How to Improve Decision Making and Conversation in Meetings

There’s plenty of information out there about meeting angst and agenda guidelines. It’s the main focus for meeting tech tools and content resources. 

What about what happens in the actual meeting? There’s usually a decision that needs to be made, and there’s always a group conversation. These two skills are important for meetings and nearly every aspect of life. 

Here’s how to improve these critical elements. 

Decision Making

The most meticulous agenda paired with a fully adopted system of meeting bylaws will not help with the crucial element of decision making. Meeting software tools produce loads of training and educational content with the goal of addressing this skill. 

Google executives famously rely on data to make decisions. Former VP Melissa Mayer discouraged the word “like” in meetings and instead encouraged people to use data-backed compliments or critiques. This can be a double-edged sword. Google over-engineered this idea to the point where they were testing 41 shades of blue to see which one performed better, which irked some designers. Despite this, being deliberate about your decision making process and criteria is a must. 

Leaning on data for decision making is a popular option because it’s the opposite of an emotional approach. Emotional decision-making is usually involved with our biggest regrets. But it’s also true that the emotional side of reasoning can’t be buried entirely.

Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio documented cases where patients suffer brain damage that removes their ability to use emotion when making decisions. Their lives are ruined despite their IQ and other brain functions being completely normal because they’re not able to make decisions. This demonstrates the importance of considering people’s moods, emotions and maintaining a positive atmosphere within every meeting room. 

Further, relying entirely on logic (or data) leads to analysis paralysis if logic doesn’t indicate a clear winner. For example, if logo design options have divided support amongst the team and comparative A/B test results. 

Whether it’s data, an executive to serve as final tiebreaker, an algorithm, etc. it’s important to have something in place to make decisions when a stalemate is hurting productivity. Also, facilitating friendly conversation and boosting morale will have an actual impact on your decision making. 

Better Conversation, Better Meetings

You can have time to prepare, set the right agenda, use meeting bylaws and it can all still go wrong. What actually happens when you physically or digitally get together is often overlooked, at least by so-called thought leaders on the topic. 

While much of the advice about meetings is experience-driven, opinion-based and more art than science, guidance for facilitating conversation is more objective. It’s an easier topic to study and thus provides more conclusions. 

There are several techniques for managers (or any meeting leader). 

Create a welcoming environment - If employees don’t feel like they have permission to share, complain or ask hard questions, they’re likely not going to share important details about a project gone wrong. You can do this by asking permission before questioning, and asking questions like:

  1. What do you think I need to know?

  2. Where are you struggling?

  3. What are you proud of?

Be aware of questioning sequence - With that said, you should pay attention to how your questions are sequenced. In “Thinking, Fast and Slow”, Daniel Kahneman explained how questioning sequence can alter a respondents answers entirely. 

Students were asked how their life was going, followed by a question about their dating life. The answers were independent and not related. Flip the question sequence, and suddenly they felt worse about their life if they had a negative response on the dating question (which was asked first). 

This can apply to 1-on-1 meetings or status review meetings. If someone shares a negative sentiment on the initial question, the follow up question will likely be more of the same. Counteract this by focusing on the initial answer. Understand the why and how behind the reaction, before moving forward. 

Think like a negotiator - Hostage negotiators apply a simple, but effective 5-step process

  1. Active Listening

  2. Empathy

  3. Rapport

  4. Influence

  5. Behavioral Change

What happens in many meetings is people go directly to step four (influence), or skip one of the first three steps. It’s not enough to just listen, express empathy and demonstrate rapport to influence behavior or get people to listen and take whatever action is required after the meeting. 

There are also techniques for meeting participants. 

Mimic Appropriately - People are influenced by our movements and nonverbal reactions. MIT professor Sandy Pentland published an entire book dedicated to this topic. In one study, a presenter who purposely mimicked the movements of listeners was found to be 20 percent more effective. This isn’t something you would want to forcefully do, but understanding the movements and reactions of your teammates during a meeting will lead to more listening and togetherness. 

Active and Constructive Responses - Practice active and constructive responses whenever responding to someone. This means you are active with your body language i.e. maintaining eye contact. And constructive with language i.e. repeating part of their statement, then building on it.  

Compliment and encourage - If you want to be heard and listened to during a meeting, make other people feel good. Research shows that flattery is effective even when it’s obviously insincere. Being insincere isn’t the best habit to pick up, but find ways to compliment team members. 

