Did you know that there is a sequence of steps that is considered good practice to start meetings? Michael Wilkinson talks about this in the book The Secrets of Facilitation. In cases of continuous improvement ceremony, this does not fall far from it. Let’s talk a little bit about it.
How to start meetings
At the beginning of any meeting, it is important to: remind people of the meeting purpose, engage them to participate, and make clear the expectations about them. We do this with an opening speech using 4 essential steps.
- Inform: make clear the purpose of the meeting.
- Empower: make explicit the expectation from each of them.
- Motivate: give visibility to the joint pains, generating empathy with the meeting purpose.
- Involve: make the first step clear to achieve the expected result.
“We are here to discuss how we can be more effective as a team. Stay comfortable to bring any improvement points that you believe it’s relevant—remembering our consideration that everyone did their best given what they knew and the resources they had available. Thus, we can create an increasingly better environment in this team. To start, let’s do an activity that helps us to be in the present moment.”
Example with separation:
- Inform: “We are here to discuss how we can be more effective as a team.
- Empower: “Stay comfortable to bring any improvement points that you believe it’s relevant.”
- Motivate: “remembering our consideration that everyone did their best given what they knew and the resources they had available.
- Involve: “Thus, we can create an increasingly better environment in this team. To start, let’s do an activity that helps us to be in the present moment.”
Format of the Restrospective Ceremonies
For the retrospective ceremony, depending on the time available, we can decide to follow different formats. If the time is less than 30 minutes, we can go straight to what we call the main Activity (the dynamic itself), otherwise, there is a suggested sequence, but you can always adapt according to your needs.
Sequence for retrospective ceremonies:
- Check-in or Energizer: a way to disconnect people from the outside world and bring them to the present moment.
- Primary directive or coexistence agreements: time to create a safe environment for people to bring to the team everything they believe to be important given the context.
- Main Activity: here, you can bring the dynamics to collect information, which can be a Retrospective, Team Building, or Future retrospective. An excellent way to decide which of these is the best for the moment of the team is using Retro Poker.
- Closing: action plan (maximum three items); appreciation token (appreciation or recognition for behaviors); feelings; among others.
The Online World (Remote)
Considering the adaptations to remote work, the teams will probably come back to the Forming phase, the time when workgroups are being formed, where social relationships are forming, and people are not sure how to behave in the environment (more on Tuckman).
What is causing the teams to return to the forming phase? Social relationships change with online work (Home Office), both with the company, and in people’s homes, many routines are broken and altered. It means that the retrospective ceremonies are reinforced as a leverage point for the teams. New agreements must be created, shared learning, pairing, tools will be studied, and so on.
Speaking about tools, check our post: Remote Work Tools.