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Are your meetings psychologically safe?

Sample Client List

How do we create a safer and more inclusive environment?
How can behavioral science help?

I am admittedly biased, behavioral science can help you solve virtually any challenge in your organization. As long as it involves people, behavioral science is relevant and can be helpful.

Sometimes the main challenge is in how you use the concepts and principles. How you translate them into tactics makes all the difference sometimes.

In my Behavioral Leadership courses and mastermind groups, I normally ask that participants complete an improvement project using the behavioral science techniques we are learning about.

In my new book (due out in late May, 2023) entitled, Results: The Science-Based Approach to Better Productivity, Profitability, and Safety, I describe the 5-Step behavior change process I teach in these courses.

Click here if you would like to receive a free audio file of the book when it is released.

After they have identified an area they’d like to improve, the first – and often the hardest – step is to define what you would like to see.

Here’s an example. Many leaders want to create a psychologically safer and more inclusive environment, so people can contribute their best ideas without so much fear. That sounds great (and it is), however “psychological safety” and “inclusion” are labels.

A label is a collection of behaviors, and it’s not measurable until you define the behavior more specifically. You could define many behaviors that may lead to improvements in psychological safety, including:

      • asking for feedback
      • giving feedback
      • asking questions
      • listening
      • rewarding corrective feedback
      • using praise
      • setting clear expectations
      • sharing ideas
      • conducting a pre-mortem
      • …and many more.

A number of participants in courses and mastermind groups have chosen to focus on participation during meetings as a way to improve inclusivity and safety.

The next challenge you face in improving the performance is to measure it. There’s a nice and simple way to do this when it comes to meetings. This works best for meetings of 15 people or less:

1. Draw a map of the meeting room
2. List everyone’s name in the location they are seated
3. During the meeting, put a tally mark next to their name
4. If you want to get fancy, measure questions vs statements or other dimensions

One organization even measured the number of times someone talked over others in the meeting. Sharing that feedback with the team quickly changed the behavior.

Likewise, sharing the data on who is talking and who is not, and discussing how to bring out the best ideas of the quieter members of the team is not difficult and can produce immediate improvements.

Write to me and let me know if you try it out!

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