Check out our other meeting-focused content to learn more about issues, solutions and how Topple fits in.

Meetings: How to Build Smart Agendas and Bylaws

Meetings without agendas are like hospitals without doctors. You might get something out of it, but there's a good chance you’ll end up hurting more than when you went in. 

Even those who recommend an agenda-less approach note the need for outcome statements and goals. If you’re able to diagnose and treat the issue on the fly, then go for it. But for the rest of us without our PhD in Meetingomics, here’s how to make sure your agendas and standards are effective. 

Beyond the Agenda 

Want to have a good meeting? Create an agenda. It’s been written a million times. But if having an agenda was the answer, we wouldn’t have so many complaints about meetings. The actual first step is align a purpose with your agenda. There are generally six categories. 

  • Decision making - Deciding on a new hire, event planning, selecting a prototype, etc. These meetings require a decision following discussion. 

  • Correct a problem - Responding to an incident, fixing a customer complaint, disciplinary actions, etc. These meetings bring an issue to the attention of a team and identify the best possible action. 

  • Brainstorms - Collecting creative information for client deliverables, marketing content or new feature ideas. Brainstorms can have their own bylaws and standards. 

  • Broadcast information - All-hands meetings, company structure updates, PR and news updates, etc. These instances are reserved for when the information is too important to risk an unread email. 

  • Collect feedback - Reviewing A/B tests, feature reviews, team performance reviews, etc. These help managers and team members collect feedback that would not be shared through other mediums.  

  • Status review - Team cadence meetings, project reviews, one-on-one reviews, etc. These meetings examine the progress of something. 

Defining an agenda category is a great first step. The difficult part is when there’s not enough time to pick a category, let alone create a detailed agenda. Enacting meeting bylaws can help with efficiency when preparation is inadequate. 

Meeting Bylaws

These are some of the meeting rules applied by successful organizations. They’re backed by experts and social science. 

The Intro - American Express Executive Christopher Frank popularized a series of questions to begin meetings: 

  • What is the purpose?: If you’ve picked one of the agenda categories above, this question should be known by everyone on the invite. 

  • What is the issue…in five words or less?: Asking this question to everyone in the room immediately creates a roundtable effect. Most issues are complex enough where you won’t get the same answers, which kicks off discussion and reduces the chances of off-topic chatter and confusion. 

  • Who has already weighed in and what did they have to say about it?: This question also kicks off proper discussion. You’ll find out if the right people are present: those who developed the initial issue, the stakeholders, and the decision makers. Ineffective meetings don’t get this question out until near the end, which brings more discussion. 

Short and Serviceable - The worst default setting in software history is calendar apps that default to a 30-minute or one-hour meeting time. As if every meeting should be 14% of our day (with lunch) and two meetings should be 5% of our week. It may sound insignificant until you factor in conversations with team members, dealing with customers and all the unforeseen happenings of a given day. 

It’s worth noting that there is no scientifically-proven sweet spot for meeting length. Studies that attempt to prove that our attention spans are 10-15 minutes have been inconclusive. And it’s just not true that we have goldfish-like attention spans of 8 seconds (actually, the goldfish thing isn’t true either). Anyway, the point is that it’s not about an exact length of time, it’s about setting the principle that meetings will be short without being rushed. And ramblers shall be cut off (politely). 

No tech - Create a digital coat check or assign a single laptop note taker. It’s a simple, powerful concept that isn’t applied universally. The most common objection to banning smartphones and laptops is, “I need to answer customers!” Solve this by limiting meeting length. Don’t forget that handwritten notes stick to our memory more than typed. 

No spectators - Everything above encourages participation and purpose. Usually meeting spectators are the ones who feel justified bringing their laptops and multi-tasking. If you don’t have a follow-up task, are not impacted, and don’t need to weigh in - there’s no need to be there. At best, the spectator might contribute something vaguely useful, at worst they’ll discourage someone who needs to weigh in from doing so. 

Assign tasks

Steve Jobs and Apple are known for the D.R.I. (directly responsible individual) standard for meetings. Every member of the meeting is assigned a task at the conclusion of the meeting. If someone doesn’t have a task, was their presence needed? If it’s a broadcast-type meeting or team announcement, the D.R.I can be replaced with D.I.I (directly impacted individual), everyone should confirm how they are affected by said announcement and what changes, if any, they will make.

