By the end of this video, you will understand quality in conversation turn-taking and psychological safety. The two key elements to make sure that your meetings are not just highly effective, but positive. There is a great book called How Google Works, and there's a link to the author talking about it in the extra resources. One of the cool parts about it is, Google spent millions of dollars trying to figure out how to make the most effective team possible. One example was they put the most effective people in a room, given them a problem, simply solve the problem. Funny enough, that group was not very effective at solving problems. Then they took another group of just random people, not the top performers, not the most effective, not the smartest people in the room and gave them one rule, and that one rule created the most effective teams in Google. So what's the one rule? The one rule, was establishing the rules. So here's what Google discovered. The most effective teams and the most effective meetings happen when everyone in that meeting created rules for how to communicate. So they would do things like this, before we're done, everyone has to go around the room and say why they agree or disagree. Or they said, when we introduce every idea, whoever introduces the idea, must also introduce why the idea doesn't work. Or both those elements or they would make everyone close their eyes and lift their hands up for your name. Every group had different rules, but the rules themselves were not as important as the fact that everyone agreed that that's how that group and that meeting was going to be run, irrespective of who was in the room and that caveat, setting the rules of engagement. In the book How Google Works, it was called quality in conversation turn-taking. Which basically meant that people communicate it because of the rules in an effective way with each other. Now, there's another aspect to making a highly effective meeting environment that is both effective and positive and that's psychological safety. Psychological safety means the feeling that you can speak up if you want. Creating rules is one way to get there but, sometimes the rules are more how people communicate or the way we're going to vote, they're not necessarily creating the safe environment. So how do you create that safe environment? There's a few strategies. Number 1, let's imagine a meeting in the real-world. Using 5-10 minutes before the meeting starts, people start coming in. Maybe there's some small talk, shaking of hands that sort of thing. Now let's imagine that same meeting in the virtual world. That would be the equivalent of people walking in, ignoring each other, sitting by themselves in different parts of the rooms and just ignoring each other until the meeting started. Then the meeting would start and someone would say, can everyone please say hi, and everyone will be "Hi" and then go back to their little corners. That's the example of how a meeting should not be run. That's an example of a terrible meeting environment. But it's virtual. So what can we do about it? Well, first you create psychological safety by replicating what would happen in the real world. So let's look at that part, that 10 minutes before the meeting. People were lingering coming in. If you wanted to take that meeting in the real world to the next level, you would somehow either encourage conversation or give people pre-work to do so that they're not just checking their email on their phone. That applies even more so virtually. So why not give them a task? Why not create an icebreaker? Why not do something that sets the tone for how we will communicate so that people are very open for setting up rules. So let's go back to the virtual world. Ten minutes before the meeting starts, have a question on your first slide that everyone has to comment in and literally say "Please comment in the comment box, answer this question." Then maybe give them "Also respond to everyone else's questions." Sometimes before meeting starts, my very first slide will just be a link with instructions. Go to this link, watch this video and then comment agree or disagree. Why? Please read this article before the meeting starts. Please go to this website and do these three things. I'll explain why when we start. Giving people a task to do is one way that you set the tone. It also makes sure that when people come into the meeting before the meeting starts, they're already working, they're already working towards something. It creates a dynamic environment because before the meeting starts, people are already working. By doing that, you're setting the tone. You're creating that psychological safety. Now suppose you need to get people talking to each other or you want to replicate small-talk, how do you replicate small talk? Before the meeting starts as people are coming in, have a few groups open. Every virtual program for virtual meetings, whether it's video or audio, will have some sort of resource that allows people to go into a little breakout rooms. In the past, what I've done is as people are logging on "Hey Steve, how are you?" "Oh I'm really good." Listen Sarah is already in this breakout room. She's waiting for someone, go in there turn on your camera, she'll tell you what to do next and Sarah has a discussion question, or Sarah has some sort of slides that she has to share with someone. Getting them talking to each other. Or if you don't have breakout rooms, I've run virtual classes where when people log on, we have set the tone because everyone always has to turn their cameras and their mics on five minutes before the class starts and we just talk, and I set the tone by asking conversation questions. When new people come on, we'll do something like this, "Oh, Henna you just joined us. Mike, tell Henna your story again. " By doing that, you're setting the tone for the meeting. You're creating that positive environment. If you combine the icebreaker with a task, you're also creating psychological safety because people are talking to each other. So suppose there's a high-ranking person and a new entrant into the organization you put them together and you give them a fun task to accomplish. You are creating psychological safety. That sets the tone for how the meeting will be run. If it's the first meeting, you set the tone for establishing rules. Psychological safety is also important within the meeting. Constantly pulled the room. Loren Michaels, Saturday Night Live, is constantly pulling the room. What do we think about that? You haven't said anything? You look a little unimpressed by that idea? Let's talk about it. Always pulling the room instead of just talking, getting to the next point, getting to the next point, getting to the next point. How many people want to table this? How many people want to work on this a little bit more? How many people think this part is important? How many people think, constantly pulling the room. That also creates psychological safety because even if I'm there for the first time and everyone else in that meeting has been working together for weeks and weeks and weeks. If you pull the room and require an answer, slowly I'm feeling like I can be part of this work group. One final element for psychological safety is within the meeting, having many work groups, having mini meetings within your meeting. So suppose we're virtually online, I have 20 minutes to speak. It's a very technically heavy subject. Suppose I talk for the first five minutes about the reasoning why it has to be so tactical or the reasoning why we need to use this initiative. So suppose you break them all into little groups and you give them a task. Is there one element that could be simpler, I'm going to bring you all up into groups of four. I'm going to give you a minute and 30 seconds, unreasonable time constraint. Can you all come back with one place where we can simplify this process, mini work groups. That also applies in a real work environment. Everyone, turn to the person next to you, take 30 seconds and decide what is more important A or B. Everyone, you're going to be in a virtual breakout room and I need you to decide what is more important A, B, or C. I will give you one minute, ready. Here we go. Getting people interacting in small groups because as an individual member of a meeting, it is way easier for me to talk to two people than it is for me to talk to 10. That is how you create an effective meeting environments that are also positive. Establishing the rules by which you will communicate and creating psychological safety.