Every morning our team got together for our morning stand-up session. It had become a daily routine. The structure of these 15-minutes standups was simple: we reflected on our accomplishments of the previous day, our planned deliverables of the new day and any impediments we were facing and for which we were asking for help from within the team or outside.
More than a normal team sync session
This routine is common to many other teams. What made our daily standups special was that we added a fourth element. Once every team member talked about his or her accomplishments, planned deliverables and inquiries for help, he or she shared what would make him or her happy that very day. This could be anything the team member deemed valuable. For example, a desired outcome of a meeting, a report, a breakthrough idea, or an evening activity may it be sports, dinner, cinema or anything else.
Silly? No. Inspiring? Yes.
In the beginning adding this fourth element in our daily standups felt odd and, to some of us, even funny and silly. Then, slowly things changed. Sharing your personal desired happiness moment of the day by itself was special. What made it unique was that every team member was listening to the others. Knowing about what my teammates would make them happy, gave me a better understanding what moved them. Then there were the happiness moments where my daily goal was to make my teammates happy, i.e., help them achieve their happiness moment. This could be that I took over some of their work so that they could leave on time for their date in the evening. Or, helping them prepare a session. In either way, making my teammates happy, increased my own happiness even more. And this showed in my own work, performance, mood and, last but not least, results.
Adding the fourth, decisive fourth question to your daily standup’s
Next time when you conduct your daily standup with your team, suggest to add a fourth question. That is answer the following questions:
- What have I accomplished since yesterday (or the last standup meeting)?
- What do I plan to accomplish today (or until the next standup meeting)?
- What impediments do I face or see? Where do I need help?
- What makes me happy today?
Is it that simple? Yes, it is. Try it for a couple of 1-2 weeks and find out by yourself. Of course, as always it is your choice to be happy or unhappy.