Tips for chatting about the vision with your team
Tips for chatting about the Vision with your team
Part of getting the organisation’s vision into a workable form is, as I mentioned in a previous module, communicating it clearly and succinctly to your team so that they understand how it actually applies to their specific roles and responsibilities. In other words, the question you, as the team leader, need to answer is, “What does the vision mean to, and for, your team?”
Ideally a vision statement is a very clear unambiguous statement of intent for your organisation. It also should be intrinsically positive and really spell out a bright future for the organisation. Therefore, any conversations about it should be framed in the same way, i.e. positively. This is a great starting point for your consideration of any discussion about vision.
In this module I will go through some handy tips and hints that can help you build the organisational vision into a workable tool for you and your team, that will really help keep your team driving upwards along the pyramid of progress.
Let’s start off by considering what your objectives are:
- Firstly, you want every member of your team to understand what the vision for the organisation is, and what it means to them on a team and an individual basis.
- Secondly, you want, at the end of your communication, to have every single member of your team on board with the team’s goals and targets.
- And thirdly, you want people to be fired up and enthusiastic about chasing that vision, through achieving their personal and team targets.
How to deliver?
Next let’s consider the tone you will adopt for this information sharing. Tone of course should ALWAYS be positive when discussing your vision. The vision is the most important statement of intent that the organisation has and you really want ALL of your team on board with this. Therefore whatever format you choose, try and make it as positive as possible.
Then you need to choose where you will hold your session. An important aspect to consider is the size of your team. You don’t want to gather in a huge hall if you are only a team of 7 people. Nor do you want to gather in a small room where there is not enough setting for everyone, or where some people can’t see you or the screen you are trying to present on. You may decide that you want some neutral turf to hold this meeting in. Perhaps you’ve decided that the Boardroom is too formal and that making use of one of the teacher’s classrooms is more appropriate and friendly. This will come down to what you think will make your team feel more at ease.
Think about the format that you wish to adopt. Are you going to do a stand up presentation or an informal discussion, or a workshop? These are all very good if used in the right way. Smaller groups of people tend to respond to a meeting style format where everyone is sat around a table perhaps, or perhaps a trip out for lunch and a chat about vision? Large groups don’t work very well with this format. Large groups do, however, respond very well to a presentation followed by a Q&A session.
Workshops are particularly powerful if you are skilled at running them. They are interactive, which most people enjoy, and they allow for the right level of input from a wide range of people. Other formats that you can opt to choose may include focus groups, one-to-one meetings and so on. But the key principle in all of these is that you will need to make sure that everyone who attends is given the opportunity to contribute their own thoughts and ideas at some point in the process.
Next up is the tools that you will use. Of course we have a range of digital tools at our disposal these days and these are very powerful if used correctly. For example you may wish to run a quick survey online before the session so that you have some data to talk about. You may decide that you are going to bring some people in remotely, giving you the opportunity to have a wider contribution than simply those in the room. Then of course, if you are doing a presentation, there are any number of appropriate tools that can be utilised to help you with this.
The final point is about timing. When will you hold this session? Clearly holding a strategic discussion about the vision of the organisation is not going to be well received on a Friday afternoon, or late in the afternoon after a long day. If you have the chance to do so, it is well worth taking people away from their daily tasks by setting aside a morning or an afternoon to talk about the vision. This makes it special for people and this brings a level of importance to the subject in everyone’s minds.
It is also important to make it at a time which suits as many people as possible. It may never be perfect for everyone but it is likely to be far more positive if it suits the majority of people.
So key takeaways for this module are:
- Your chosen venue should put your team at ease.
- The format and tools you choose should allow for efficiency and for people to interact and engage with the process.
- Your timing should be sensitively chosen.
- Positivity is central to the process.
Point of Reflection
We’ve all had meetings go well and others that have not gone so well. For this reflection point you will need to think back to examples of both. Try to understand which of the four elements in the module material were not well employed for those meetings that went badly, and which were well employed for those that went well. Spend some time comparing your examples against each other.
Personal Development Activity
Experimental Activity (1 hour)
The purpose of this activity is to help you develop your own style in the way that you engage with your team.In the module four key elements of holding a vision meeting with your team were discussed but these four elements hold true for any type of meeting that you wish to hold. These four activities are, therefore, designed to help you work out what works best for you.
- Where to hold a meeting: For your next meeting try to use a venue that you have not used before. Be imaginative and try to think about what your team would enjoy. Reflect on this in your leadership journal.
- Which format to use: For your next meeting, regardless of who is attending, structure it as a workshop. Include discussion forums, small group activities and, if you’re feeling brave, some ice-breaker activities at the beginning.
- What tools to use: For your next meeting bring along post-it notes for people to write their ideas down on. hat the response is from the group. Was it positively received or not, and why do you think this was the case?
- When to hold a meeting: Hold your next meeting as a breakfast meeting. In your journal reflect on how well people contributed, and what mood this brought to the forum.