The DocOps Culture

These ideas about meeting agendas and bylaws are only useful if they’re shared amongst a team. Team members assume certain bylaws are common knowledge. Creating documents with an organization’s meeting philosophy and protocol is how everything above can be implemented. 

Relevant documents for better meetings include: 

Meeting Agenda Guidelines - If teams sync up on meeting agendas, it’ll make cross-department transfers smoother. And give new meeting leaders a headstart on how to run their meetings. 

Meeting Bylaws - Determine which meeting bylaws should be used throughout the company. This can be a standalone document or one section of a comprehensive overview. 

Meeting Tools & Resources - One team might be using a SaaS tool while another relies on their calendar functionality. Allow everyone to use the same resources by documenting what’s available. 

Team Charter - Anticipated team and department meetings should be included within a team charter document. This allows team members to prepare and coordinate while giving executives a better look into how everything works. 

Smart agendas and thoughtful bylaws are important, but other organizational factors impact meeting effectiveness. Collect feedback from management and individual contributors to build a comprehensive overview of the status quo. You can then begin to implement these guidelines. 

How Meeting Culture Affects our Workplace

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In 1975, the first-ever meeting between astronauts and cosmonauts took place during the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. Soviets and Americans shook hands through an open hatch and remained docked together for 44 hours. The meeting cooled Cold War tensions and ushered in a new era of technical and scientific collaboration.

That was the last successful meeting in history.

Ok maybe not.

But a general hatred or at least an acceptable level of disgust of meetings is one of the few common bonds of mankind.

Here’s some insight into how we got here and the status of business meetings today.

The Meeting Culture Problem

In 2005, a Microsoft study found more than two-thirds (71%) of respondents said their meetings during the week were unproductive. Twelve years later, similar research was published in the Harvard Business Review. Again, 71% of managers said their meetings were unproductive and inefficient. 

During this 12-year period, we’ve seen a lifetime’s worth of technological advancement. SaaS has exploded, high-speed internet is the norm and the amount of available tools to improve meetings and avoid them when unnecessary has increased exponentially. 

Yet the issue of unproductive meetings is still pervasive. Why? Let’s start with the obvious, no one likes them because they usually suck. We know the culprits. 

The “couldn’t have this been an email?!” meeting - The meeting is brief (thankfully). But covers a singular topic without any collaboration with the participants. From the participant’s perspective, it was unnecessary. From the manager’s perspective, they can’t confirm the email would be read, or even opened. So yes, it was necessary.  

The “amnesia” meeting - The meeting goes well, but it all goes downhill when an airborne form of dementia disperses through the room just before the meeting concludes. Whatever was said, is lost. Whatever was written, is unintelligible. 

The “BYOD” meeting - Surely we are professional enough to bring our laptop to a meeting for the purpose of taking notes or looking up relevant info - wrong. Laptops during meetings usually means “bring your own distraction” with multi-tasking, general tasks of distraction (social media, internet errands, etc) or chatting with coworkers...who are in the same meeting. 

The “remote conference bingo” meeting - If one or more remote employees are teleconferencing, you’ll often begin playing remote conference bingo. 

“Can you hear me now”
“You’re on mute”
Excruciating feedback noise
“Are you still there?”
FREE SPACE
Overtalking… “Sorry, go ahead”
Child and/or animal noises
“Can you repeat that, you broke up”
“Sorry, I was on mute”

The “wanderer” meeting - If casual conversation and camaraderie isn’t common in at a workplace, meetings become the only place for employees to interact. This turns meetings into watercooler sessions with rambling, off-topic conversations. 

The “lone ranger” meeting - By definition, meeting means: “the act of coming together.” So when one person spends the duration of the gathering to pontificate or deliver a one-way sermon, it’s not helpful. More importantly, it won’t deliver the desired result. 

Those are just a few common examples. Meetings can also be repetitive, lack context or direction, important people could be missing, or the whole thing can get interrupted by an unsolvable disagreement. 

We’ve all experienced these issues, and more than a decade of data confirms that people feel the issues above create unproductive outputs - so why is “meeting culture” still such an issue? Some argue it’s not. Meetings are a necessary evil for sharing important information. The problems are simply a byproduct of the system, but do not hinder businesses. 

However if you try to calculate cost for bad meetings, the numbers are astronomical. Doodle’s 2019 State of Meetings Report estimated that two hours of pointless meetings per week equates to $399 billion of wasted money. Another frequently shared estimate says $37 billion. Similar to the issue of tribal knowledge loss, it’s hard to quantity this issue with an exact dollar amount. 

