Collaboration is the first word in our CALM not BUSY framework.
Internal collaboration with your colleagues requires trust. One relatively easy way to build trust is simply getting to know each other better as people, not just as fellow employees.
Here’s a really easy idea to do that: Use the Colbert Questionert or make up your own version!
For the uninitiated, the Colbert Quesionert is a list of 15 questions that Steven Colbert of the Late Show asks celebrities. He bills these as “15 questions to cover the full spectrum of human experience.”
He doesn’t give folks much time to think about their answers during the interview, although I believe most of the people have seen the questions before.
Here’s the list:
- Best sandwich?
- What’s one thing you own that you really should throw out?
- What is the scariest animal?
- Apples or oranges?
- Have you ever asked someone for their autograph?
- What do you think happens when we die?
- Favorite action movie?
- Favorite smell?
- Least favorite smell?
- Exercise: worth it?
- Flat or sparkling?
- Most used app on your phone?
- You get one song to listen to for the rest of your life: what is it?
- What number am I thinking of?
- Describe the rest of your life in 5 words?
As you can see, none of these are particularly controversial, other than maybe, What do you think happens when we die? But even that one, no one really knows for certain.
I love the idea of coming up with a set of questions like this for your organization. Then think of fun ways to use them.
You could have “junior” staff interview “senior” staff for their answers and vice versa. You could have people from different departments who don’t typically interact much interview each other.
You can record them and share them as a way to help everyone get to know their colleagues as human beings. Many of the earlier Colbert interviews were done over Zoom during the pandemic so it was easy to record and share.
Watch a few of the interview segments and see what you think!
If you do this or something similar, we’d love to see the questions on your list.