'What I Feel Like Expressing' is a powerful tool to help build a championship team. It enables each team member to express what is currently going on, in both, his or her business as well as personal life. Too often it is assumed that people leave their emotions at the door when they come to work; but the reality is that these unexpressed or bottled-up emotions can all too often impact team performance.
After introducing this program to one of our clients, his team immediately began to perform at a much higher level, and started working much better together. The environment was much more fun, the team became much more productive, and he was able to grow his business by 42%, without adding any additional staff.
It is important for the business owner to hold these sessions regularly. These sessions should be held at least weekly; but, one may decide to hold them daily, depending upon the nature of one's business. It may even be useful to have one session scheduled at the start of the week (first thing Monday, including goal setting) and one at the end of the week (to review the week on Friday afternoon).
There are some rules to be followed, when using this system. All the team members should sit around the room. One asks the person sitting next to him, what it is that he or she feels like expressing. This person then has the right to say whatever he or she feels like saying, without any interruption. This is the most important part because, if, for any reason, the team member does not feel safe to express his or her feelings, it defeats the very purpose.
Once he or she has had a say, this person then asks the next person what he or she feels like expressing. After everyone has had their say, the person conducting the session may then ask if anyone has any 'burnings'. This is where anyone who feels he or she has been wrongly treated during the session replies directly to the other person, either by apologizing or explaining what actually happened.
If these sessions are conducted correctly, the business owner will find that his team bonds together much more effectively, and everybody relates to their teammates as human beings instead of as just someone they work with.
It is important to have everyone realize that any complaints should not be personal attacks, but should instead focus on behavior. This is essential to enable everyone to feel safe in voicing any criticism of the business owner or the system, so that there is always scope for changes and progress.
One may also try other variations of this, such as the high-low kind. This is where each team member expresses his or her high and low for the week, during the session. It is important for the business owner to always keep in mind that open and honest communication is one of the first steps in building a championship team.