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3 Things that Need to be True

3 Things that Need to be True


<5 minutes

Purpose/Objectives - Quick Description

By establishing what needs to be true at a personal level, you can set the bar for what the gathering can accomplish (you can do this with professional things that need to be true as well) 


  1. Introduce the exercise to the participants. Possibly include:
    a. 3 of your own
    b. A few examples of good ones
    c. The importance of not thinking too hard
    d. Reduce need to 3 preferences to soften the exercise…
    e. Use the 3 Things I Know to Be True Poem for inspiration
    f. The difference between being passionate about something versus invested in
  2. Ask each person to write down 3 things that need to be true. Decide first if it is:
    a. Personal
    b. Professional
    c. Objectives related to the gathering or from a larger perspective
  3. Do this in silence and give them at least 30 seconds
  4. Ask them to join a People Science group or turn to the person sitting behind them (not the person next to them as they probably already know that person) and share their truths 
  5. Debrief by asking a few people to share. If they are willing to share the significance behind the truths, it will improve the depth of the room 



Paper and pens for all participants

Cool Possibilities/Options

  •  You can continue the 3 truths theme at intervals with different topics. For example, 3 truths for success of a specific project
  • Post the “truths” around the room for viewing throughout the day

People Science Data Capture:

If you have a knowledge weaver or digital capture mechanism be sure to get everyone’s truths and who they shared with 


<5 minutes, elephants, front of the room, givens, passion, small groups, Truth


Popularized by Sarah Kay’s 2011 TED Talk

What’s a Maker?



  1. A simple exercise two or more people can do to develop a stronger relationship
  2. A way to avoid endless talk about being busy and the weather
  3. A catalyst to communities that can make an impact

Often times mistaken as an ‘icebreaker’ or ‘exercise’