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Hello,

I've started managing a small team of 3 a couple of months ago and I'm rolling out our Weekly Staff, as per MT guidelines. I've been asking my directs to update on their objectives and I'm finding it hard going (lots of silences, the non speakers appearing dis-engaged, few questions). I can't see that the meetings are helping efficient communication all that much and I wonder if it is because they all have quite different responsabilities (one does advertising, one does process, one handles smaller accounts) and there really isn't much common ground. My part (the waterfall bit) is OK and the special topics section is coming together (I have ideas there).

I'm thinking now to stop asking them to report on their objectives (which I cover in 1-2-1's anyway) and instead reporting on of 'Succeses', 'issues' and 'collaboration'. Does anyone have any experience of this and advice about whether this might improve the flow of communication?

Thank you.

pucciot's picture

I am going through somthing very similar.

What is the purpose of the meeting ?

It is not for them to report to you.

That is what the one on ones are for.

* It is to foster communication amongst the team.

* It is serve as a backdrop for their relationships with each other.

You need to implore them to be 

_ Curious and Concerned _ about each other and eachother's work.

* Ask them to give the thier headlines from the past week and plans for the week ahead.

-- Not a whole report.  Headlines.  Victories, failures, Days out - Days planned to be out.

Big Meetings ... Collaborations with other departments or Vendors

Progress on a project.

Over time you can work with them and ask them to improve their Headlines, during a One on One.

 

If someone says they are not curious or concerned about teamates you gotta tell them

-- "Get curious and concerned"

When the Offense is out on the field, the defense and the special teams don't go into the locker room

They stay on the sidelines and watch the game.  They all know the score.  They all know who got tackled, who made the big block, who kicked the goal, even if they weren't on the field.

We are all in the game and " I consider it as part of your job, to be curious and concerned about your teammates. Yeah you heard me right, it is part of your job to let the team know about your gameplay, and to be curious about the rest of the team's gameplay."

 

Over time you can work with them and ask them to improve their Headlines, during a One on One.

"Hey, dude.  Last week you met with an important client, and forgot to mention that as a Headline at the meeting.  I want you to be proud and clear about what you do here.   We do good work here and I expect a good headline."

"Listen, if you don't have anyting to report as a headline, then what are we paying you to do ?  You must be doing somthing ?"

Only made 10 widgets ---- That's OK -- report clear and proudly that you made 10 widgets last week !  You did that, it is good work, be proud.

I think you can get the idea.

 

Good Luck !

 

TJPuccio

mkirk's picture

Some great ideas there, TJ Puccio. Thanks, appreciate you sharing them.

DeveloperManager's picture

That's great advice TJPuccio.

I also manage a small team (4 people).  I'm not at the point of the Weekly Staff meetings yet, but I do have a similar concern as mkirk, though for different reasons.  Everyone on my team is tightly coupled so there aren't really any "headlines" that others wouldn't already know.  When they're not on the same project they do code reviews for each other and collaborate on code issues. In addition we have stand ups twice a week and project meetings (project work accounts for the bulk of their time).  

Your analogy to the football team and comments about being curious and concerned have helped me start to pull into focus how this could work.  We all know the big picture, but it could present an opportunity to discuss the smaller coding struggles and victories that others might not know about, or bring up topics for discussion that impact the larger team ("We don't have documentation around X") and try to solve for it.

Thanks for your post!