At the end of your team meetings, how confident are you that everyone involved will fulfill their commitments? (If there aren’t any commitments, perhaps you didn’t really need to have a meeting at all. But that’s a topic for a future newsletter.)
Unmet commitments are broken promises and will break down trust over time. If you are not confident that your colleague will keep a promise, you will spend additional time and energy following up if it’s something important to you. Ultimately, the “low-trust tax” will be paid by someone and your goals will suffer.
Here are some recommendations to ensure that the commitments made in a meeting are more likely to be kept.
- Make sure each person’s commitment has the elements of a promise including a deadline and an agreement about whatever details are essential. Here’s an example of a weak promise: “I’ll send those sales projections next week.” By contrast, here’s an example of a strong promise: “I will email all of you a spreadsheet with the sales projections for next quarter by noon on Tuesday.” Which example produces more accountability and is more likely to satisfy the team’s needs?
- Rather than having the meeting facilitator read out all the commitments at the end of the meeting, have each person declare their own commitments. There’s a difference between hearing someone else say what you need to do and declaring your intention personally to your colleagues.
- Invite “questions for clarification” so everyone in the meeting has an opportunity to understand the promises in whatever detail necessary to ensure that they get what they need.
- Hold one another accountable. Confrontation can be difficult, yet the best teams maintain high standards for accountability and promise keeping in spite of the potential discomfort. Pursue truth with grace.
A Thought to Ponder #
Integrity has no need of rules.
Something Delightful #
As I mentioned in a previous newsletter, I’m a sucker for feel-good Olympics stories. Here’s one featuring 17-year-old Nevin Harrison who will be representing the U.S. at the Olympics this summer in canoeing. (Yes, that’s an Olympic sport. I didn’t know that either.)