Don't Punish the Punctual 👂

Oct 01, 2021 7:01 pm

Happy Friday,

I got some interesting responses from my last email where I described the two-breath rule to help make stand-ups end on time for once, and I thought I'd add one other little thing that will help.

Don't punish the punctual.

I learned this years ago in a facilitation class. The idea here is to start the meeting when it is supposed to, regardless of who is wandering in.

Now, this bit of guidance tends to put a spotlight on the relationships and power dynamics in groups, so it is a lot harder to put into practice than people expect.

Take for example a meeting where a boss's boss is going to attend. Holding this rule in place means starting the meeting without them and welcoming them in when they finally do arrive 10 minutes late. It's tough to pull this off, and most groups would much rather sit and do small talk than bear the awkwardness of telling that senior leader they started without them.

However, if we're facilitating a meeting, even a stand-up, our responsibilities are bigger than what is comfortable. Facilitating even that small of a meeting means being attentive to it starting on time, otherwise, it is disrespectful to everyone who did arrive on time, and reinforces that the team is less important than an individual.

If you're nervous about putting such a rule in place, talk to the group about how they'd like to handle tardiness. Form a working agreement for your meetings and when the group is about to violate them, say that is what you see happening, and quickly decide as a group what should happen.

Bet you weren't quite expecting so much content about a daily stand-up!

I'd love to hear your experiences with that awkwardness waiting for someone, or better still, starting without them!

Have a great weekend!