Give them Permission to Speak their Minds

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When people feel safe enough to speak their minds in meetings, everyone benefits: Employees get to be honest, and managers get to hear what their team members really think.

Leaders can invite candid conversation by doing two things.

  1. Focus on permission. Give people permission to say or ask anything they want. Sometimes in meetings it’s unclear who is allowed to say what, or which topics people can and cannot ask about. Discuss these things with your team up front.

  2. Create psychological safety. Everyone has had the experience of not feeling heard or respected; show your team that won’t happen in your meetings. Ask the group to devote their full attention to whoever is talking, to not interrupt each other, and to highlight the value in other people’s contributions.

Tip: Keep your team on track to keep their attention — call on people who haven’t spoken, keep the conversation on track, and hold people back if they’re talking too much.

How do you make sure team meetings are engaging?