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Sincerely, "Looks forward to weekly team meetings"

Bridget Community Manager Nov 09, 2021

I feel lucky to work with brilliant people that I also consider my friends. I am also fortunate that our team meetings are set up in a way that feels productive and interactive. I will share some details about this special meeting in case you want to adopt some of our practices!

Here's how our weekly team meeting goes:

  • We add Trello cards to our team board before the meeting - we have a list for discussion topics and we have a list for "how we're feeling" gifs
  • Recently, we've started by having a member of the team share their "user manual." These share-outs help us build trust with one another, and strengthen our working relationships. User manuals have information like:
    • Preferred work environment
    • Preferred working hours
    • Communication preferences
    • Things I need
    • How I learn best
    • Things I struggle with
    • Things I love
    • If I were an animated gif I'd be...
  • Next we cover any discussion topics - these can be about projects we want input from teammates on, upcoming events/need-to-knows, etc.
  • After that, we do a round robin where everyone explains the gif they've chosen and why they chose it. It's a great way to express how you're feeling in your work/life. (I've attached the gif I chose this week as an example). 
  • After this meeting, we also add a "song of the week" to a shared Spotify playlist. This is a new practice, but extremely fun so far!

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Other lists on our shared Trello board:

  • Rules of Engagement: We have cards that outline how our team feels about and operates for meeting cadence, giving/receiving feedback, celebrating wins, team bonding, and time management. 
  • Helpful links: A list to drop in links that are useful for the team to have handy.
  • True north: We did a team exercise to determine what feelings and goals guide our actions and make us feel fulfilled in our personal and work life. For example, "Belonging" is my true north. Other members of our team list things like "Fulfillment" and "Connection." 

dogs-cozy.gif

3 comments

Know what I love most about this, @Bridget? I've been on teams who share workstyle preferences (user manual Play) or rules of engagement (working agreements Play) or other things you've listed. But more often than not, we don't refer back to them. But, we don't update them. We don't change them as we change our personal preferences. We don't have a space to see all the different lists.

I love that your team has everything in one spot because it reinforces how many things we can/should consider when collaborating with teammates. 

Like # people like this

I was thinking the same thing @Christine P_ Dela Rosa

@Bridget what techniques do you use to make sure the team actually refers back to the "user manuals" that people are sharing? I'm thinking back to the corporate trainings I've done where teams fill out similar templates, and they always seem to end up in a drawer. 

The "song of the week" practice sounds really fun! How does your team choose which song to add?

Also I love that GIF of the golden retrievers :D  

Like Hakeem Olasupo likes this
Bridget Community Manager Nov 09, 2021

@Monica Morris great question!! We only do one user manual read out per week, and I think that really helps the information stick! It's really fun hearing each teammate present, and I still remember snippets from each one. We also have a Confluence page where we link to all of our team's user manuals. I refer to that page if I need a refresher on how someone likes to receives feedback and/or if I'm looking for inpso for a birthday or anniversary gift!

Also, it's more of a playlist of the week! Our team lead, @Stephanie Grice sends around a shared Spotify playlist that we add songs to. It's really fun getting to hear new music and to get to know teammates' taste! 

:) 

Like # people like this

This is a great result. I’d love to hear how you built it up - what was the method of getting the team to this state? Was there scepticism regarding these tools at some point? Thanks :)

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Bridget Community Manager Nov 10, 2021

@Anton Prokhozhy since Trello is the "cool" Atlassian tool, we were all pretty on board to use it to drive the team meetings! That said, in past iterations, instead of gifs we shared our top 3 priorities for the week. We found that as the team grew, the updates became more like a laundry list of things going on, which we found not as helpful/engaging as sharing how we're feeling! 

We start our daily stand ups with Gratitudes, and tell the team 3 things we are grateful for that day. It has really helped develop a shift in attitude, and for me personally it has become a good habit outside of work too.

As Anton enquired about scepticism above, I thought I'd mention that too - there was a lot of scepticism at first and we didn't always find it easy to express 3 Gratitudes, but now it is easier, there is still a bit of scepticism in places but that is down to individual character. I find it means that you start looking for positives rather than negatives and that surely is a healthy attitude.

Like # people like this
Bridget Community Manager Nov 10, 2021

@Sarah.Eaton - I LOVE this! Gratitude is so important. I love that your team shares 3 things they're grateful for - I might try this out as well!

Like Sarah.Eaton likes this

If you do I'd love to know how you get on!

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