4 ingredients to create a micro-moment of meaning


Micro-moments of meaning. What are these curious little things, and why do they matter. Well, if you have failed to notice because by chance you live on an island with no internet, COVID-19 created a slight disruption with how we connect. I mean, Zoom is a verb now ‘Hey Susan, let's zoom...


Micro-moments are those two-minute or fewer encounters that leave the other person smiling. This concept is first introduced in the book The Crucible’s Gift: 5 Lessons from Authentic Leaders Who Thrive in Adversity. Micro-moments are super joyous for the other person, but it is what it does for you; that is pure magic.


To bake this cake, you need four distinct ingredients.

1. Relevance

Relevance comes from understanding where the other person is and meeting them where they are on their journey. Do they have kids, a pet, love to go on long walks? Knowing a little about someone else is fuel to have a relevant conversation. My oldest son loves rubrics cubes, and he is excellent at it (current record 11 sec). When he starts chatting up the neighbor who has no idea, he is losing the relevance game.


Ask questions to find relevant conversations.

2. Purpose

The purpose should be pure at heart, I want to make you smile. If you are engaged in the interaction to create some sort of manipulation, maybe hit pause. You are not valuing the other human. As the CEO of a startup, I am solely focused on my purpose, but what I find is that when conversations begin with curiosity and not statements, magic occurs.


Engage because it is the right thing to do, not the must thing to do.

3. Listen with intent

Listening with intent is a muscle, and if you don’t use it, you will lose it. For most, we are REALLY great at waiting to speak. I have mastered this. My mind is a buzz when I hear a phrase or word that carries immediate importance, then, tick, tick, tick. My mind is turning over with the next really important (typically not important) thing to say.


What if we cleared our minds and intentionally listened? That level of presence allows you to hear someone, not only listen to someone. When the recipient feels your genuine compassion, they too engage with purpose and presence. It helps to curb the judgment monster.


4. Smile

Your face provides all the cues necessary for the other person, so smile. It is simple, impactful, and is most beneficial in leaving the other person feeling appreciated, heard, and respected. As a rule of thumb, end a conversation on a high note put a smile on the other person’s face. Not only does it feel good, but it creates a chemical reaction in the brain and a mental marker that says, “this was a great interaction, and I would like more of these.”

During this COVID period and beyond, we all need to connect, whether we are zooming or in person, a small micro-moment can have a macro-impact.


James Kelley, Ph.D.,

CEO & Co-Founder of qChange

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