Google’s research into team performance (Project Aristotle) revealed two behaviours consistent in high-performance teams — high levels of social sensibility, and equal time speaking. So if you are looking for a leading indicator metric for high performance, why not come up with ways to measure these?
I think that one of the silver linings from the pandemic will be that it will have permanently changed the way we meet. Remember what it was like trying to get a meeting/conference room back at the office? That pain disappeared when we all went remote. And I envisage that when we go back to the office (which I personally am looking forward to), then the option of having a zoom meeting is always available if no conference room is free. And it may even be preferential for other reasons.
So here is my idea for a metric of equal time speaking — a tool that measures how much time each person speaks in a meeting. That’s it. Wouldn’t that be great data to have? I don’t think that you should look at the data from singular meetings necessarily. The data in aggregate and changing patterns over time would be more useful. How insightful to find out that you were a conversation hog! Then you have something to work on, and a way to measure how you are doing at changing that behaviour. Perhaps you are working with a coach on your listening and communication skills. (I’m a fan of making coaching available to employees.)
I’m super interested in finding ways to measure progress on “the soft stuff” because the soft stuff is actually the hard stuff to master, and where the magic actually happens. The opening lines of the Agile Manifesto are People and Interactions over Process and Tools, but I think the agile community now is mostly focused on Process. :(
I found one tool that measures the ratio of men to women speaking in a meeting. That is a start, but risks putting people into a bucket that they may not want to be put in— so not sure if I like this one. But I will keep an eye on it should they decide to start adding features. www.lookwhostalking.se
This next link is to a feature request from zoom. Looks like others have had the same idea as me. Yay! Looking forward to seeing if/when zoom and other conferencing tools add this feature. Let me know in the comments if there is tooling that you know of that already does this, please.