I'm about to say a series of words that you may have not heard lately:
I saw something on the news that I really liked.
I know; it felt weird to say, too. But it's true! I saw something on the news the other day that caught my attention, and in a good way!
Keeping up with the news is exhausting, and finding a source of news that both informs you and resonates with you is difficult. I'm not going to get into all of that right now, but suffice to say there's a show called The Five on Fox News, in which there are five hosts, and those hosts discuss, debate and at times debunk the hot news stories. At the end of the show, there's a small segment called One More Thing.
During One More Thing, each of the hosts is given an opportunity to talk about anything. It could be a news story that's underreported that they want to draw attention to, or a book they've recently written, or even a new puppy. They can use their One More Thing time to talk about ANYTHING.
I love the idea of implementing this into meetings, especially regularly scheduled team meetings (which, if you're not having regularly scheduled team meetings, how dare you, you should set those up right now).
Give each person at the meeting, say, 60 seconds of One More Thing time. It encourages participation from everyone - even those quieter voices - and it enables folks to share something that they may not have otherwise.
This is especially valuable for teams that are meeting remotely and/or working from home. Chitchat happens a lot less frequently when everyone is remote; this can be both a blessing and a curse, but team members do feel more connected to each other when they have even a small idea of what is going on in other peoples' daily lives. During One More Thing time, you might hear about a teammate's child's achievement in soccer, or about a kitchen remodel, or about a podcast that you might be interested in. Creating moments like this to celebrate your teammates and make sure you hear from them is invaluable.
It would also be wise to implement some ground rules to One More Thing in your meetings. It is still a workplace, so it would need to be understood by everyone that the conversation should remain workplace appropriate. Some examples include:
No re-hashing a topic from the meeting
No insults or goading others
No starting fights
Keep time limited to 60 seconds each
Other than that, it's no holds barred.
Oh, and One More Thing... have I mentioned that I have one of the sweetest puppies ever (when she is not acting like a gremlin or eating all of the vegetation in the backyard)!?!
Over the 4th of July week, we got to spend some time at Alta Lake (yes the name for ALTA Consulting was inspired, in part, from this place, but for more on that... read this)! Estelle loved running free on ~4 acres, learned how to swim (though not well), and only slightly terrorized other members of the family... we have an upcoming appointment with a dog behavioralist to help with her fears.