Are you senior leadership meetings truly energising?

Or do you get stuck in problems?

I coach many CEOs and Senior Leadership Team members, and while these are the most senior people in the organisation, they are often not functioning as well as they could be.

Often they are high performing individuals, but as a team – maybe not so much.

Now of course, this can apply to many teams throughout different levels of an organisation, but the more senior the team, the bigger the problems they are generally working on.

They aren’t paid to work on the easy stuff.

Regardless of the gravity of whatever they are working together to achieve, like with any team, the more energised the people are to work together, the better the results they will generally get.

So how do you keep even the heaviest of conversations more energising?

Firstly, all teams need a foundation of psychological safety. This is the ability to feel safe enough to speak up to ask questions and challenge ideas. Likewise, it’s the ability to speak up and ask questions and challenge ideas without making others feel unsafe.

It’s a feeling that someone has your back even if you both disagree on something. It’s knowing that disagreement is totally fine, but being disagreeable is not. General negativity, especially when directed at individuals, is not acceptable.

This is important as the more senior the team, it is more likely that there will be disagreements, and it would almost be a little scary if there weren’t a lot of disagreements.

We also see that psychological safety is something that everyone agrees is great for the whole company to experience, and yet the more senior teams often forget to exhibit it with each other. It’s often believed that these team members should be senior enough to take some heat from each other. Maybe so, but actions promoting psychological safety go a long way to increase team effectiveness.

Assuming psychological safety is there (and we can test for that if you aren’t sure) there plenty of other ways that we can make sure meetings stay energising, regardless of the topic.

  • More prep work before the meeting. General updates are blah. Do more work before the meetings by sending updates and ensure people know exactly where things are at, and highlight what is for general discussion where input from everyone would be useful.
  • Focus on the “why” of the goals, and what it means for the business and the team if these goals are met.
  • If things are going according to plan, have the belief in each other and the team that they have the ability to work out prickly problems.
  • Language counts – Often things don’t go according to plan and the conversation can end up with everyone feeling a bit negative and problem-focused. Questions like “What’s going right?”, “What can we learn from this?” “How can we build on this for next time?” can totally change the tone of the conversation.
  • Highlight wins and progress – Rather than just move onto the next thing – get excited about wins and progress and particularly why these wins and progress have occurred.

 

While these are just some simple things to get you started, there are plenty more ways to help people feel energised in even the heaviest of meetings.

If you feel your senior teams could be working together in a more energised way, contact us to book in a complimentary 45 minute discovery call.