The Six-Word Game

Scott Agnoli

Scott Agnoli

Founder/CEO, Corporate Coach, Author, Speaker, Designer, Marketer

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The Set-up:

Several weeks ago, I was having a discussion with my mentor and friend, Mike, about leadership. We talked about goal setting, coaching, and helping others. There was a pause in the conversation when Mike said to me, “Have I ever played the 6-word game with you?” and I responded, “no.” He said, “great, let’s play the 6-word game.”

The Game:

Type “6-word” into Google, and you will find all you need to know about the 6-words. If you visit the Six-Word Memoirs website located HERE, you can read the story about Larry Smith and Smith Magazine HERE. To quickly summarize the origin, Larry threw out a challenge to his blog readers. He asked his readers if they could tell their life story in six words. No more, no less, precisely six. That was back in 2006, and since then, his website has over a million life stories.

How Can Six Words Help Me Succeed In The Corporate World?

Six words cannot help you succeed if all you do is tell your life story in six words. However, if you use your six words as a catalyst to start a conversation, then it is a brilliant tool for business, let alone the fact it is a terrific exercise for your brain. Everyone loves to hear a good story. Starting a conversation with: “I played this game with some friends the other day…” will get others to be more interactive than if you ask about the weather. With a little practice, you can construct six words for anything. For this post, you should build one for your life story. It will make an impact on those you meet. When that begins to happen, you start to distinguish yourself from others, and then yes, those words can help you succeed in the corporate world. 

What Are Your Six Words?

In trying to describe my life in six words, it took some soul searching. If you get yourself in the mindset that these six words will define your life, it can be a fun and creative brain massage. Once you have your six words, you can use them to kick-off every introductory conversation. This exercise reminds me of an English professor I had in college. He used to continually make us re-write papers until they were half as long to ensure we were succinct in our writing. Six words take it to a new level. Start with a sentence or two and begin honing it down from there. Seek inspiration from others to see what they wrote. Use the game as a quick-start at your next staff meeting; only give them ten minutes to produce six words about a goal they want to achieve.

My Six Words:

The best rewards are not tangible. Six words which tell the story of my life. My love I have for my wife and kids, the joy of being a sports coach, and the satisfaction of leading others are all things that can have tangible rewards. However, in telling my life story, these things have provided me greater rewards than ones you can touch or hang on the wall.  

Final Thoughts:

When you are in the corporate world, you meet a lot of people. As we all know, first impressions are everything. Using a tool like the six-word game can not only make a great first impression but could engrave you into other’s memories. And when it comes to playing the corporate game, you need people to remember you. Aside from doing a great job, this can be that one thing that sets you apart and helps you progress in your career faster than your peers. So, go. Write your life story in six words. Then tell your life story over and over again.

Additional Reads:

Here are some other well-written articles that can give you some other tools to navigate the corporate environment efficiently and effectively:

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