The power of a sticky note
Sticky notes can bring equality into a room and empower everyone with an equal voice.
I love sticky notes! Not for the purpose of keeping notes, but for their ability to bring equality into a room and empower everyone with an equal voice. How on earth can a sticky note do that, you might be wondering?
First, let me give you the back story. As a young child, I was called out for being bossy – yes girls, this is a thing, isn’t it? Boys of the same persuasion get praised for their leadership qualities, but us girls no it’s slap slap, you step back. Anyway, bossy I am by nature, and look where it’s got me today! Yet I understand that as a leader it’s important to find ways to curb my natural forthrightness so that others around me get a look in and can be heard.
Over time I have also realised that it’s often the quiet ones, the listeners, not the talkers that have the most valuable, insightful and innovative ideas. The question is, in a busy room of people pushing forward their ideas and egos, how can we get to hear the quiet ones? How can we put all voices on an equal stage?
That’s where the sticky note comes in. Whenever I am brainstorming or want diverse and insightful feedback from a group of people, I ask them each to write their ideas down on a sticky note. In this way, each idea has equal weight and is not influenced by the thinking of others in the room. With sensitive or controversial discussions one can even shuffle up and anonymise the answers.
So, my advice (and excuse me if you already know this) is if you want to develop a truly empowered team and surface a diversity of ideas, use the sticky note system, and be sure to teach your leaders to do the same.