By Shep Hyken
Every Monday morning – or at least the first day of the week I’m in town – we have a team meeting. We begin each meeting with a ritual. We each share a Moment of Magic with the team. This is simply a positive experience we created for either a customer or team member at Shepard Presentations. It can be as simple as returning a call quickly or stepping in to help in a crisis. The point is we all share a story. It helps us keep customer service “front-of-mind” and is a positive way to start a meeting. By the way, this is the same exercise we teach in our customer service training programs. We have clients that have been doing this exercise for years. Why? Because it works!
There are many other rituals that get people in alignment and ready for a meeting. My friend and amazing coach at The Strategic Coach, Lee Brower, likes to start BIG, where BIG is an acronym that stands for Begin In Gratitude. What a wonderful way to start the meeting.
And sometimes it’s the way you close the meeting. John Foley served as a Marine Corps jet fighter instructor and was the lead solo pilot of the Blue Angels. He shares lessons of his times with the Blue Angels, one of which was a ritual. Every meeting was closed with the following four words: “Glad to be here!”
Those words took on a different meaning depending on what the mission was for the day. It meant they were thankful for the opportunity to serve as a Blue Angel, how they felt about each other, and even how happy they were just to be alive. Those were their closing words, which meant they always left on a high note.
While I’m focusing on customer service with my Moments of Magic ritual, the concept of a ritual that takes place at every meeting can be powerful. How do you start the meeting? How do you end it? Is there something that happens at every meeting to engage the team and align them with what is important to your company?
As mentioned, for us it’s customer service. For Lee Brower, it’s an attitude of gratitude. For the Blue Angels, it’s their mantra. What’s your ritual – or what could be your ritual? If you don’t currently have one, find one that works for you.
Consistency counts. Practice this ritual at every meeting. It brings consistent meaning to your meeting, keeps everyone aligned with what’s important and helps shape and sustain the culture at your organization.