One simple way for people to feel more connected is to start and end meetings differently. But for we corporate types that takes some courage to step out of our comfort zones. Consider this:
At the start of a meeting, ask a question that sets the tone and gives each person a chance to answer it — no interrupting from others. (This also signals that everyone’s voice is valued.)
Questions vary depending on the intent of the meeting. Some I’ve recently used:
- What drew you to want to be part of this group?
- What has been your most memorable experience with the company in the past six months?
- How are you feeling about what we’ve done in this space recently?
Then at the close of the meeting, go around the room again and ask a question like, “What is the most valuable thing you learned today?”
These opening and closing questions build connection, trust and camaraderie. And when you have that, it’s easier to dig into the tough stuff.