We started our company huddle with a “clearing.”
Wait, let me back up.
We’re a virtual company; even if we had brick & mortar, half of our company are road warriors. So our company meetings are PRECIOUS. We NEED them. We feed off each other’s energy. We need the socialization, the grounding, the reconnection, the reminding, the inspiration, and each other's company.
We use words like Love, Gratitude, Values, Vulnerable. A lot, and yes, in company meetings - it’s who we are. Most of our company huddle is spent expressing gratitude, recognizing contributions, and sharing internal AND customer stories of Love, Energy, Audacity and Proof. We usually get about 50 minutes in before someone remembers we have actual “business” to get to in the remaining 10, but we all know the real business just happened.
Back to the “clearing.” What’s on your mind that may prevent you from fully showing up, engaging, being present, and deriving value from this meeting? Sound hokey? Some of us are hokey, some aren’t. ALL OF US couldn't answer fast enough:
- I'm a big sister, and I'm celebrating Christmas with my little sister tomorrow. Her gift just arrived from Amazon, and I can't wait to go wrap it. I admit, that's what I'm thinking about.
- I had a tough week. I was sick, I'm a bit drained, and I haven't been responsive. I want to fix that.
- I’ve been working on a solo project, and it’s a bit lonely. I miss everyone.
- I just finished remodeling my kitchen; consultant by day, general contractor by night. I christened it at Thanksgiving = amazing.
- I produced a lot of content this week; same as every week. But this week, it felt like screaming into a vacuum. (Yikes, vulnerable.)
We expect people to work like they don’t have lives. Attempt to raise children, conduct relationships, support causes, and tend to themselves as if they don’t work. Stop doing this. It’s insanity, and it’s poor business. I’ve seen all of your recruitment messages and career sites and Employee Value Propositions: “It’s not just a job, it’s a purpose.” “Come build the future with us.” “Do your best work here.” Your people can’t show up for you if you don’t let them fully show up.
What’s the real value of company meetings? To disseminate information, make announcements, roll out processes, issue orders? Or do you use them to fill employees’ cups? To see and hear and witness them?
Give, then receive.
People first. Great work pours out of full cups.