When individuals don’t speak up in meetings, CEOs can feel frustrated. Perceptive CEOs know success requires people to participate actively, contribute their best ideas, and work together as a team to make good decisions and implement effective actions.
To address this frustration, here are three principles and a simple method CEOs and other senior leaders can use to improve team engagement, participation, and performance.
Principles of Engagement
Members of the highest performing teams have a moderately high and relatively even level of dominance
How often a particular team member speaks in meetings is a reasonably good measure of dominance
Low participators may be feeling anxious, angry, or unprepared
Improvement by the Numbers
The CPRI (Context, Process, Results, and Implications) model, described in some of my earlier posts, is useful in solving complex problems. [Insert links here.] Here is a method suggested by the model:
Using a ten-point scale, rate how often each person on your team participates in meetings.
Arrange the ratings in order. For example, Team A has five members with scores: 10, 7, 4, 2, 1. Team B has seven members with scores: 8, 7, 6, 6, 5. You may find it helpful to create a graph:
Numbers can tell stories, paint pictures, or evoke feelings. Examine your team’s numbers. Let your mind go. What stories, pictures, or feelings come to you?
3. To refine your thinking, consider your team in its context:
· What are the team’s goals?
· Who are the stakeholders?
· What are the goals, interests, and characteristics of each individual team member?
· How does your team prepare for meetings?
· How do you conduct the meetings?
· How well is the team functioning?
· Who might feel anxious, angry, unprepared? Why?
4. Consider the implications for you as a leader. Going forward, how can you generate ideas for shifting your process to improve the team’s results?
The possibilities for process improvement are unlimited. Feel free to comment below to share what has worked in your context.
If you find this approach of interest, I would very much appreciate hearing your comments and suggestions.