The best meetings are short, sharp and focussed.  But just one person with their mind elsewhere can mess that right up.  Here’s a tool to help you get everyone laser-focussed.. 

The One Word Barometer

At the start of a meeting, after the welcome, each person is asked to describe how they are feeling in one word.  They can use any word but the same word can’t be used twice. That’s it!

There is no judgement, but, if a word that might indicate someone is distracted pops up, I always dig a bit deeper.  For example, if there’s a ‘stressed’ member of the team, it’s best to investigate and de-stress before starting the meeting.  If that person can’t be de-stressed, either they should leave or the meeting should be rescheduled.

At The Physio Co, we often use The One Word Barometer both at the start and end of a meeting.  Not only does it help focus everyone at the start, it helps ensure that all decisions have been understood and follow-up actions clear.

The One Word Barometer, a simple tool to help you run better meetings.

PS- Some of the words that I’ve heard: happy, hungry, excited, in-love, focussed, worried, relaxed, ok, pumped, stressed, enthused, hot, frazzled , on-fire, unsure, lonely, distracted, busting..

PPS - When starting out, it can be helpful to have a list of words ready to refer to.