Peter: “Hey Wendy, I heard from Bob what you two have been up to. That’s quite a bit of change in how we think of and run meetings, and quite a few new skills that we all need to learn!”
Me (Wendy): “Yes, but we’re modeling it, and we will get better as we practice.”
Peter: “True. I’ll need you two’s help in getting this right.”
Me: “Sure, you can count on us.”
Peter: “But hey, one of the teams right now seems to be thrashing. What can we do to help them?”
Me: “Hmm, you’re talking about the video production team, right?”
Peter: “Yes, that’s the one.”
Me: “I know we need to solve the team’s thrashing, but there is a fundamental issue in that team – the lack of psychological safety.”
Peter: “Psychological safety? What’s that?”
Me: “In a nutshell, it means you can express ideas and opinions freely without the fear of humiliation or retribution. Based on what I’ve seen happen in the team during their meetings, a lot of them are afraid to speak up. Psychological safety is the foundation and bedrock of any productive interactions and fruitful relationships.”
Peter: “So how do we instill psychological safety into a team or a meeting? Or am I even asking the right question?”
Me: “This is going to be quite a long discussion if we’re going to tackle that team’s thrashing problem. How about we book a separate time to discuss this? Before we meet, I’ll send out a document that sets up the context with my observations. You and Bob can read before we meet. How does that sound?”
Peter: “Ok. Since it’s a tricky issue, can we meet soon about this?”
Me: “Yes, let me schedule one for the day after tomorrow. I’ll send the doc with the context by end of day today for you and Bob to read”
Peter. “Ok, sounds like a plan.”
Me: “Hey Bob, Peter and I just talked. He seems willing to learn new skills and said he needs our help to ensure he’s thinking about and running meetings correctly.”
Bob: “Sure, I’m happy to help.”
Me: “Good, ‘cos I told him he can count on us 😉 . BTW, he mentioned the video production team thrashing, and asked what he can do to help. I told him that team lack psychological safety. Peter doesn’t know what that means. So, I figured you and I should get on the same page before talking to Peter about it.”
Bob: “Oh! That’s going to be a long discussion, especially when Peter has no clue what psychological safety is. Yea, let’s put our heads together on it!”
In the meantime, you can see all the articles I’ve written on the subject on meetings.
Read the rest of Wendy’s story here:
- Part 1: Do we have to do video calls? Aren’t there better ways to do things?
- Part 2: What meetings can we get rid of? Aren’t there better ways to do things?
- Part 3: What other meetings can we remove? What else can we cut from our calendars?
- Part 4: Replacing meetings to gain more time on your calendar to be productive
- Part 5: How to recognize different meeting types to increase your productivity?
- Part 6: Evolve your meetings beyond agendas and action items to achieve better outcomes
- Part 7: Facilitate Your Remote Control to Improve Your Meetings and Collaborations
- Part 8: Saying No to FOMO – How to treat meetings with intentionality
- Part 9: Why meeting agenda is passé, and what you can do to improve them
- Part 10: Invest in the art of meeting invitations to have better meetings
- Part 11: Remote Facilitation Magic: Things to do before a meeting to have better meetings
- Part 12: How to easily set the stage for more successful meetings
- Part 13: Want to be a meeting host? Up-level your facilitation skills
- Part 14: Do you want to liberate your meetings from staid agendas?
- Part 15: Want to know how to stand out from the typical meetings? Change the way you end!
- Part 17: How to recognize the signs of lack of psychological safety in your teams
- Part 18: Want to have better meetings? Start practicing psychological safety
- Part 19: How to CLEARly have psychological safety at meetings