We started Rate My Meetings to help people run effective meetings, and as you know collecting and measuring feedback is key to improve yourself. We foresee a world where asking and providing feedback at the work floor is as normal as it is today after riding an Uber: with a star rating. I happen to know great teams are at the forefront of this - I was lucky to be part of great teams on and off in my career so far. Let’s break this down in a couple of pieces of what I think make teams great:
- Interpersonal relationships are strong, and truth can be told
- There is a belief people are continuously growing
- Transparency and visibility on performance is embraced
But does that mean great teams automatically have great meetings? Even if they are not sharing the same office floor anymore, and only have remote interactions? Or is the one automatically the result of the other, in a perfect vicious circle or as we call it in the corporate jungle: chicken-and-egg?
Interpersonal relationships where truth can be told
Given the fact most of us spend more time with our colleagues than with our families and friends, your relationships with your co-workers are important (yet not always easy) to be honest with each other. Things (bonuses, promotions) are at stake after all. For some reason, the great teams I have been in, this was never an issue. The underlying trust amongst people was strong, leading to supportive interpersonal behavior. Example? Pulling an all-nighter with four colleagues to prepare a workshop for a team member who realized he screwed up his preparations. Tough? Yes. Did we tell him? Oh boy, we did. And we helped him out.
“When you stop growing, you start dying” a coach told me once. Great teams instinctively know that and have a modus to bring in new views and ideas to nurture that. I joined and led a team of half a dozen professionals, who did something remarkable: when one colleague gave feedback to another during meetings, a third person would give support. At Rate My Meeting we believe feedback needs to direct you to tools and methods, not the other way around. This team provided themselves with feedback and tools for improvement. Our meetings became more focused week by week.
In the last team I built up, I realized the amount of work ahead of us was bigger than I could chew. We agreed to run multiple workshops and recurring meetings with the three of us separately, split to what each of us was good at. We were not ego-stroking, but focused on the group achievements, as this HBR article explains very well. We did not have a tool to measure our meeting performance other than direct feedback so we struggled to see the results of our efforts over time. We compensated that with many debriefs to help each other build the necessary experience. Oh, and we gave each other 1-5 star ratings :)
So yes, I do believe great teams can run great meetings, the two belong to each other like chickens and eggs indeed. That does not mean it all comes automatically.
However, when open relationships are nurtured, a team feels comfortable and able to speak up when they meet or work together. Feedback can and should be encouraged and facilitated until it becomes a standard "modus operandi". And performance has to be in the center of attention, with a key role for the manager to oversee.
The new team functionality of Rate My Meeting is made to help team managers do exactly that. It shows all data openly, it is the cornerstone of feedback encouragement and performance per team member is visible. Even help from one team member to the other is now possible. We even dare to believe it takes away some of the distance currently evoked in teams due to remote work. A statement we love to be challenged on of course, so please reach out with any thoughts and experiences you have.