In my CEO peer advisory groups my intention is very clear…to connect all the members as human beings and not as CEOs. When this happens in a group, like your leadership team, a trust builds up and people become more transparent, willing to share things they ordinarily would not. This is why our meetings are so powerful. Members are open to sharing situations they are facing with their fellow members and know there will be no judgment. Everyone in the room is there to help each other be successful.
An exercise I did at my most recent meetings was to email the members ahead of the meeting and request that they come with a curious question to ask two different members. It was to be a different question. Something they were curious around knowing about the individual. Perhaps it had to do with a discussion at a previous meeting that they didn’t ask the member. It might be about the member’s business or something they had shared about their personal life. During every meeting everyone gives brief updates on their personal and business lives and often there is not enough time to spend drilling down to the details. This allowed us to go a little deeper.
Since this was the first time I had done this exercise I wasn’t sure how it would go. It was fantastic! The members loved it. We spent over two hours of the all-day meeting getting to know each other at a deeper level and get our unasked questions answered.
I urge you to create this kind of trust with your leadership team. It may take time for them to feel comfortable sharing but if the trust is there they will feel safe. Gradually your team will become an even more high performing team.