The Distraction Culture Problem

There’s another way to illustrate the problem, the cost of unnecessary distraction. 

Marketers, writers, developers, salespeople and executives all have one thing in common. We require dedicated periods of focus during the day to get things done. This is referred to as “deep work” time and a lack of it hurts productivity. This is one reason why the amount of remote jobs and remote work in general continues to rise, remote workers are generally less prone to distraction. 

A University of California study found it takes 23 minutes and 15 seconds to resume a task after being distracted. A click-tracking study of app developers found that only 10% of the time, were they able to return to their task in less than a minute after a distraction. 

These distractions can be avoided by scheduling meetings well ahead of time and having strict time guidelines. But we know it doesn’t usually work like that. 

The DocOps Culture

There are plenty of SaaS products focused on improving meetings with features such as calendar integration, agenda builders and automated follow-ups. Others rely on Microsoft Office products or Google suite to provide similar functions. 

They might save you time, and make meetings more enjoyable. But they’re not going to overhaul your organization. The DocOps system goes beyond just accepting the problems that meetings bring. 

Instead you can focus on getting to the underlying issue which causes ineffective meetings. This could be a lack of information sharing between departments, a missing central database of information or general confusion on what meetings should and shouldn't be. All of these problems are addressed through the documentation of processes and protocol. 

Identifying your meeting problem, and paying for or instilling solutions to help is a great start. But the rest of this series focuses on how to improve meeting agendas and decision making. 

3 Overlooked Keys to Employee Onboarding

I’ve had quite a few jobs. The shortest tenure of my career was a single six-hour shift at a famous pizza chain. I was offered a job as a delivery driver. But when I arrived, I was immediately thrown on the phone and asked to take orders. The system was easy enough, so I decided to stick it out with the hopes of realizing my delivery driver dream another day. Next, I was tasked with making pizza with no training, just by following a big poster on the wall. To top it off, I didn’t know how to estimate pizza delivery time. I confidently told every customer that their pizza would be prepared, cooked and delivered in a blistering 20-30 minutes.

Looking back, if they onboarded me properly, I would have stuck it out. I hate quitting. I love pizza. But the intense lack of context was too much - even for a naive teenager. 

It’s not just pizza joints that struggle with onboarding. In fact, only 20% of organizations have a comprehensive onboarding plan according to SHRM Foundation research

Here are three overlooked aspects of onboarding (and how DocOps can help). 

Importance of Day One

First day the job. The schedule usually consists of locating the bathroom and HR forms. Or the agenda consists of “drinking from the fire hose” where employees are pummeled with an ungodly amount of information. This stems from a traditional approach from decades ago when there was less competition and no LinkedIn. Workers weren’t likely to leave a job within the first months, or even years. 

Today, experts say 20% of employee turnover occurs within the first 45 days. First impressions aren’t everything, but they matter. A first day experience will stick in someone’s mind, good or bad. There are several methods for improving the initial experience. 

  • Day 0 - Too many new hires are told they’re expected to hit the ground running during an interview, then handed a stack of HR paperwork on their first day. There’s a better time for such tasks - after the offer letter is signed, and before the first day. This way employees can take their time, avoid typos and actually think about their tax and retirement options. Meanwhile, employers boost productivity by shortening ramp up time. 

  • Focus on the Individual - Research published in the MIT Sloan Management Review found an onboarding process that focused on the individual instead of the company reduced turnover by 32%. Some employers conduct an “entrance interview” or do team bonding exercises such as a “two truths, one lie” panel. These are low-cost, low-effort actions that could increase the lifetime value of employees. 

  • Team Socialization - Research in the Oxford University Press showed those who form social networks at work learn faster and perform better. There’s unlimited options for accomplishing this. Marketing agency Percolate uses a “buddy system” where new employees are paired with a seasoned team member who can guide them through the mundane while providing a window for honest dialogue. Other companies facilitate social connections with a team happy hour or employee scavenger hunts. 

  • Community Involvement - Cornell researchers studied 230 software firms and concluded that social involvement in the community (and with coworkers) is crucial for employee onboarding. Do this by coordinating volunteer events with charities, and making the event schedule public.

DocOps in Action: Socialization and team culture improvements is a major benefit of discussion through document reviews. The roundtable setting provides a platform for everyone to contribute in a natural way. For new employees, reviewing a document with new team members is valuable exercise. Learn more about DocOps.

