I recently conducted a LinkedIn survey asking people to indicate how they felt at the end of their team meetings. Encouragingly, 35% of respondents felt energised, but a whopping 65% indicated that team conversations left them feeling either bored or exhausted.
I wasn’t really surprised by the result. Plenty of teams (and team members) have been trudging through tough terrain over the last 18 months.
Research by MIT shows that the more engaged and energised people are by team conversations, the better the team performs. Therefore, if 65% of your team members feel that conversations are underwhelming, this is going to significantly impact performance.
If this scenario sounds familiar, what can you do?
One simple strategy is to change the type of question that you ask. Some questions are what I call 𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑐𝑙𝑢𝑑𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑞𝑢𝑒𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑠. That is, they come toward the end of a conversation when you are making decisions. Concluding questions are:
When is [X] going to be done?
Who is going to do [X]?
How much is [X] going to cost?
Concluding questions are important to ensure that the team makes progress. However, if used too often, or too early, this question type can leave a conversation feeling transactional and cold.
Instead, try a 𝑐𝑢𝑟𝑖𝑜𝑢𝑠 𝑞𝑢𝑒𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 eg. Are we looking at [X] from the most useful perspective?
Or, a 𝑐𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑣𝑒 𝑞𝑢𝑒𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛: eg. What would [X] look like if it were a car and why?
A delicious meal comprises many flavours and it takes many types of questions to create a true connection.
Perhaps now is a good time to ask yourself - have we got the balance right?
If this post took your thinking somewhere new, please help me do the same for others by sharing this 🥰