A couple of weeks ago, I asked the team I work with if we could pilot the idea of starting the day with quick, 5 - 10 minute standing meetings. I am been pleasantly surprised with how well received they have been, and some of the unforeseen benefits that have materialised.
The idea of of a stand up meeting is that it is quick and to the point, because standing around for too long becomes uncomfortable and stops people going off the point, or lapsing into gossip sessions. Of course, you do need to pay attention to people who, for whatever reason, cannot stand and make other arrangements.
What do you talk about
In standing meetings, participants are asked to talk about:
- what they want to achieve during the day
- what the barriers are
- and what they'd like to acknowledge or celebrate in terms of success or achievement from the previous day/s.
This idea has been around for some time, and has been considered a useful strategy for team building, reducing time wasted in pointless seated meetings, and getting people away from their desks.
Outcomes I have discovered
In the short time we have been trying out standing meeting to start the day, I have found:
- We start the day as a group of people connecting with each other, rather than rushing into our various offices and not speaking to anyone for hours on end.
- As manager, I have a better understanding of what is going on for people so I can focus on who needs support, and what form that support may take. I also have a better understanding of what people are achieving across the organisation as a whole, and have been enjoying learning all sorts of things about people's work that I never knew.
- We have an opportunity to brain storm together and share ideas across the whole team. I have been delighted with how everyone has pulled together to share solutions to problems, so there has been cross-pollination across units, and everyone has a voice.
- We feel an accountability, and therefore motivation to complete work. In other words, if we say we're going to do something but we don't do it, then we have to explain the next day to the team. That sounds a little scary, but team members have actually felt it to be a benefit to their work management, which has come as a bit of a surprise to me.
- We enjoy celebrating the small successes we have with each other as we complete activities or overcome barriers.
- This has been a great way to get to know new members to the team and introduce them to life in the office.
Do you have standing meetings at your place of work? How effective do you find them? What are your tips and tricks for successful standing meetings?