Documentation > Training 

For employers, training and onboarding are often grouped together. While it’s certainly part of it, this rationale overlooks something that resonates with every type of manager - self-learning. Employees should be able to learn on their own, at any time. New employees are often left to peruse around without clear direction of how to get better or at least more informed. 

You can have the best training system money can buy, with leading software and well-paid curriculum experts - but one thing you can’t control is how a given individual learns. That goes for the speed in which they learn and the preferred format. That’s why enabling self-learning is so important. An available database of documentation allows new employees to learn about their job, and the company culture. Studies on which form of learning is most effective have mixed results - it depends on the individual. 

Of course, just reading documents alone isn’t going to be that effective over time. 

The DocOps review workflow is designed so everyone is encouraged to read, write and share. Document reviews provide a diverse learning environment, and eliminate something that is proven to slow down learning - multitasking and distraction. 

Possible onboarding documents include: 

  • Team (or Company) Charter - A new employee would benefit from reviewing a team charter document which includes background & context, roles & responsibilities, team operations, budget & resources and more. A smaller company or startup could use a company charter document in the same capacity. 

  • Role Description - What better way to establish accountability and transparency for a new employee, his team and manager than to review a document which defines all components of the job. 

  • Software Usage Guide - Many new employees must use an unfamiliar SaaS product. Reviewing the how-to’s, settings and standards is much more effective than learning on their own. 

Ongoing Onboarding 

If 80% of companies don’t invest in a formal onboarding program, it’s likely an even higher percentage don’t think about onboarding after the first six months of an employee’s tenure. This oversight can lead to confusion or even resentment over time. 

Situations such as promotions, lateral transfers, when someone takes on a bigger team or when the company experiences a merger, downsizing, technology changes and more all require a fresh introduction. This can’t happen with just an assigned trainer and training material. 

The DocOps workflow solves this issue by leveraging a living database of information. There’s still a need for the initial creation of the document, but instead burying within a storage system, it’s owned by the whole team. Thinking about onboarding as an ongoing initiative instead a one-time task helps with employee engagement which impacts employee retention. Similar to above, ongoing document reviews could include role description and team charter documents for employees who switch roles or teams. 

6 Core Components of a Team Charter Document

From Chernobyl to Fyre Festival, every man-made disaster of human history begins with poor teamwork and a lack of communication. Failing to establish objectives, poor leadership, twisted priorities - there are countless origins for epic failure, but there’s a common denominator. At some point, any semblance of teamwork is extinguished.

A team charter document is the best tool for fending off potential collapse of a team. This document can be applied for multiple scenarios: 

  • The framework for an organization, such as a startup or team within a corporation. 

  • Team project for college students

  • Opening a second location (small business or restaurant)

  • Military operation

  • New client kickoff 

  • New project kickoff 

  • Engineering projects (such as breakout sprint within a larger organization)

Team charters will differ based on the situation. There will always be unique elements but the core elements remain the same. 

Core Components of a Team Charter

Background & Context - Actionable guidance is impossible without background and context. This section establishes the purpose of the specific team charter you’re working on. It answers the question of, “What?” It could include simple outline the document contents. 

Objective - This section answers the question of, “Why?” Some prefer to use, “Mission & Vision” or some variation. Use this to explain why the team should care about this document. The main goal of the project or team should be included. It’s also appropriate to list the success metrics for the project, such as key performance indicators (KPIs), a financial target or audience-related goal. Another benefit of the objective section is to eliminate the possibility of scope creep, when a team begins working on deliverables outside of the project guidelines. Scope creep is a surefire way to miss deadlines and increase team confusion. 

Roles & Responsibilities - The next question to answer is, “Who?” Many teams and businesses operate with a misunderstanding of who does what. This section presents direction that is more useful than titles for LinkedIn profiles. For instance, team members with the title of “Sr. Engineer” are more effective within the team dynamic by focusing on different tasks. For instance, one group handles ops work (supporting the system, bugs, downtime) while the other focuses on development work (new features). The roles and responsibilities section provides clear direction for the team and the role of management. Will they be present in daily standups or weekly meetings? Is someone authorized to make managerial decisions if they’re away? These answers should be clarified with a series of FAQ’s and hypothetical but realistic scenarios. 

