I met with a group of new colleagues yesterday. It was the first meeting of a long project and we haven’t worked together before. There was a little tension in the room. You could tell by the expressions on everyone’s faces, by the slightly awkward conversation at the beginning.
That’s normal. Before we’ve listened to each other, there’s often that “I’m not sure you have my back” tension in the room.
Fast forward an hour. We had spent the time asking each other questions and listening. Everyone in the group had paid close attention.
The difference was palpable. Team members were smiling and nodding. Shoulders relaxed. Brows were no longer knit.
All of these were physical signs that we had listened to each other. They provided each of us with subtle feedback loops, encouraging us to keep going.