For some years, I’ve used a simple trick to greatly increase effectiveness in meetings:
Let everyone draw a “1” on a sticky note, then give them this instruction:
One Minute Card
“Raise this card whenever you feel the current conversation or speaker should come to an end within one minute.”
When first introduced, this tool usually eliminates the behaviour it was designed to address 🙂
In the Scrum training I recently gave, I introduced two more cards:
One card gets a stop sign. Raise this to say
You may or may not state a reason. You may add something like “Let’s get coffee.” “Let’s let some air in.” or you give someone else a chance to do that. Maybe you just need to think. Maybe you think everyone should take a deep breath. The magic is, you don’t need to talk – you just raise the card.
Directing people’s attention can work magic. Especially in uncomfortable situations (maybe there’s conflict, maybe the topic is emotional, maybe all are tired…”) it can be hard to state our discomfort out loud – because it can almost always been taken as blame. The card directs attention and it just issues a very simple request.
Good Intention Card
The card with the smile helps you in awkward moments… It says
“That was probably well-intentioned…”
(Deutsch: “Das war bestimmt gut gemeint.” If you have a better English translation, I’m all ears!) It’s a fun, light-weight way to call out toxic behaviours and remind everyone of the option to assume good intent.
I’m thinking about printing these cards as a small thing to hand out to people I work with. What would you add? How do you like these?
The first card (“1”) I stole with pride from Ari-Pekka Lappi of Flowa fame. He shared this and more meeting hacks at Play4Agile years ago. The “Pause” card I adapted from a card he introduced this year in his “Make Conflicts great again” session at Play4Agile… Kiitos!