Does your team think?

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One simple thing you can do to improve team meeting productivity.

A team meeting should increase the potential of the business. The team together should think better than the individuals would alone. If not, then why meet? There are teams where individuals come together and the whole is more powerful than the sum of the parts. Sadly however, many teams do not up-spiral when they are together. They don’t release creativity, encourage people to bring new ideas or unlock potential. Instead the team meeting is filled with updates, powerpoint & avoidance; it sucks energy & time from those attending, and the team certainly doesn’t think!

How well do you and your team use your meetings? Try these 3 questions:

a) Do you look forward to your team meetings?

b) Does the team bring you to your best thinking?

c) Do you feel valued & safe enough to show vulnerability, share your fears and ask for help?

If your 3 answers are yes, you are on to something good! If you have some no’s then your team is probably not maximising it’s thinking. And the next questions to ask yourself is how to turn the no’s into yes’s.

One critical foundation of a thinking team, is as simple as …. to really listen! Listen to understand. Ask questions to understand and to encourage, not to look smart. And never interrupt! To interrupt is to assume what you have to say is more important than the person speaking; and they know it!

When team members know they will actually be listened to, they think harder before they speak and they speak for less time. When team members listen to understand, they hear new ideas, build respect & trust.

Try this: Next time your team wants to solve a problem together, don’t brainstorm (ownerless dreaming), and don’t simply have an open discussion (dominated by a few people). Instead, ask everyone what are their 1-2 best ideas, and give each person 2 minutes to talk in turn. Everyone else listens, no interrupting. Then go around again, and ask each person to select the idea they like the most and build on it. Finally select the best 1-2 ideas & agree who will do what to work them up in to action. Watch what happens….!

There is of course much more to develop winning teams who perform sustainably. Still some good listening is a helpful start…..

Peter Soer
Peter Soer
Peter combines experience as a coach, marketing leader & someone who has faced the fear of being found out. He harnesses this experience with his natural optimism & determination, to help people thrive in their work and enjoy the life they want. To achieve our dreams, we have 2 resources, time and energy – so use them well.

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