Power and Voice

At this week’s boot camp we were tasked with reflecting on the power dynamics that could be shifted in our projects.

I immediately thought about the interviews with stakeholders in my project, the LLC staff, I conducted  last week. When I asked staff about what contributes to successful staff meetings, a common theme emerged around staff voice and validity of voices present in the room; the power to be heard and in front of the group without hesitation.

How do we increase staff voice and engagement in order to have more productive and successful team meetings?  As a result of our bootcamp exercise, I adopted a practice to try and shift the power around speaking our minds at staff meetings. I proposed  to break into small groups to discuss ideas and then report back to the larger group, fairly simple.

When I returned to discuss with the team and facilitate last week’s meeting, the collective was able to take the idea about equity of voice and power much farther. We agreed that in each operational staff meeting (which takes place every other week now as a practice), each team member would present 5 minutes on what they are working on.

Presentations would include:

  • Status Updates

  • Coordination Needs- Any help needed

  • Questions/Issues to discuss with staff

We practiced the 5 minute presentations during the staff meeting that day and I think this was an effective process. Staff shared what they were working on and as a team member said, “It was like old friends were catching up”. Creating the space for each member to share gave voice to the individual and to the team.

We were however able to break into pairs in another meeting facilitated by a team member at LLC. This worked very well especially since we were discussing big themes in leadership development. I think the team was energized by working together and pushing each other’s ideas forward. We also rotated partners to discuss different questions. This presented the opportunity to work with two different partners, which I think lead to breakthroughs around leadership development  and resulted in some team building as well!

Lauren Rodriguez