Isaac Ludlow Series Part 10: Increase engagement and productivity during team meetings – and beyond!
Do you find that your team is open, engaged, and proactive in team meetings?
Are your team members open with you about issues that they would like to see fixed? Or do they just grumble behind your back amongst themselves?
What difference would it make for your team’s productivity and enjoyment levels at work if all the team members got along better? Often it’s the simple things that make the most difference, and today I want to share a tool that is very simple, doesn’t take long, and makes a big difference for the engagement of your team.
When people arrive at meetings they can have lots of things on their mind, for example how their day has gone so far, how things are at home, things they are proud of, happy with, frustrated about… The list can go on and on.
If your team turn up to the meetings thinking about these things, then how will that affect their concentration? How valuable do you think it would be to you, to have all of your team present and ready to contribute your team meetings?
The tool that I’ll share today has been proven to make a huge difference in morale, productivity and enjoyment at work! It takes some vulnerability, someone to show the way, and the forming of a new habit, but it’s worth every second.
The process is simple and it’s called a WIFLE.
Here’s how it works:
WIFLE stands for ‘What I Feel Like Expressing’. The WIFLE is a powerful tool to help you build a championship team, and using it enables each team member to express what is currently going on in their lives, both at a business and personal level. Too often it is assumed that people leave their emotions at the door when they come to work, but the reality is that this unexpressed or ‘bottled up’ emotion can often impact negatively on team performance.
The rules for a WIFLE are as follows:
Sit around the room, and starting with the person next to you, ask them this simple question: “What do you feel like expressing?”. This person then has the right to say whatever he or she feels like (usually for about 1 to 3 minutes), without interruption, this is most important. If anyone does not feel safe to express whatever he or she feels, you are all wasting your time.
Once the team member has had a say, this person then asks the next person what they feel like expressing. When everyone has had their say, you may then ask if anyone has any ‘Burnings’. This is where anyone that feels they have been wrongly treated replies to the other person’s feelings or impression, either by apologising or explaining what they think actually happened. If these sessions are conducted correctly, you will find your team bonds together effectively and relates to each other as humans – instead of just someone you work with.
You need to hold WIFLE sessions regularly in your business. It should be held at a minimum frequency of weekly but you may wish to hold them as regularly as daily – it depends on what’s realistic for your business. It can also work well having one at the start of the week (first thing Monday, including goal setting) and one at the end of the week (to review the week on Friday afternoon).
It is important that everyone realises that any complaints are not directed personally, rather they focus on behaviour. This is essential in enabling everyone to feel safe in voicing any criticism of you or the system, meaning changes can be made and progress is always happening.
You may also try other variations of this, such as the high-low technique. This is where each team member expresses their high’s and low’s for the week during the WIFLE. Remember, open and honest communication is one of the first steps in building a championship team.
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