One of the hardest jobs of a leader is to create a highly trusted, connected and aligned team. You can do the aligned goals, vision, purpose and missions work, which I think is essential by the way. Yet all of that means nothing without a sense of belong, connection and bonding. It was hard enough when we were all in the same space. Multisite, hybrid or remote working has made it that much harder.
"How can I make my teams feel more connected?"
This has been the common question asked over the past 12 months. In the past 2 months, after more lockdowns, the topic has com up in almost every conversation with leaders.
The zoom socials are doing their bit to close the disconnection gap. Keep doing them.
Quizzes, cook-a-long, Friday afternoon drinks, afternoon teas and birthday celebrations have served us well. All add a nice level of connection and take the pressure of meetings and work off us for a while. But it's not enough is it?
Real connection is grounded in trust.
Its about getting to know the real person. The person in front of you or on the end of the phone is the person you need to know on a more personal level.
Back in the day, when we all worked on one site, the small talk in the office helped you paint a picture of a person over time. You find out about holiday plans, hobbies, pets, weekend pleasures, significant celebrations and frustrations and other traumatic/transformational life stages. These topics pop up in everyday conversations. You build trust and a bond over many shared moments and memories made together. You get to know people in the water cooler conversations over time. This is what people are missing.
The solution.. The #trust ice breakers.
Now before you roll your eyes at the idea of an icebreaker, it doesn't have to be so staged and awkward. One client shared how they had been running coffee breaks with a topic, a conversational card or question. They even asked team members to submit questions. Then once the question is posed, everyone shares their answer. Laughter, more questions, curiosity and support all emerge. And you as the leader need to weigh in too.
How it Works
Pose a question then give everyone 5 mins to share, expand or answer.
Invite others to make comments, ask clarifying questions or simply acknowledge.
Here are some great questions
1. What is your favourite pet project or hobby, past or present, that you love
2. What's your ideal holiday and why?
3. Growing up, who was your role model and what did you learn from them?
4. What challenge, mistake or failure taught you the most?
5. What did you want to be when you grew up and why?
6. What was your favourite band as a kid?
7. What's the most extravagant thing you have ever bought?
8. Share a happy childhood memory.
9. If you had one super power what would it be and what would you do with it?
10. What is your super power or party trick?
There are 10 sessions right there for you. Now go and create water cooler moments