Take five minutes at the end of a meeting. Draw a vertical line down the center of an easel pad or whiteboard. At the top of the left column, put + (plus). At the top of the right column, draw a triangle (delta). Explain “The plus is what you liked about this meeting — things we should keep for next time. The Delta, which is the technical symbol for “gap”, is what you would like to see changed, or done differently, next time we meet.”
Go around the group — ask for one idea from each person for each column. Write down what they say. No comments, and keep it very brief. The list is usually short. Some people will say nothing. Commit to change what people want changed. Bring the page to the next meeting to show that you have acted on their suggestions. If you do this after each meeting, you will find the quality of the meetings improves dramatically, and you move the culture to more openness and participation.
cc 322 — © Barry Phegan, Ph.D.