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Resources: Braided Meetings

Traditional face to face or video meetings are dominated by neurotypical extroverts. They talk but most others don’t. The silent majority doubtless have great things to say, but the process is too painful so they stay silent and you never benefit from their great ideas. Things like eye-contact, being interrupted, moving off the agenda, small talk, starting late or over-running all make the process distressing to many, such as those who are neurodivergent or highly introverted. They’d love to contribute, but they can’t, so your productivity suffers. Braiding is a new tool that helps everybody feel like they belong in a meeting so all the good ideas emerge.

Braided Meetings is a great tool for diverse teams because everybody gets an equal opportunity to contribute, the meeting effortlessly sticks to the planned agenda and will always finish on time. It is an extraordinarily effective use of time, because everybody is contributing continuously. In a half hour traditional meeting with four people, you get half an hour of output, probably dominated by the two loudest individuals. In the same half hour with Braiding you get two hours of output, that’s four times more output, because everybody contributes continuously. Also, the Braided Meetings output is balanced,  including inputs from everybody, so will almost certainly be more valuable. And as Braided Meetings is a written format you always get a full written record of the meeting and nobody has to take minutes.

Because Braiding is so effective it is quite an intense process so most Braided Meetings are short, typically 20-30 minutes. Most people use Braided Meetings as a section within a longer traditional meeting. We now call this a hybrid meeting. They start face to face or virtually with the host perhaps explaining the context and objectives. They then have a Braided section, so everybody gets an equal chance to share their ideas and comment on other people’s suggestions. They may then revert to a traditional format to finalise actions and next steps.