A negative tone treats people like tools and results like gods. Positive energy fuels performance.
Skillful leaders set a positive tone. Negative energy feels like swamp-walking.
A positive tone…
- Makes hard work enjoyable.
- Increases productivity.
- Creates environments where people dare to speak up.
- Adds to momentum.
- Encourages likability.
“Excellence depends on a process that enables people to prevent and eliminate destructive attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.” Sutton and Rao
12 questions that set a positive tone for meetings:
- What project is exciting you right now?
- Where are we winning?
- Who are the high energy people in our organization? What are they doing that puts them in the high energy category?
- Who went the extra mile last week? What did they do?
- What’s going to make this a great meeting?
- Tell us about a happy customer.
- What problem did you solve last week that made us more profitable?
- What makes you glad you work here?
- What did you do to fuel energy in your team or an employee? How did it work?
- What have you learned since our last meeting? (Prepare people ahead of time for this one.)
- Name one of the people around the table and ask, “When is ________ at their best?” (Do this for each team member in successive meetings.)
- Tell us an interesting thing about yourself that we probably don’t know. (Do this for each team member in successive meetings.)
Tip: Have one person answer tone-setting questions when time is short, or teams are large.
Honor effort. Turn toward the future with optimism. Celebrate progress.
“Being an energizer is 4X more important than your title, position in a hierarchy, position in an influence network, or your position in an information network.” Kim Cameron
Set a positive tone when facing challenges, opportunities, problems, and disappointments.
How might leaders set a positive tone for meetings?