For you, new and popular

An edit of newly added resources and those proving consistently popular among our partners' teams.
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Raul Aparici on mitigating impostor syndrome
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Kate and Catherine on pausing, for conversational space
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Kate and Catherine on intentional listening
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Kate and Catherine on questioning well
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Worksheet: Time Blocking
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Kate and Catherine on the coaching opportunity
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Matteo's coaching reflections
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Kas's reflections on listening and questioning well
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Time Blocking, and bringing some colour into your calendar
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Worksheet: Owning Feedback
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Making the case for situational flexibility as leaders
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eCourse: Difficult Conversations
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Mentors, Sponsors and Champions. With Abi Adamson
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Effective Allyship. With Abi Adamson
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What's your Privilege Pledge? With Abi Adamson
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Diversify your feed. With Abi Adamson
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Privilege reflections. With Abi Adamson
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Mindful toothbrushing. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Anchor dropping. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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5,4,3,2,1 — a mindfulness technique. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Urge surfing. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Everyday mindfulness. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Making room for emotions (and the weather). With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Letting go of emotions. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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How do you notice your thoughts? With Dr. Sam Akbar
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A coaching conversation around strengths
Confidence Ecourse
eCourse: Confidence Mastery
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Daniel Goleman's Six Leadership Styles, explained by Louise Hedges
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eCourse: Mastering Delegation
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eCourse: Time Management and Prioritisation
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eCourse: Get SET with your Goals
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Perspectives on privilege, with Abi Adamson
Neurodivergent Perspectives Lexi Keegan in conversation with Dr Anne Cockayne low
Neurodivergent Perspectives. Lexi Keegan in conversation with Dr. Anne Cockayne
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Neurodiversity know-how: The Spiky Profile explained
Neurodiversity explained with Dr Anne Cockayne low
Neurodiversity explained, with Dr. Anne Cockayne
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Neuroinclusion at work: Thinking about adjustments
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Neurodiversity know-how. Autism with Dr. Anne Cockayne
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Neurodiversity know-how. ADHD with Dr. Anne Cockayne
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Neurodiversity know-how. Dyslexia with Dr. Anne Cockayne
Micro-learning: Setting Better Boundaries
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eCourse: Practicing a Coaching Approach
Finding fortitude, and follow on experiments
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eCourse: Conscious Inclusion
Seven things to avoid when writing at work
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Share genuinely useful feedback with the BID model
Solve problems before they happen with pre-mortems
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Five tactics for influencing those more senior
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Five powerful questions for adding impact and insight to your next interview.
Car Words
Try out the CAR technique, and upgrade your understanding when interviewing someone.
Good Qs
Smart ways to frame questions in your next mentoring session
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Try the 5 Whys to invigorate your problem solving and add depth to your decisions.
Allyship CP
Course Pack: Effective Allyship, with Abi Adamson
Course Pack: Voice Gym. Building your vocal confidence
A three minute mindset exercise, to support a coaching approach
Try this deep listening exercise for deeper connection and better conversations
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Experiment with the BRAIN model for confident decision making and problem solving
Discover the impact a five minute favour can have on your relationships, and network building
Homework for Life: A ten-second daily ritual for noticing, capturing and practicing stories
Course Pack: Storytelling
Do Story
Practical storytelling principles from Bobette Buster's book — Do: Story
Evolve your 'inner mentor' — a short reflective exercise to focus your development, and the ways you can better support others
Experiment with a Springboard Story to communicate your change idea, and take people with you towards it.
N Ngrab
Course Pack: Natural Networking
Tone Policing - What it is, why it's unhelpful and how to helpfully notice it.
Coaching Criticism
Find the Coaching in Criticism. Things to try when feedback doesn't quite land
4 Ds
The 4Ds. A practical framework for acknowledging microaggressions
Mindful breathing — the foundation of focus and flow
Channel that fly on the wall. Try some purposeful self talk to mitigate moments of doubt
Add some friction to your most common distractions
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Build belief by recognising small wins — Try a 'Done List'
Silent Meeting
Make your next meeting a Silent Meeting
Can If Go
Immediately build your confidence, with a 'Can-If' statement
To Think
Don't forget to diarise thinking time — experiment with a 'To Think' list
Smarten your approach to setbacks, by trying out a Setback Story
Get clear on control with a Clarity Clap
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Everything I Know about Life I Learned from PowerPoint — What we learned and where it led...
How to be a meaningful mentor, insights from a purposeful podcast
If Then New
Design (and share) your If > Then statements, for a purposefully prompt towards action
Practice the principles of persuasion from 'Godfather of Influence,' Robert Cialdini.
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Six steps for finding focus and flow, with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in mind
Course Pack: Making Time
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Great questions to ask in coaching conversations, 1-1's and other curious contexts

