Begin meetings on a good note. Before jumping into the agenda, invite each person to celebrate one thing that is going well personally or professionally. Priming people with feelings of gratitude unlocks creativity and connection within the group, which can help the meeting proceed well from there.
Check in with a colleague. Tom Peters called it “Managing By Walking Around”, but this doesn’t just have to be done between a supervisor and his or her employee. Anyone can initiate it. Just demonstrating that you see people and care about them and their contributions helps them feel valued and more motivated to do their best work. Not sure where to start? After politely saying “I just thought I’d come over and say hi. Is now a good time?”, just open yourself up to curiosity. Your goal is not to manage and problem solve in these conversations, per se, but to learn and support. Here are some questions to get the ball rolling:
What are the big things you are working on today?
Which is your favorite project at the moment?
What do you enjoy so much about it?
What can I or others around here be doing to better support you?