How can I communicate better with my team? How can I run a better meeting? How do I make sure my people are “present”?
Try saying “Amen” at the beginning of the meeting, not the end.
We’ve all been there. As people finally straggle into a meeting it inevitably begins to look like the beginning of some prayer session. Heads are bowed, the attendees looking down at their hands, reverently silent. At first, it looks like church – then we see the furrowed brows – and the telltale thumbs and fingers flying. Texts fly into cyberspace and pages on social media are frenetically swept aside.
Everyone is in the room, but many are not “present.”
My nephew attended Basic Training with the U.S. Army. The day he walked into the processing center, the drill instructors confiscated and safely secured his cell phone. They offered no Internet or email access. Sounds a bit anachronistic, doesn’t it?
In a word: No.
The U.S. Army still realizes the power of other forms of communication, including the hand-written letter or note. It might be time for the business world to remember what the Army has never forgotten.
Consider this. My nephew worked long and difficult hours, associating with other soldiers who just weeks previously had been strangers from diverse backgrounds around the United States. The goal of the Army is to instill discipline and knowledge to their new recruits, yes, but it is about something much more important. It is about creating a primary group of human beings who work to understand each other and grow as a community that is mutually supportive and ready to assist in even the most dangerous situations. If the business community was this focused on creation of a primary group, how different might things be?