Why running meetings is like orchestrating stadium waves

Most meetings start in a dreadful way. The latest problem comes on the table and before you know it the energy is out of the room and you’re stuck trying to find a workable solution.


What if you could start your meetings with a stadium wave like at a football match? Imagine your team getting excited about moving ahead with a joint can-do attitude.


This is where positive psychology comes in. Starting on a positive note creates the stadium wave feel and momentum to then tackle the more difficult problems more creatively together. When moving on to the next agenda item, you’ll find that by then the mood has opened up, your team’s horizon has opened up and they will be able to come up with more creative solutions and better ideas for the long-term.


How can you apply positive psychology when you’re short of time? Simply by asking starting-with-what-went-well questions. For example: what went well since our last meeting? What meaningful progress have you made? What small wins can you share since meeting last? Share your own example first and explain that it’s really about the small progress like: finishing the first draft of an entirely automated report, managing to schedule an exploratory call with that client you’ve been wanting to land for ages or when the entire team came together to source emergency spare parts so an entire manufacturing line standstill at a customer could be avoided. Any personal examples like managing combining home-schooling with a hectic work schedule are highly welcome as well.


Wonderful side-effects of starting your meetings with what works well, is that you find out what is really going on in your team’s lives and work, what they appreciate, what engages them and what inspires their progress. Also: if getting results is sloooooooow, focussing on positive progress can keep spirits high by seeing how they’re moving forward and shows people they are in control. Essential to keep up motivation. And in these days of working virtually, it also bonds people and makes them feel connected to their team.


The (virtual) experiment

Next time you start your (virtual) meeting, start with what works well by asking one of these positively framed questions.


Top swwww-questions:

  • What went well since we met last time?
  • What have you really enjoyed doing and working on since our last meeting?
  • What inspired you since our last meeting?
  • What meaningful progress have you made?
  • What small wins can you share?
  • When was collaboration at its best since our last meeting?


If you’re virtually working with small team of up to 5-6 people, it works wonderfully when you ask a swwww-question and give everybody the opportunity to share their thoughts.


Working with a larger group? Then ask one swwww-question at the start of the meeting and send people off in breakout rooms of 2-3 people for 5-10 minutes. Put the central question and timing on a slide so everybody understands the activity and potential late comers are quick to catch up. Feel free to use download our template here. This way you combine the positive framing with a moment of personal connection that many people so desperately need right now.


Enjoy experimenting!

More Positive Experiments for your team? Discover how fun and easy-to-try out weekly Positive Experiments lets your team find out how to boost their positivity and up their performance. Visit www.positiveexperiments.com.