So how’s it going for you as we enter into week 7 of self isolation and working from home due to COVID -19?
If you are anything like me you’re probably really feeling the lack of connection with people in your life. Most people are trying very hard to keep in touch with friends and family via Facebook, Zoom, Skype, Google Chat or by good old fashioned telephone. COVID-19 has us communicating a little differently than we may have been used to only a few short weeks ago.
If you are working from home your day entails possibly countless online meetings with co-workers. Some one on one some with multiple attendees. There is a possibility that for some people working this way may become the new normal as our world appears to be changing. Some have spoken to the issue that productivity seems to be much higher when we work alone from home. My own partner, who is in the Navy, has been working from home for 7 weeks now and has certainly found he is more productive.
So when I came across a new video from author Simon Sinek called The Huddle that showed how he and his team, who have all worked remotely together for the past 10 years, handle connecting with one another when they don’t work in the same location, I was curious to see how it worked.
There were a couple of things I noticed here that really impressed me. One was the communication style of the meeting, the other was the leadership style. Both I felt were helping to drive a connection.
This group, with Simon as their leader, understand that connection and trust are key to a solid team. No surprise as this is what Simon teaches the world. And so weekly they have what they call The Huddle. This is not about business goals and strategies, it’s about water cooler conversation, it’s about human beings, it’s about listening to your team members. I have spent close to 30 years in a corporate environment, I have NEVER, attended a meeting with this type of focus before. Also notice that no one cuts off anyone else. If they agree with what is being said they will either nod or give a thumbs up, thus giving the speaker feedback.
I have also never seen a business meeting begin with helping everyone become grounded and present. I have begun coaching calls this way but never a business meeting. What an excellent way to teach everyone the necessity and power of presence. (watch video to see it in action.) Sharing their Why’s with each other helps team members to connect to their purpose, as Simon says, to their Why. If we can connect to this part of ourselves once a week, what a difference this can make in our commitment to how we do our jobs and how we show up.
Again have you ever been in a meeting where people were acknowledged publicly for something they had done? I haven’t. This group makes High five’s, thanking or acknowledging each other, a part of their weekly meetings. I know when people are acknowledged vs criticized you get far greater effort and commitment from them.
This is Simon Sinek’s team, but what I noticed was Simon didn’t start or lead the meeting. This shows trust in his team and the ability to empower team members rather than needing to take control.
If you’re a Toastmaster your going to love this one! Each person in the group gets to do a check in. Speakers get 2 minutes to speak and are timed! Just like Table Topics in a Toastmasters meeting. If there is one skill people need to learn when in a meeting it’s how to be succinct and get to the point. Timing each speaker with 2 minutes helps everyone to learn this important skill and keeps meetings on time. Who doesn’t love that, a meeting that stays on time!!
Besides all of the above items I also noticed examples of vulnerability, courage, trust, honesty through out this meeting. Again from my personal corporate experience not ways of being that I have often seen in company meetings.
I’m sure it has a great deal to do with the fact that this is a small team, not a major corporation. However I do not see why all of these concepts cannot be present with larger teams.
If you’re looking to step up your own leadership skills, improve your communication skills or shift the culture within your own organization all of the above skills are ones that should be focused on.
In this time of social distance and working alone from home we need these skills more than ever. Not sure how to get started or need help being held accountable? Consider reaching out to me and let’s chat about coaching.
Hang in there, it will get better.
Know someone this blog post may benefit? Feel free to pass it along.
Also feel free to share the song that does this for you. I would love to give your song a listen!