team meetings posts
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October 07th, 2011
Honesty can really get a meeting moving in the right direction. When I’m in team meetings, I often find myself thinking that self-awareness needs to exist before the courage to reveal oneself openly and honestly can happen.
I talk a great deal about the importance of emotional intelligence and the ability for teams to be productive. Teams can move forward on tasks if individuals, who have a deep understanding of self, are willing to;
- Manage their stress levels and their personality traits,
- Be empathetic to the same in others,
- Lead assertively, and
- Demonstrate social skills.
In a meeting recently, a soft-spoken individual came forward with great clarity about who he was and how he saw the world.
“Look, I am a linear thinker and I lead a group of linear thinkers; engineers and financiers. As a result, it is really hard to figure out how to translate what you creative and strategic thinkers are saying. My brain just does not work that way”.
Whether it was a vocal “ah” or “ohh”, a big sigh or the movement of their chair, everyone around the table responded. We all knew that this man’s honesty had shifted all of our perspectives. With his willingness to reveal what he knew about himself, we now had permission to do something differently.
In this case, it allowed everyone to use this information to make their roles in the project more effective. I walked away understanding I needed to be more aware and conscious of taking the time to outline strategies and expand on the reasoning behind each strategy. Honesty really is the best policy.
How about you? Do you have the self-awareness to share something about yourself that might help your team work better together? We’d love to hear what type of response you get.
July 06th, 2011
Building a high-functioning team takes courage, commitment, tenacity and a willingness to work with one another. In order to improve teamwork, it’s important to try something new, change a behaviour, spice up the team a bit with a new approach and then review to see if it worked or fell short of success.
Teamwork Challenge Tip #4: Weighing In
Last week, with tip #3, you took the opportunity to ‘lose some weight’ with a teammate. This week, let’s maintain that momentum by ‘weighing in’ or, as many say, ‘speak your truth’ or ‘pour a clear glass of water’.
Working with teams as often as I do, it doesn’t take long to recognize those who speak often and those whom either seldom or never voice their thoughts during team meetings. I generally think the seldom-to-speak individuals have much to say, but are opting to stay quiet so as not to ‘rock-the-boat’ and/or to protect themselves from criticism. Does this sound like you or someone on your team?
Contrary to popular belief, speaking up in team meetings is really part of your job description when you’re part of a team. Only when all individuals contribute their viewpoints and opinions can team meetings become rich with creative ideas and solutions.
So, if you’ve been in a team meeting recently and consciously chose NOT to speak your truth, it’s time for you to weigh in. At your next team meeting, take the opportunity to discuss a viewpoint or opinion that you’ve chosen to hold-back in the past and explain the reasoning for your reluctance to share.
I’m curious to know how it goes for you. Were they surprised? Did they ask you to further clarify your thoughts? Most importantly, how did it make you feel once you spoke your truth?
Remember to try something new, change a behaviour, spice up the team a bit with a new approach and then analyze the results. Let us know if this week’s teamwork challenge tip made a positive or negative impact on the effectiveness of your team.
Next week’s teamwork challenge tip is about the “C” word – having the courage to confront conflicts – and realize that conflicts can be turned into good things.
March 29th, 2011
Are you tired of attending meetings full of people who don’t need to be there, who aren’t up-to-date on the issues at hand, who bring up points that aren’t on the agenda, who show up late or leave early? Perhaps it’s time to hire a meeting fairy.
By facilitating your meetings, the fairy’s job would be to ensure that meetings were short, efficient and effective. S/He would focus on:
- Getting precisely the right people invited, but no others.
- Making the meeting start and end right on time.
- Ensuring that every meeting has a clearly defined purpose, accomplishes that purpose and then ends.
- Welcoming guests appropriately. For example, if you are hosting a special guest/speaker, the fairy makes sure the guest has adequate directions, a place to productively wait before the meeting starts, access to the internet, something to drink, biographies of who else will be in the room and a clear understanding of the goals of the meeting.
- Managing the flow of information, including agendas and presentations. This includes eliminating the last minute running around looking for a VGA cable or a monitor that works. The fairy would make sure that everyone arrived and left with copies of whatever they needed.
- Issuing a follow-up memo to everyone who attended the meeting, clearly delineating who came, what was decided and details about the next productive meeting.
Hiring a meeting fairy means that, initially, it will cost more to get a meeting up and running than it does right now, but how effective are your meetings being run now? Once you get into a regular rhythm of on-time, productive and efficient meetings, the meetings will get shorter, you’ll meet less often and more will get done in the long run.
How much would your meeting fairy be worth?