I have broken down the “Next Steps Toward Mindful Leadership” into 3 chapters:
2. A GREAT HACK FOR INTRODUCING MEANINGFUL COMMUNICATION AND TEAMWORK: THE DAILY STANDUP MEETING
Another example of getting participants present in meetings comes from Verne Harnish. I had been introduced to the concept of a stand-up meeting in a talk I attended about the Ritz Carlton’s famous service model. Verne further refined this concept for me with a three-step process, and I used it to great effect in a beleaguered organization I was asked to come and work with and reform:
This company’s flagship facility was struggling on every metric. There was a team of talented managers and department heads, but they were operating in silos. Within the first week of arriving, I decided to institute a daily stand-up. Normally, I would have started conducting these types of meetings weekly, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Now in the stand-up, we stood (hard to be on your phone when you’re standing in a circle facing each other), and each person briefly (ideally sixty seconds or less – this takes practice) reflected on the following:
Three Questions for a Daily Stand-Up Meeting of Managers or Department Heads:
- What things of note have transpired for you and your department since the last meeting?
- What do you plan to achieve before the next scheduled meeting?
- Please share the rocks in your shoes. What challenges are you facing and what issues are getting in your way or holding you back?
When we started, these managers were none too happy to be meeting on a daily basis, recounting their woes and what they planned to do about them. There was nowhere to hide, and as the posturing and objections subsided these meetings began to make them focus their thinking on what was really going on in their department and what they were doing about it.
Most importantly, it gave them a valuable insight into each other’s department and over time teamwork grew out of improved communications which drove empathy and understanding. In short order, this flagship facility shifted course and began performing as it had in its heyday, many years before. Rocks became pebbles and pebbles became grains of sand.
This is a pointed example of getting leaders to be present. And for me, it reinforced the incredible value of short, sharp, focused meetings with a simple agenda.
There are many ways in which you set the stage for yourself, and others, to be truly present in your communications. Minimizing distractions, removing barriers, having ground rules and focus, will all assist in your efforts to consciously connect in all your communications.
Visit the other 2 chapters of “Next Steps Toward Mindful Leadership”:
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