The best performing teams have one thing in common – psychological safety. It’s exactly the same in meetings.
In your meetings, how willing are people to speak up when they have a different point of view? How willing are they to disagree? How willing are they to offer new ideas? How willing are they to go “outside the box”?
It mostly comes down to the chair but it also comes down to the culture of the meeting or the organisation.
Meetings which actively encourage “different thinking” achieve far more, are more engaging and get greater buy-in.
How to build psychological safety. It’s not quite as simple as ask more questions, although that is the foundation. Keep asking questions to tap into the collective wisdom, knowledge, experience and awareness of every person in the room. Actively encourage people to speak up and put their thoughts and ideas on the table. Provide opportunities and space for people to speak up and offer thoughts. One idea can spark another – you know how it goes.
Suspend judgement – all judgement. Consider everything, evaluate it, give it time to spark other ideas.
Have a zero tolerance policy for instant judgement – or any judgement. Don’t allow anyone to put anyone else’s ideas or thoughts down.
Build a culture of encouragement and build a zero tolerance culture of negative reactions – turn them into constructive comments.
If you’d like an independent diagnostic on the safety net in your meetings, please contact me.