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Ben Halpern for The DEV Team

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One small process improvement we made lately at DEV

Thank u, next

We try to keep our meetings quick and productive, so we have a couple weekly meetings structured such that folks submit their key talking points in Slack and then we run through them in order.

In order to alleviate the awkward "not sure if you're finished talking" silence of group calls, we have instituted a policy of saying "thank u, next" to pass the mic, so to speak. It also seems to cut off necessary rambling because folks know how to cut themselves off. And it all has a positive intonation by default.

The results have been great (at least I think so). It is a small thing, but it matters for a distributed organization.

Do you have any similar practices at your org?

Happy coding.

Top comments (25)

andrewbrown profile image
Andrew Brown 🇨🇦 • Edited

We use a conch.

In startup school, they designate one person to be a moderator so they are given the social allowance to police the meeting to stop rambling and keep the structure. I really like this method.

peter profile image
Peter Kim Frank

Very Lord of the Flies.

mariocd10 profile image
Mario DeLaPaz

When I read conch. I thought of the spongebob episode with the magic conch shell. lol

recss profile image
Kevin K. Johnson

Does the moderator, holder on the conch, rotate?

andrewbrown profile image
Andrew Brown 🇨🇦

The Conch system is simply taking turns with no clear leader.

The Moderator controls all aspects of communication.
In a Moderator model, you'll want to rotate out the moderator per meeting, otherwise, people are going start hating that one person and lets other people learn to improve their communication skills.

Both systems have their trade-offs.

ohryan profile image

And it all has a positive intonation by default.

TBH "thank u, next" sounds extremely passive-aggressive when I read it.

kenbellows profile image
Ken Bellows • Edited

It can if you're saying it to someone else, like if someone is talking and as soon as they pause for a breath you jump in with "thank u, next", but in this context the speaker themself says it to indicate that they are done speaking, not directed at anyone (or perhaps directed at themself). Used in that way, I can't find any passive aggression; who would it be directed toward?

deciduously profile image
Ben Lovy

I get that when I read it like this, abbreviated "u" and all lower case. However, saying it aloud doesn't carry that connotation for me.

yechielk profile image
Yechiel Kalmenson

I wonder who inspired that Thank You, Next one... 🤔

andreacanton profile image
Andrea Canton

Arianna Grande

bootcode profile image
Robin Palotai

I thought about the "thank you, we'll let you know" scene in the (first?) Monty Python episode.

Thread Thread
fennecdjay profile image
Jérémie Astor

The one with the killer joke?
Thank you Guiseppe.

gusgonnet profile image

Playing sometimes the role of moderator or scrum-master, I got tired of cutting people short when they take too long to explain their status of the day, or other members get into discussions about this or that.
I also felt unpolite, who am I to decide when you need to stop talking, even for the sake of the meeting's efficiency?

Hence I came up with the 30 seconds cards. It's a card the size of a poker card, but with a number 30 in the front, made of cardboard. I made a bunch so anyone in the team can use them. When someone raises it (it does not have to be the moderator, but anyone in the meeting) means that you have 30 seconds to wrap it up. Those 30 seconds provide invaluable time to people to finish the message they were trying to convey.
Whenever someone joins the meeting online, they can also type 30 or just say it and it has the same effect. It's working wonders for us.

This way the responsibility about time efficiency is shared, people can finish what they were discussing/saying, and I don't feel unpolite anymore!

eekayonline profile image
Edwin Klesman • Edited

reminds me of playing around with friends over walkie-talkies over :)

But however you're ending your turn. Having a stop word and passing the mic is a good way to improve the roulation times and prevent awkwardness and rambling!

joelvarty profile image
Joel Varty

Love this! My son also likes listening to the song by Ariana Grande... so... fun!

lauragift21 profile image
Gift Egwuenu

Love it!!

room_js profile image
JavaScript Room

Sounds like a good practice. Need to try it with our team. Thanks for sharing it!

bradledford profile image
Brad Ledford

I might to implement this on myself as I’ve been catching myself meandering.

katylava profile image
katy lavallee

We say "no blockers" or "not blocked".

Unless we're blocked. Then we say what's blocking our work.

dowenb profile image
Ben Dowen

Think I might see if I can get this to take off at work. Thank you... next!

sebbdk profile image
Sebastian Vargr

In physical meetings I have used a ball before, passing it around to whomever needs to speak.

Everyone else shuts up, or gesticulates their want for the ball in silence if they need it. :)

ahmedsomaa profile image
Ahmed Somaa

Add achievements for how long people have been in here, and how many posts they have posted.

aghost7 profile image
Jonathan Boudreau

Yes. We aren't a remote org but I keep a list of talking points to make sure the meeting doesn't veer off. It also helps me to not forget important things :P

malloc007 profile image
Ryota Murakami

That's why I literary like "Explicit"!