Last week I shared my Team Member Fact Sheet and 3 tips for using it to build healthy relationships with your team. Now, here are the 3 main reasons leaders will not use this with their teams based on my experience:
- No time in the agenda: I have gotten used to going to meetings with teams and having my time cut down with them because things ‘run over’ or hot topics appear. I once had a 90-minute key note workshop shrunk to 45 minutes because the speaker before me ran over. Front load this time and give it the time it deserves. Business issues will always be there, and imagine how much harder it will be to solve them if your best people leave because they have no connections with peers.
- Too nervous about the legality of asking these questions: I feel compelled to give the caveat that this sheet is a post-hire sheet because these questions are not considered legal if asked during the interview process (birthday and family, for example). I only say that because I know someone will use it as a pre-hire questionnaire if I don’t say it, and yet that is the only issue with asking these questions. Remember – the leader always shares theirs first.
- Resistance to the ‘squishy’ team building stuff: My experience is that adults complain about these activities like teenagers complain about family vacations, so push through the initial resistance and wait until after you’ve done it to evaluate. Every group has one voice questioning the value of doing this activity. As an experienced facilitator, I have learned to listen to them but move forward anyway. About 80% of the time, that same voice says they came into the activity skeptical, but were glad they took the time to do it because of what they learned. The other 20% are probably the one person on the team that needs to leave the organization.
Committed people-centered leaders inherently know that honest conversations followed by thoughtful actions lead to improved performance. Those of you that use the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS®) – this means you!
Listen . . . Lead. Repeat often!
A friend recently emailed a group of us asking for icebreaker ideas. The group responded with many of the standards: 2 truths and a lie, 5 things we all have in common, and a few other ideas. All effective at getting people laughing and talking – but none can be taken back and used when the new VP walks in or you pull a project team together.
I shared my Team Member Fact Sheet™ – over the past 5 years it has become the only tool I use. My experience with adults is that too many barriers exist in the workplace (or in our cul-de-sacs for that matter) which prevent equal sharing of ‘what you need to know about me’.
Here are three ways to use the Team Member Fact Sheet™ at one of your upcoming team gatherings or EOS® Quarterly Planning Sessions:
- Ask everyone to fill it out and go around and share 2 to 4 facts with each other, then hand out their sheet. As the leader, send out your completed sheet first.
- Give everyone a blank fact sheet and ask them to meet people and take turns asking each other questions from the sheet. Spend 2 minutes per conversation, then move on. Keep it to 2 questions. Debrief by going around and introducing their current partner and sharing 1 new fact they learned.
- Advanced: Fill it out for your teammates. Hand a Team Member Fact Sheet™ to each person on the team. They write their name on the top and pass the sheet to the right. Each team member has 60 seconds to fill in as much information as they can about that person, then it gets passed again. Debrief by having each person share answers to 2 questions the team did not complete and 1 correction (where the team answered wrong). I give each person a different colored pen so their answers are color-coded – and watch as people look around the room to try and figure out who answered based on ink color. Laughter is generated.
Brain research tells us that getting people talking about themselves has the same impact as feeding them or handing them money. 98% of us want to be people-centered leaders, and this is a step toward doing that.
The form is free, and if you want more tips just email me. I love to watch this sheet travel!
Listen . . Lead. Repeat often!