As a child, the best time of the day often was dinner time. We spent it together, eating and discussing. For me, it was the opportunity to listen to my parents’ stories, where they shared what their day had been like and what they were thinking about.
Without realizing it, we learned a lot from spending this time together.
For them, it was an occasion to reflect on their experience and process open questions with us. It was an opportunity to share why and how they were doing what they were doing. But it was also an opportunity to receive questions, be reminded of how that was different from what they had said a few days before, or what didn’t make sense to the others.
It’s a practice that can be very much missing in teams, even more so when teams become focused on measuring their achievements. Whenever the boxes that something has been done have been ticked or the percentage describing how much of it has been done is being discussed, questions related to purpose disappear. Teams can find it easy to skip the step of asking what something is for, what alternatives have been dismissed, or what the reasoning for a decision was.
Their daily routine allowed my parents to figure out for themselves what they were achieving and how this was contributing not only to their satisfaction but also to the one of those involved. It also made it easier for them to explain why they considered their choices to be the right ones.