Here is post by Seth Godin that challenges team leaders to hold daily check-ins.  I say challenge because it requires everyone to be transparent, which is not as easy as it sounds.  For such meetings to be successful, supervisors have to create an open and safe environment.  Open enough for team members to feel comfortable sharing new ideas and safe enough to share concerns that keep them up at night.

If you feel up to the challenge, here are some tips:

  1. Stand up.  Newton’s first law applies here.  An object at rest will tend to stay at rest.  The free exchange of ideas will follow.
  2. Keep it short.  The purpose of the meeting is to share information on critical issues.  Everyone is busy.  Respect their time.  Taking more time will only raise anxiety.
  3. Do not discuss.  The point of the meeting is to bring issues to the surface.  Get enough information to understand the issue.  If something merits further attention schedule a time to discuss it later.
  4. Do not verbalize judgments.  It is important not to stifle ideas, whether your initial reaction is positive or negative.  Resisting the impulse to comment on contributions can be hard.  Treat every contribution as having value.  A well-functioning team is self-policing and will weed out the bad from the good.  Sometimes an idea that seems bad has some good in it if the right people are able to refine it.  Creating an environment where people feel free to share is hard enough.  Don’t make it harder than it already is.

I am sure there are plenty of other tips.  What works for you?