Hosting Healthy Meetings
- Ask meeting attendees to pick a penny out of a basket or bowl, look at the year, and talk with a partner about what happened that year (for them or historically). Ask the partner to Be Here Now in listening and share with the group what they learned. At the end of the activity, ask participants to exercise the same level of listening through the meeting. (Be Here Now/Listening)
- At the start of a meeting, ask each attendee, “What needs to happen here for you to feel this was a successful meeting?” Record all responses and agree as a group to aim for those results.
- Start the meeting by asking attendees to consider what might be tempting them away from Being Here Now for the meeting. You can ask them to share with the group or a partner. Another variation is to have everyone write the potential distractions on a piece of paper; then, have them ball up the paper to put the distractions aside.
- Ask participants to write something that concerns them about a current or pending change on a piece of paper, then ball it up and throw it across the room. Have everyone pick up a paper ball. As each person reads the paper aloud, ask the group to offer support and respond to each concern as a participant-supporter-coach.
- Ask participants to break into pairs, and talk about how values and behaviors can help them manage a current or pending change.
- At a meeting where you are talking about a change, lighten the mood with culture-themed refreshments, including: shots of culture (yogurt), results scones, and blue chips (blue corn chips). Remind participants that looking at ordinary things in a new way, as we have to with change, can be fun.
- Hand out unfolded towels to 5-6 participants and give them the simple instruction to fold the towel. When they are done, ask each to show how it was folded and then ask why they folded it that way. Draw out the thinking behind each person’s choice in how they folded the towel. Debrief around the results cone and show how participants’ thinking drove their behaviors and their results.
- Ask each member to demonstrate a “silly walk,” or a new way of getting across the room. Run through the group several times, asking each person to use a new silly walk. Playing music helps the creativity. After everyone has participated several times, talk about how each different style gets results and we all walk the walk in our own way.
- Select a new result the team is responsible for achieving. Use the results cone to talk about what thinking and behaviors will help achieve the result. As a group, develop a list of thinking and behaviors everyone will focus on to achieve success.
Supporting High Performance
- Ask participants to share a recent success and how changes they’ve made as a result of learning more about our values and high performing behaviors contributed to that success.
- Have team members spend a few minutes to individually collect “feedforward” advice; feedforward advice uses the format of “I’m working on _______. Do you have a couple of ideas for me?”
- Ask participants to describe a time when they experienced poor customer service, and how many people did they tell about the experience? Next, ask them to describe a time when they experienced excellent customer service, and how many people did tell?” Discuss the importance of providing excellent service. Then, discuss what service the team provides and to whom, and ways to consistently provide excellent service.
- Have each person share something about themselves that no one else knows. To get started, you can offer a question such as, What’s your behavioral style, and what do you appreciate about other styles? What was your favorite birthday celebration, and why? Another variation is to have everyone share three truths and a lie, and have the group decide which is the lie.
- Before a meeting, ask everyone to write something unique about themselves on an index card, without their name). Collect all index cards before the meeting. As participants arrive, have them draw a card and find the person it belongs to.
- Select a topic of concern to the group. Pass around a multi-colored beach ball; explain that each color on the ball represents one member of the team. Pass the ball around the room; as each person receives the ball, they’re asked to claim their color and describe their contribution or filters around the topic.
- Lead the group in five minutes of exercise, such as desk stretches, lunges, or wall squats. If you’re hosting a longer meeting, do this again in the middle of the meeting to refocus and re-energize the group.
- Have an attendee prepare a healthy snack for the group. Provide copies of the recipe.
- Lead the group through a relaxation exercise, such as a reflective activity, deep breathing, or meditation.