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Hearing Every Voice in the Room

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When a meeting is called, there will always be that mix of introverts, extroverts, and know-it-alls. No matter what the mix is, it’s important to get the best work out of your team and having everyone lay out their ideas.

When team members have developed relationships, it’s easy for them to organize themselves. Having that trust and empathy makes it easier to have their ideas be brought to the table, but when your company is in the middle of a transformation, team dynamics can easily get in the way of good ideas, and often the group is silenced by the loudest voice.

The best way to get your team to work together as a group is by focusing on these two things:

1) Allowing everyone to contribute their ideas

2) Letting them be heard

Phil Gilbert of IBM, held a workshop where he assembled teams that span skills, different experience levels and points of view. He presented a question directed towards their new business email tool, IBM Verse, which helps workers find information fast and prioritize tasks. The teams where given very little instructions as well as pen and paper and spend 10 minutes jotting down their thoughts and ideas towards the question. Their ideas were posted on a giant white board, and everyone remained silent which didn’t allow people to judge or cause unnecessary battles. The ideas are then sorted and colleagues are left to reflect and take it all in via face to face, phone, or through a group texting tool. This brainstorming experience called popcorning gets ideas running quickly and allows everyone to speak their mind.

This powerful form of brainstorming makes for better teams and leads to better decisions.

Read the article in it’s entirety here.