Team Operations - The next two sections answer the question of, “How?” Team operations might be  referred to as Checks, Balances, and Reviews, Team Member Authority, or Team Assessment and Evaluations. Whatever name you decide, this section explains how the team will conduct their business. This could include a meeting schedule, sprint schedules, deadlines, milestones, service-level agreements (SLAs), collaboration expectations, etc. 

Everything about what the team creates should be explained. This included processes for how and when artifacts are created, and where they are stored. For example, a sales team might produce meeting notes after sales calls that are stored in Salesforce. The next associate reaching out to that customer would review notes prior to the call.

It’s important to separate this section from roles and responsibilities to demonstrate the importance of teamwork and team unity. It serves as an accountability tool for teams and management.  

Budget, Resources and Available Support - A misunderstanding of budget and resources is an easy way to crush team morale. At this point, team members understand what they have to do and how, but need to understand what they’ll be working with. For instance, will a marketing team get a budget for design work or will they have to use free resources? This section is useful for providing support avenues if team members are absent or fall behind. Clearly stating the budget provides accountability for managers. They are tasked with keeping the budget consistent instead of pulling resources during the course of a project to serve a wider-scale budget need. 

Final Consensus - No team charter is complete without a final section of unified approval and team consensus. The word ‘team’ is a crucial aspect of a team charter that should not be overlooked. This document is not a delegation of duties. It’s meant to bring a team together before they begin a project or start working at a new company. Many teams include a period of “negotiation” during this section, which allows team members to share their feedback and request any changes up front. The final step of any team charter is to have everyone involved sign off to confirm consensus. This could be with written or digital signatures. Whatever the method, every team member must confirm their unconditional approval. With that said, there’s no reason for this to be a rigid process. The information and procedures will naturally evolve over time, but this must be done in an organized and transparent fashion. 

Team Charter: Principles in Action

A team charter isn’t limited to any industry or purpose. The same or similar has been applied throughout history when communication and teamwork is paramount. Consider these examples from an elite military unit and a software behemoth. 

United States Navy SEALs

Communication and teamwork is a life and death matter for military personnel. Yet commanders face similar circumstances as business leaders when they prepare for a mission. Each commander creates a presentation of how his team will operate, and presents it to senior officers.

This was largely done with flashy PowerPoint presentations filled with buzzwords. Leif Babin and Jocko Willink met in the mid 2000’s and debuted a new strategy. They focused on directions that are easy to follow and easy to understand, opposed to being impressive for senior officers. They developed a comprehensive checklist which resembles the team charter core components. 

  • Analyze the mission. Understand the intent of everyone involved, and the endstate (the goal). State your own intent and endstate for the specific mission.

  • Identify personnel, assets, resources, and time available.

  • Decentralize the planning process. Empower leaders within the team. 

  • Determine a specific course of action (prioritizing simplicity). 

  • Plan for likely contingencies throughout the operation.

  • Mitigate controllable risks (as much as possible).

  • Demonstrate leadership by delegating portions of the plan and brief to key junior leaders. 

  • Constantly check and question the plan as information emerges.

  • Ask questions, encourage discussion and team interaction to promote comprehension. 

  • Conduct a post-operational debrief after execution. Implement lessons learned going forward. 

This strategy was shared by Babin and Willink in their #1 New York Times bestseller, “Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win.” The pair launched their consulting firm, Echelon Front, in 2011. They provide workshops, training and presentations for business leaders looking to improve team operations. 

Google 

Google’s People Operations Team conducted interviews and analyzed data to identify the five keys to a successful Google team. The results pair well with team charter ideals, and provide further insights for team charter creation.

After 200+ interviews, and analysis of 250 attributes within 180+ active Google teams - they came up with the following:

  • Psychological safety: Can we take risks on this team without feeling insecure or embarrassed?

  • Dependability: Can we count on each other to do high quality work on time?

  • Structure & clarity: Are goals, roles, and execution plans on our team clear?

  • Meaning of work: Are we working on something that is personally important for each of us?

  • Impact of work: Do we fundamentally believe that the work we’re doing matters?

All of these elements demonstrate the importance of team buy-in and cohesion, another reason why the negotiation and consensus aspect of a team charter is so important. The data created a new routine at Google, where teams conduct a daily 10-minute pulse-check on the five dynamics to ensure good standing. 

A team charter is one of dozens of documents that can fortify the effectiveness and morale of your team. Here’s inspiration for your next leg of document creation.