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#2 Celebrate discipline

Updated: Oct 5, 2023

It’s time for a celebration of discipline!

Why? Discipline is an expression of who you are as a team. It is owning your goals and setting them into action. It is showing up with your full self.

You might associate discipline with rigidity, with lack of flexibility, with should/must/ought. Or with famous people, when reading about their disciplined regimes of rising early, meditating, practicing, eating healthy, journaling, time boxing, etc. Perhaps you think of all the reasons why you do not have to be disciplined, that discipline works great for others but not for you.

But, when you feel strongly connected to a dream, a goal, a team, an organization, you will try to reach the best possible outcome. That emotional connection is the turning point where discipline might still be hard work, but the ownership of the goal makes you move forward anyway. By placing one foot in front of the other, action by action, trusting the process.

Discipline = goal + emotion + action

So how does this translate to effective and fun team meetings? Be prepared to read a few obvious pointers but there is no way around them.

The expected behavior is clear Come on time. Finish on time. Prepare for the meeting. Know what is on the agenda. Read the memos. Use the available data. Come prepared to make decisions. Agree on actions. Have a clear action list. Pay compliments. Celebrate what goes well. Listen to each other. Keep up the pace. You know.

This is where low performing teams roll their eyes and high performing teams make the difference. High performing teams hardly talk about discipline anymore. It has become a natural part of how they work together.

Tip: when you see team members reaching for their phones during the meeting, see it as interesting information. Something prevents them from fully showing up. What is that something? Have the honest conversation. The team might be surprised but will appreciate the frankness.

Formalize the meeting process
As soon as more than 2 people gather, it is time to formalize the meeting process. It is hard to fully show up in an unstructured environment and stay fully engaged. Distractors are everywhere, including internal wonderings like what is my role, in how much time do we need to make a decision, where is the paperwork, etc. If all this is not clear the brain will enjoy the distractors more than the actual meeting.

Tip: Use a set one-pager framework for your team meeting which provides clarity on the why, what, who, when, where, how. Stick to it. If these basic questions do get basic answers, the brain will engage. And every time you see progress, just to affirm that you are on the right track, have a celebration!

Discipline = goal + emotion + action

So, to wrap this one up, discipline is an expression of who you as a team. A team with a clear goal, with a strong emotional connection to it and with the right people around the table to get into action.

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