In order for a team to be creative together there needs to be a lot of interaction and information sharing. This can only happen if the communication in the team is very good. Your responsibility towards yourself is to be fully present and your responsibility toward your team members is to fully listen and be aware of them. Being fully present and aware of your team members is referred to in Improvisation as “being in the moment”.
Next time before you start a meeting first do the following exercise. Split the group in small groups of 3. Tell them that each person must tell the other 2 in the group what they need to say to be fully present. They should start their sentence with “what I need to say to be fully present is….” One of the other must then mirror that persons exact words by starting their sentence with “I hear that what you have to say to be fully present is…” It is important that the person mirroring does not give an interpretation of what they heard, but try to use the exact same words as far as possible. The other person in the group can then add if any detail was not mirrored back to the speaker. Each person must get a chance to say what they need to say to be fully present. The exercise is not so much about saying what you need to say to be present, but being listened to fully without judgment. When we listen to people like this we help them to become fully present. In essence what we are doing is accepting them and showing them that they are welcome and worth being listened to. When last did someone listen to you completely and made you feel fully present? When last did you listen to someone with acceptance and without judgment, helping them to be completely present?
To read more about the other 6 elements of an innovative team climate watch this space.