Moodlight

Emotional Intelligence for Teams

Moodlight is a practical tool that might help teams share and open up, so everyone feels more comfortable with each other during a meeting.

One common way to use Moodlight is to find your current feeling on a wheel of emotions. If you’re not sure how you feel, you might explore the whole range of different ideas and pick the best match.

In order to start the process, the meeting facilitator needs to register, pick a subject and share a invite link with their team. Everyone will be plotted anonymously and the results will be updated as more people join.

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Check-in allows people to be present

Worrying about what happened before the meeting or what will happen afterward keeps everyone’s mind busy.
The purpose of enabling participants to share whatever is on their minds is to connect to the now and here.
When you realize what’s distracting you, it’s easier to put those things aside and get your mind into the meeting.

CHECK-IN DRIVES UNDERSTANDING

The ritual of check-in drives both self and collective awareness. Knowing where everyone’s mind is at, drives clarity. You can adjust how you facilitate the meeting or be more tolerant if someone is acting defensive or being more silent than usual. When you understand someone else’s mindset, you become less judgmental of how they behave.

Check-in gives everyone a voice

Teams benefit from diversity of thinking.

Cultural fitness is the ability of a group to expand its perspective by encouraging diverse ideas and points of view. Unfortunately, introverts, outsiders, or junior employees feel intimidated to speak up. They fear being judged.

The opportunity to share where their mind is at encourages a space for everyone to speak up freely.

Emotion word cloud

Check-in reinforces trust

When you have an unbreakable relationship with someone, it’s easier to share your blind spots or weaknesses. However, which comes first? 

Brené Brown said: 
“Vulnerability is not weakness. It’s the most accurate measurement of courage.” 

Sharing what keeps your mind busy is the first step. Bringing your vulnerable self to a meeting will encourage others to do so too.

Check-in reminds us that we are humans

We’ve been raised to think that work and personal life shouldn’t mix. However, building a wall between the two has created anything but balance. We are one single entity; what happens at work doesn’t stay at work.

Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.

Zig Ziglar

Check-in: A step-by-step process

When

At the beginning of every meeting. Remember to include it in the agenda. We recommend that you start in small doses. Begin with one or two teams. It’s better to go deeper with a couple rather than trying to change everyone at the same time gaining no depth or traction.

The ritual

The facilitator asks a check-in questions. Each member takes a turn to answer. It could be in clockwise order or popcorn-style (anyone chimes in when they are ready). The moderator says “thank you” or just lets the next person check in. There’s no room for further questions or comments. People simply need to listen and be present. What’s keeping your colleagues’ minds busy could be unexpected. Avoid making strange faces or crossing arms when someone else is opening up; it can easily backfire. Keep this in mind: Check-ins are meant to provide a space where people are listened to. Learn to walk in their shoes.

Roles

Designate one facilitator to manage check-in in a purposeful and timely manner. This role should rotate among team members. Preparation is essential. Everyone in the room participates regardless of roles ( facilitators and bosses check-in too). Some people feel uneasy “sharing” in front of their boss. I understand it’s hard but the payoff  —  exponential trust and candor  —  is worth it.

Duration

Checking-in shouldn’t take too long. As a thumbs rule, aim for five minutes tops for an 8 to 10 participants meeting. Initially, participants won’t share much and then will jump to the other extreme. It takes some time to find the sweet spot between people staying silent or oversharing.

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