The Benefits Of A Team Reflection (And How To Lead One)

Team reflections—sometimes called post-mortems or retrospectives—are meetings that allow you to look back on a project and thoughtfully consider what went well and what you could do differently next time. These meetings essentially answer the question, “How did we do?” While you can’t go back and change the final outcome, you can learn by simply reflecting as a group.

If you don’t normally take time for team reflections, you could be missing out on some big benefits, according to content marketer, Sarah Ribeiro. Through team reflections, you can spot gaps in your processes, learn more about how your team members work and give everyone a chance to realize how much they contributed. This can be a huge confidence-booster going into the next project.

Wondering how to lead a team reflection? Begin by finding a structure that works for you. For example, you may find that free-flowing conversations work best for your group. Other teams may do better with an ordered list of things to think about.

Keep reading this issue of Promotional Consultant Today for Ribeiro’s suggestions on leading a team reflection.

Compile the pluses and deltas. If you’re a fan of making pros/cons lists, this structure could work for you. Make a list and place a plus next to the items that went well or that you want to continue in your next project. Place a delta next to the moments or tasks that didn’t go so well. These are the things you’ll work on changing next time. Laying these out will give you a better view of how to plan future initiatives, says Ribeiro.

Create a stop/start/keep matrix. Ribeiro says this kind of team reflection is ideal for those who like the idea of pluses/deltas but want to add more future planning. With a stop/start/keep matrix, you can think back on what went well and what didn’t. These are the processes or activities you want to stop. You can also include things to start doing and processes to keep.

Ask the right questions. When you are leading a team reflection, always strive to ask clear and direct questions. Ribeiro says leaders should aim to inspire their team to identity, describe and analyze in every reflection. She recommends asking questions such as:

  • What's one situation that we could have managed better?
  • How did you feel in that instance?
  • What would have prevented this experience?
  • What was the good thing that happened and who contributed to it?
  • What resources did we need to do this?
  • How can we replicate this situation?

Team reflections can help your team work better together and improve job performance. Whether you like the plus/delta approach or you want to use the stop/start/keep matrix, the idea is to get everyone on your team involved in the discussion. And remember that these reflections are not investigations. Rather than pinning blame on someone or putting people on the spot, keep the conversation open and remember that team reflections are about uncovering what went wrong but also where you succeeded. When done right, team reflections can help your group continuously improve.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Sarah Ribeiro is a content marketer and social media specialist who contributes posts to the Trello blog.

filed under September 2021
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