Bringing your team together for an Align conversation in a remote or hybrid situation just got a lot easier. (And if you haven't yet run an Align with your team - here's advice on getting that set up).
Our Discussion Space tool answers the question of "okay, I have my team's Align results... now what?". It walks you as the facilitator through every step of the debrief conversation, and allows members of your team to type ideas, upvote others' ideas, get customized tips, and engage in the discussion through their own devices.
Here's everything you need to know (or check out this 3 minute video for the quick overview):
Built in agenda and flow
The discussion space walks you through four steps of sharing major takeaways, prioritizing focus areas, exploring key points and finalizing next steps.
At each step you can type in thoughts then discuss
Each section has fields that accept anonymous text comments. Every member of the team can input their thinking for all to see. No more hijacking by the loudest person, everyone gets a chance to contribute their ideas.
Pro-tip: if you are an admin on the team, check out the "Facilitator Help" tab for advice on what to do in each step.
1. Share / Warmup section
At the beginning of the conversation you should ask each person to take 1 minute and type in their #1 takeaway from the results of the exercise.
If they didn't fully read their report they can access it in the top left, by hitting the "View Align Results" button.
Pro-tip: take only 1-2 minutes for people to type their initial thoughts, then get talking! There's plenty of time for people to finish typing and upvoting others' comments with the thumbs up buttons, so get people talking and get the energy going early on.
Here you can select a few of the key statements to focus on for a deeper discussion. Give teammates a chance to both vote with the thumbs up buttons, and also talk about why they would like to focus on any specific area.
Then, simply click on the statements you want to focus on. Often teams focus on the lower scoring statements but hear what your team thinks is most critical to discuss and improve upon.
Pro-tip: try to limit this to just 1-2 key areas; the goal is to help the team focus on what really matters most, and trying to cover too much will feel overwhelming.
Now for the best part - The deep dive into the key topic(s).
Similar to the Share/Warmup, you can give everyone on the team a couple minutes to write their answers to all the questions that pop up. Then start talking again! This is the meat of the conversation and where you'll get to the important steps of
generating solution ideas
creating actions items to commit to and carry forward.
Pro-tip: Try to focus the conversation on what your team can influence/control. Often times you will identify areas that may be external to your control - think about what aspects you can change and what you can't - this will help you create more realistic and feasible solutions.
4. Final Thoughts
Now you're at the last step where you can drive commitment to the next steps the team should make to get better. You'll notice that any "Action Items" identified previously on the Explore step are carried forward here.
Clicking the "Finish Discussion" will bring you to our Team Habit page, where you can enter your commitments and set up a Habit to keep yourselves accountable with reminders and tracking over time.
Pro-tip: End things on a positive note! By design, an Align conversation will tend to focus on identifying improvement areas, but there's usually a lot of strengths and things to celebrate as well. We recommend ending with a round of shout-outs or celebrations for what's been going well with the team.
Thanks! We hope you have a great discussion so please let us know if you have any other questions