Knowing your colleagues. “How do you feel?”

It is one of the questions that work teams ask themselves every day and share their mood. This is “Niko Niko Calendar” a practice of Management 3.0.

The simple fact of asking “How do you feel today?”, listening to the answers of the people in your team, often sharing personal things, allows you to start a conversation that generates trust, empathy, unity, support, improves communication and is a way to strengthen the relationships of your team by knowing the situation of each one. 

You can also easily compare the happiness’ level of your team over time. With a simple look, you can know if they are well and if not, look for action plans to increase your happiness.

It’s a fun technique, you can use multiple moods, different colors and customize the dynamic with the ideas and creativity of the team.

It is very easy to apply, by drawing a table on a board, with all the team member’s names and the days of the week. At the end of the day, each person will paint a personal mood representing how his/her day ends up being, sharing with the team why they felt this way. 

One of the advantages of doing this exercise at the end of the day is that people relieve themselves from their concerns, by sharing their achievements. Team members share how their day ended and go home with a clear mind.

A variation of this dynamic that I did on a Scrum team, as follows:

Before starting the daily, each person on the team selects an emoticon (we had our magnetic board and a set of magnetics emoticons), then voluntarily, one person on the team starts their participation, sticks their emoticon on the board and comments on why they feel that way. When daily ends, they put their emotions on a shared excel sheet monthly “Niko-Niko Calendar Monthly”

By doing this exercise at the beginning of the day, it allows the team members to know how their colleagues feel. By knowing if they are happy or have any personal/professional concerns, it helps to build support and empathy. It boosts the relationships by understanding the situation of each one.

In my experience I have had better results doing the exercise at the beginning of the day, it allows us to know the general motivation of the team, the real state of each person if you are angry, if you have any problem, if you are happy, etc. and to get to work immediately if something is not right. Many times the solution is very simple, just telling what is wrong with you frees you from an emotional charge or having a coffee with a colleague commenting on different points of view.

Doing the exercise at the end of the day, I consider that it has the disadvantage of not knowing how the people in your team are, and being able to count on a full day’s work to increase the team’s motivation.

This technique has been very easy to put into practice and make a habit of it. Team members are interested in knowing how their colleagues are doing, helping them with their problems or celebrating their successes. When teams see the value of these practices, they keep them going.

I recommend placing the Niko-Niko calendar near each team’s workstations or on the physical panels. This action promotes transparency, allowing everyone to visualize it. 

If you are looking for a way to apply this practice remotely, you can use the Niko-Niko Calendar by downloading this .xlsx file and sharing it as a Google spreadsheet, or you can also perform this practice online through the portal

For all the benefits it generates, it is a technique that everyone should apply daily. You can adapt it to your team’s requests and see the great results it generates. 

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