How are you today?

On a scale of 1-5.

How are you? On a scale of 1-5 where one is pretty rubbish and 5 is tip top?

I’m about a 3 today.

Why is this a good question?

Switch on the news and there is a lot of bad and sad news right now. (I’ll not dwell on the detail.) Many of us are working remotely and flexibly and it’s easy to feel isolated so we have to be more deliberate about connecting with colleagues. Most people are not great at realising when they are not OK. Our default reply when we’re asked ‘How are you?’ is ‘busy’ or ‘fine’ – even if we’re not busy or fine. And if we can’t signal how we’re really feeling we don’t give our friends or colleagues the opportunity to help.

Asking how people are on a scale can be helpful because it makes people think about their response. You have to think about your number – you can’t answer ‘busy’ or ‘fine.’

I’m fine

I recently stole an acronym (with permission) from Paul Cheetham. If someone says that they’re fine, in my experience they are often not fine. If you suggest that FINE stands for…

Feelings

Inside

Not

Expressed

It can create an opportunity to ask about what feelings they are not expressing. 

Back to numbers

If someone says they are a low number then you can legitimately ask them if they’d like to share a bit more.

Or for example if someone is a 2, you can ask them what would need to happen to get them to a 2.5 or even a 3. And how can you help them do that?

It can be helpful in meetings or workshops to check in at the start – if everyone is a low number then they probably won’t get the best out the session and a better use of time might be to explore why the numbers are low.

From a facilitation point of view it can help the facilitator or meeting chair to pitch their energy to the group. For example, my default workshop facilitator setting is high energy, if the room is feeling low I need to adjust to work with them – otherwise my high energy can be really annoying and not helpful for the group.

What do you think? And how are you today on a scale of 1 – 5?

If you’d like to have a chat about a team day or workshop facilitation then let’s talk! Drop me an email or book a time to talk here.

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