Ron Friedman wrote an article for Harvard Business Review titled Ask This Question at Your Next Meeting (14 February 2023). « We all hate meetings…What if meetings accelerated the progress they now stifle? »

« What are you stuck on? … It’s a question intelligent leaders would do well to consider incorporating into team meetings. Doing so introduces a collaborative forum for creative problem-solving

« an opportunity to gain clarity on major barriers and identify solutions they never would have considered working alone. »

« Knowing the question will be posed prompts your team to self-reflect ahead of each meeting. It’s an invitation to step back and think deeply about what they are really trying to achieve, as well as the barriers getting in the way. »

« Posing the “stuck” question communicates that feeling challenged is not an experience that needs to be hidden or feared… It’s much easier to weather adversity when we anticipate being tested. In contrast, when struggle arrives unexpectedly, it shakes our confidence and leads us to question our abilities. »

« After each teammate responds to the “stuck” question, there’s an opportunity for their colleagues to provide input — allowing teammates to mentor each other, harness one another’s strengths, and discover untapped expertise. It’s a practice that organically nurtures greater collaboration. »

« Being honest and forthright about our challenges also fosters more open dialogue between colleagues, facilitating the experience of psychological safety. In other words, it doesn’t just yield more progress on key projects, it also creates tighter-knit teams. »

« Engagement comes from stretching, not coasting along. The “stuck” question helps leaders ensure that everyone on their team is growing. »

« failure, though painful in the short term, is vital to achieving long-term success… The word “failure” carries a stigma that makes it difficult to implement in the workplace. In contrast, feeling “stuck” conveys a similar experience with considerably less shame. It offers leaders a tool for communicating that pushing yourself and finding your limits is desirable »

Ron Friedman is a psychologist and author of  The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace (2015) and Decoding Greatness: How the Best in the World Reverse Engineer Success (2023).

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