I have borrowed ideas from several books on healthy team culture to create this simple four letter way to practice listening and valuing people. Maybe it will inspire you to think about what values and atmosphere you want to cultivate around you.
Put these four letters up in a poster on the wall where teams meet. The key is people feeling they have permission to call a time out for something they need. If a person abuses the system and paralyzes the work — take them aside privately and set some limits on the use.
S — Safe — Something was just done or said that has triggered fear in me. I can’t be a good team member if I am protecting myself from a possible wound. I need to describe what makes me feel unsafe without attacking anyone.
O — Oriented — Maybe my caffine ran out! Or I missed the last meeting and did not receive notes to get up to speed. I need to get my bearings. I need clarity.
A — Ask — Something we are discussing or a presentation just made does not seem to give me enough information. Can you tell me more? Why are we considering this action or change in direction? Can you help me understand the What? or the How? of what we are examining?
P — Praise or Pray — Can we take a moment to give God praise or thanksgiving? Can we pray to seek God’s perspective in this issue? This is great! We need to pause and thank and appreciate those who invested and sacrificed to make this happen!
Give me your thoughts!