Dear Dan: How Do I Get My Team to Participate in Meetings
How do I get my team to participate in meetings so that I am not the only one talking.
Looking for participation
Each member on a high performance team talks about the same amount of time as the others. Researchers call this equality of turn-taking.*
Research indicates that team intelligence on high functioning teams exceeds the combined average intelligence of team members. In other words, teams can be smart.**
Don’t blame the team for lack of participation. Take responsibility.
4 ways to invite participation in meetings:
#1. Sharpen the ax. Teams work on the work but seldom work on the team. That’s like chopping a tree down with a dull ax.
- Assign someone to summarize an article or blog on team dynamics and explore two or three ways your team might grow. (Some teams discuss a Leadership Freak article. You might call it the Freak of the Week.)
- Strengthen connection. I take teams through an exercise I call, “When I see you at your best.” Each person hears team members describing their strengths. (Be sure they talk to each other, not you. They must say, “When I see YOU at your best…,” not, “When Barney is at his best.”
#2. Assign agenda items to team members.
“Wilma, would you please come prepared to brief the team on agenda item #2?”
Help team members learn how to give a brief overview and invite input. When you help others, your skills improve.
#3. Create conversation around the table, not to the head of the table.
- “Fred, what comes to mind when you hear Wilma’s input?”
- “Betty, if you were helping Barney with this, what might you say to him?”
#4. Allow for silence.
A team of average players that pulls together will outperform a team of superstars that pulls for themselves.
How might leaders invite participation in team meetings?