As the year comes to an end, we are all feeling the need of finishing up projects, closing out budgets, and trying to build a strong foundation for 2019.
While throwing a magnificent holiday bash is valuable and fun, it’s not enough to make sure everyone is ending the year in a good headspace.
Give your team a deserved time to wrap up a year. Let us name it a “debrief”.
If you want to finish the year with your team feeling heard, feeling confident in what’s to come, and clear on what they learned in the midst of all their hard work, don’t miss the opportunity to celebrate the success. Important thing – if do you not consider your business year as successful, still find something to celebrate. The people in your team are still there by your side – isn’t it an achievement?
- Build open communication
- Get awareness what went well and why
- Turn lessons learned to new performance opportunities
- Draw a common vision for the nearest future
- Set goals and an action plan
- Open source of energy for the next year
- Set the time. Depending on the size and significance of the project, you may want to schedule from 1 to 4 hours to hold the debrief.
Tiny hint: Avoid surprise, make sure your team is aware of agenda.
- Create the set of common rules for the next 1-4 hours. It may be “we are non-judgemental to each other”, “all ideas count”, “respect each other’s opinion”.
Tiny hint (my favourite): ask your team NOT to check smartphones, until absolutely necessary, to be present in full focus during the session.
- Set expectations. Invite everybody to speak out his intention for the next 1-4 hours. It works magically – sometimes outlining a topic for discussion is a key to result.
Tiny hint: make sure everyone takes it turn to speak, with no exception.
- Ask questions. As you probably noticed – your role is to ask questions and listen.
- Acknowledge your team results with “What went well? What we did right?”
- Focus on learning with “What helped us to achieve it”?
- Welcome ideas with “What else could we do to make it even better next time?”
- Build a bridge to the upcoming year with “What will we achieve in the next year when we will use all the lesson from the past year in the upcoming one?”
You will probably ask: is it as simple as that? In fact, it takes courage to create a space for open communication. The recent definition of leadership is: “Leadership is a conversation”. Start developing your team by “one conversation at a time”.
If you feel you need an advice on how to run such session by yourself or you would like a professional facilitation for your team debrief, book an introductory 60-min free-of-charge meeting with us.
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