Make your next meeting a Silent Meeting

There's lots that can derail a meeting and tip the balance of participation. Dominant voices, a lack of agenda, or distinct absence of purpose can all play their part. The good news? There are plenty of practical experiments we can run towards more meaningful and motivating meetings — and a 'Silent Meeting' is one of them.
Silent Meeting

What's the matter with meetings?

We ask this question at the beginning of our 'Mastering Meetings' workshop (you can book into a coming one here). Two of the most common responses are 'dominant voices are always heard' and 'more junior colleagues are less likely to speak up'. There's a bigger idea at work here - the concept of 'anchoring' — meaning we often group, and create momentum, around the idea we hear first; an idea quite likely to have been contributed by someone more confident or senior.

Facilitator Daniel Stillman (who also wrote this excellent book on 'designing conversations') calls this 'first speaker syndrome', and has pointed out some unhelpful consequences of it.

People respond instead of think

"When someone shares their first thoughts and opinions on a particular idea, we frame what we say next based on a response to what the first person said. We agree or we don’t. We offer a “Yes and…” or a “No, but…”"

We run with tangents

"One person’s opinion can easily (and quickly) send us off into a tangent or in a certain direction. What about all the other good ideas that are suddenly pushed off the table to explore the first person’s tangent? First Speaker Syndrome doesn’t always let us explore the best ideas, just the ones that were brought up first."

Some people don’t speak at all

"Speaking up in a meeting can be hard. Extroverts have had more practice. Introverts are often more reserved, calculating their thoughts while the discussion rages on. The problem is: there’s no diversity of thought if we’re always listening to the people who are always talking."

Our fast thoughts stop us from listening

"We think too fast. Researchers have clocked inner speech at a pace of 4,000 words per minute — which is about 10 times faster than verbal speech. That kind of inner speed means that most of us can’t possibly be listening to everything someone else is saying…we’re already thinking about what we could say next."

Could silence be the answer?

Daniel invites us to consider, "What if there was a better way to meet? What if we didn’t talk at all? What if the meeting was actually…silent?"

And this doesn't mean sitting silently on Zoom or in the meeting room for 45 minutes — there's a format that packs some serious purpose, and is already pretty proven with big businesses.

A silent meeting offers a structure that encourages reading, writing, thinking and considering ideas with an equal amount of participation before sharing conversationally in a group. The idea is that all minds will be mined, everyone will feel engaged and more inclusive participation will have been achieved.

Giving it a go

We know it can feel a big leap to move from a conventional (albeit possibly dysfunctional) style to meetings to something that feels quite unorthodox to implement. But if you frame this to the team as something to try in the spirit of greater inclusion and better output, you'll be surprised by an enthusiastic response. After all, we all know deep down that we're not doing meetings as well as we might.

Here are simplified steps to follow if you're up for experimenting with a silent meeting, and to get the feel for its impact.

Start with a silent table read

Whoever is leading the meeting (that's likely you in this instance) will share a document that summarises the core of what's to be discussed. This can work well as a G Doc or a Miro/Mural board. And this should be on individual screens, even if you're all in the same room together.

Add your notes into the doc as you go

While reading this shared doc, add in comments notes and builds in writing. Remember you're still in the silent reading part. You should allocate up to 15 minutes for this opening bit.

Open up facilitated conversation

As the meeting lead, you can now facilitate conversation around what's been read and added to the doc — confident in the knowledge that everyone has taken in the same information, and able to ask people individually to build on the notes and comments they've added.

Keen to dig deeper?

• Lots has been written about the power of the Silent Meeting, and there are far more ambitious formats that you can play with too.

• Our Mastering Meetings workshop is a great experimental place to pick up tools and tactics, like this one, to take away and try among your teams.

• Keen for more participatory meetings? Why not try Round Robin Brainstorms next?

More Resources