 😉

  6. Now that I know your top three genres include historical fiction, I’d love to know what some of your favorite historical fiction books/authors are. I’ve become much more into historical fiction in the past two years so I’m always looking for titles!

  7. I might try this in class tomorrow. To be honest, my top three genres are the same as yours for the same reasons. However, I wanted to be an FBI profiler rather than a spy. My son’s friend says that I am very inquisitive, a much more polite way to say that I am nosy.

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