Are cameras on? Turning on your camera is the first act of vulnerability in a virtual meeting. Going off camera can indicate anxiety, fear, or low social and emotional energy.
Do people greet and check in at a personal level at the beginning of the meeting or do they get straight to business?
Do people use titles or last names? Is the choreography of the meeting stuffy, staged, and scripted or more casual and free-flowing?
Are team members respectful? Do they show kindness and courtesy with genuine intent, or do they interrupt, snicker, or talk over one another? Are team members fully engaged--emotionally and intellectually present--or are they distracted and multitasking?
Do you have a well-organized agenda that sets the terms of engagement and acts as a clear roadmap? Or, do you have either an overly rigid agenda, allowing no flexibility, or no agenda at all, leaving people insecure and frustrated?
What is the split between telling and asking? Is the meeting a didactic encounter in which those possessing authority or dominant personalities do most of the talking? Or, are people in discovery mode, asking questions, clarifying expectations, and piloting ideas?
Do people smile easily and frequently? Do people freely express their emotions through facial expressions and vocal characteristics such as intensity, volume, tone, rate, pitch, and enunciation?
Do people use appropriate humor without being cynical or sarcastic? Do they joke, banter, and laugh, or is the meeting muffled, tense, and serious?
Can you track patterns of participation based on status and rank with some participants marginalized, or do you see a democratized pattern of participation that ignores power distance and includes everyone?
Do people call attention to each other’s contributions during the meeting? Do you see spontaneous expressions of appreciation and kudos.
Do people defer to positional power and the chain of command, creating an echo chamber, or do they unreservedly challenge the status quo and offer dissenting opinions?
Is the meeting size appropriate for the meeting type? If it’s a meeting to communicate and coordinate, you can have more than 20 people. If it’s a meeting to innovate, and ideate, you can’t.
To assess your personal impact on the psychological safety of your team, ask yourself the following seven questions:
Consider this: We include naturally in childhood and exclude unnaturally in adulthood. Why? Exclusionary behavior is learned behavior, the result of bias acquired through socialization. That bias may be conscious or unconscious. How, then, do you root out exclusionary bias, behavior, and policy?
Innovation is a team sport. It comes easier and faster when you work together. If you're going to create solutions to difficult problems or find new ways to exploit opportunities you'll need innovation. Here are the five steps to innovating with your team: