listeningHave you ever sat through a meeting where only one or two people did all the talking?

Or, have you ever taken a class where a few individuals dominated all the class discussion?

It can be frustrating, right?

In those situations we can feel silenced, isolated, not included and less and less willing to fully participate.

But those moments are essential for reminding us just how important collaboration and connection truly are.

When people feel heard, safe and respected for their ideas and opinions, they are more willing to fully engage in the work at hand.  For classrooms, meetings, and teams the ways we work together can have a positive impact on the greater outcome.

Yet, even for the most innovative leaders (that’s you!), it can be challenging to consistently find ways to strengthen the ways people successfully collaborate together.

There is one secret that you can use to bring out the best in the ways people work together:

“Pay attention to who is speaking.”

Here’s why…

If you pay attention to who is speaking, you might notice that while students seem to be working together, actually only a few students are really participating.

If you pay attention to who is speaking, you might notice that in the meetings you lead, the same individuals are controlling the discussions.

If you pay attention to who is speaking, during full group discussions, you might notice that only certain communities are speaking, while others are being increasingly silences.

You see, by really paying attention to who is speaking, you will have a lens to see how well everyone is truly working together.
Once you begin to look through the lens, you can begin implementing successful strategies that will strengthen the ways people work together in your classroom, team or organisation.