KindnessLike many of you, I hold regular staff meetings with my team. The agenda is usually jam-packed with follow-up items and project updates. But before we get to the “business” part of the agenda, we start with a little “human.”

Our  Human-Business-Human® Technique

You might have heard me talk about our Human-Business-Human® technique before. In a nutshell, Human-Business-Human® is an approach where we begin every patient or employee interaction on the human – in other words, by connecting in a personal way. Then, we conduct the business at hand. And finally, we end on the human.

It’s a great tool that adds warmth to what might otherwise be a cold transaction or meeting.

Our team meetings are usually scheduled for Monday mornings, which can be tough in a traditional office setting where most people live for the weekends and dread Mondays. So we always begin our meetings on the human to create a personal connection and start the meeting off on the right foot.

First, we go around the table and invite everyone to share any special news about themselves or their family with the team. It’s totally voluntary so no one feels obligated to share. But often, we hear news about a fun family vacation, or an anniversary, or pictures from a child’s winning soccer game. This only takes five or 10 minutes. It’s a great ice-breaker and it allows us to get to know one another outside of our work roles.

Sharing a Kindness Shout-Out

Still in “human” mode, we shift to kindness shout-outs. Basically, we open the floor for any team member to give a shout-out to any other team member for an act of kindness.

This is where my team really shines. This is their chance to say thank you to a colleague for going above and beyond on a project or task. It’s great to hear them lift one another up and offer kudos for a job well done.

This can take another five or 10 minutes, which can sometimes cut into our “business” time – but it’s worth it. The whole exercise helps build trust and camaraderie between and among our team members and it leaves us all with smiles as we transition into the business at hand.

As we enter into this season of thanks and giving, I try to remind myself how important these kindness moments are to the success of any organization. No matter how eager we are to get down to the business at hand, I’m grateful that we all make a point to acknowledge, celebrate, and thank one another – not just during Thanksgiving, but all year round.

Consider trying the Human-Business-Human® technique to foster kindness and gratitude at your next team huddle or team meeting. I’d love to know how it works for you.