Hey fellow managers and leaders 😁

❗ In case you missed our BIG news: We’re excited to announce that Fellow raised $24 Million in Series A fundingCheck out Aydin’s video (Fellow CEO) to find out what that means… and what we’re doing with all that money. 👀

Hint: We want to make ALL your meetings delightful. 🤩

Now, back to the usual programming. In today’s newsletter, we’re covering… 

Let’s get into it!

🎬 A meeting engineers will ACTUALLY enjoy (9 min), The Art of the Meeting – YouTube Series

TLDR: Fellow’s Engineering team meeting has evolved over the years based on feedback, organizational growth, and lots of trial and error. In episode 3 of “The Art of the Meeting”, Alexandra Sunderland (Engineering Manager) shares a template that your team can use to stay aligned on priorities and leave each meeting feeling inspired. Here are some of Alexandra’s tips:

  1. Start with wins: Kick off the official agenda with an opportunity to celebrate wins and set the meeting off on a positive note. The small wins shared during this part of the meeting can be anything from personal accomplishments, project implementations, or positive customer feedback. 
  2. Prompt attendees to participate: Ask team members who wish to present a demo at an upcoming meeting to add their name and the topic to the agenda template before the meeting. (Pro tip: Schedule a pre-meeting reminder with Fellow!⚡
  3. Collect feedback: As Alexandra put it, a successful engineering team meeting is one where participants leave feeling empowered to do some really great work. Make sure to ask your team for feedback on a recurring basis (for instance, quarterly) to ensure that they’re getting the most out of your meetings.

👨🏿‍🤝‍👨🏼 Inclusive meetings: A how-to guide for managers (10 min read), Fellow Blog

TLDR:. Building workplace cultures that are truly inclusive means systematically working to provide everyone with equal access to opportunities and resources while also ensuring everyone has an equal chance to contribute. And as a manager, if you are trying to build a team culture grounded in inclusivity, committing to inclusive meetings is a pretty fantastic place to start. Here are 3 (out of 7) steps mentioned in this article:

  1. Set ground rules: While it might seem fairly straightforward, setting the ground rules for meetings is an important first step when it comes to inclusive meetings. Don’t fall into the management trap of telling yourself, “Everyone knows how to behave properly in meetings.” As the leader of your team, it is your job to help shape the team culture and this starts with a conversation about rules and values. 
  2. Watch carefully for interruptions: As a manager, it is your job to call out interruptions and rule-breaking to ensure your employees all have a chance to contribute. Try something like: “Jordan, hold that thought! Let’s let Kris finish and we’ll come back to you.”  
  3. Find ways for introverts to comfortably participate: Introverted individuals tend to process information first before speaking and oftentimes their idea or contribution might go unsaid or be drowned out by their more talkative peers. To ensure all voices from your team are included, you can ask all employees to come to the meeting prepared with thoughts on particular agenda items, and then ask those employees who are more introverted to share first.

🚀 5 things high-performing teams do differently (5 min read), Harvard Business Review

TLDR: Fostering close connections among teammates need not be expensive or time-consuming. By incorporating simple, evidence-based practices that yield better communication, more productive meetings, and deeper friendships, every workplace has the ability to fuel people’s basic psychological need for relatedness and lift team performance. Here are 3 key findings from this HBR study:

  1. It’s ok not to be ok (authenticity matters): Why would expressing negative emotions at work yield more positive performance? It’s because the alternative to expressing negative emotions is suppressing them, and suppression is cognitively expensive. It involves expending valuable cognitive resources attempting to hide emotions from others, leaving less mental firepower for doing the work.
  2. Take time to show appreciation: Members of high-performing teams reported receiving more frequent appreciation at work — both from their colleagues (72% more) as well their managers (79% more).
  3. Be strategic with your meetings: According to this study, high-performing teams are 39% more likely to require pre-work from all meeting participants, 26% more likely to introduce a meeting agenda, and 55% more likely to begin with a check-in that keeps team members apprised of one another’s progress.

📅 [Free Template] G.O.O.D 1-on-1 Meeting Template

Use this meeting template to host an effective 1-on-1 meeting with your direct report to discuss GoalsObstaclesOpportunities and Decisions.

🎙 New on the Supermanagers podcast

We interview leaders from all walks of life to tease out the habits, thought patterns, and experiences that help them be extraordinary at the fine craft of management.

Episode 72: Kim Scott (author of Radical Candor and Just Work) teaches us how to get things done fast and fair at work.

Episode 73: Phylicia Jones (Senior Director of Global Talent Development at PagerDuty) dives into data and what to do after you have received feedback so you can turn it into actionable steps.

… and that’s a wrap!  We hope that the content we curated inspires you to continue growing as a leader!

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Thanks for being part of our community,

Manuela & the Fellow.app team