If it’s your first time as a Squad Mod, you may not know what to expect from the experience. The good news is: your role is what you make it to an extent.
Below we’re going to provide you with the resources you need to be successful in your Squad Mod role, but you should feel comfortable doing what feels right to you, and understand that each meeting is an opportunity to grow as a facilitator and as a supporter of your Squad members.
Things to Remember
Introduce yourself (genuinely)
Set the tone by telling people your name, what you do for work, and why you’re in the Squad. Personal details, like your family life, hobbies, past lives before your current career, and passions will help the others in the group know what to share about themselves.
In the first meeting tell everyone how these meetings will go:
Today we do introductions, please use 2-3 minutes to introduce yourself
Go over the ground rules/ Code of Conduct found here under ’Kickoff Meeting Agenda’
Each meeting following this is a Hot Seat or a Hot Topic
We are here to support each other
Come to the Squad Mod with any questions, if she doesn’t know the answer she’ll figure it out
Make sure that you stress the importance of
Attendance: It's vital that everyone makes each meeting in order to respect one another's time, and make progress towards each of your professional development goals.
Communication: it should be frequent, respectful, honest. This is a safe space for everyone in the Squad.
Sharing resources: planners, tools, books, podcasts, Ellevate resources
Consistency: You build trust by showing up every week, on time and contributing your best every time. Everyone deserves to be heard and supported here. It’s important to be here for each other.
Ask others to contribute and give them an opportunity to speak:
Some people are more forthcoming than others, so take a pulse of the people on the meeting and their willingness to contribute. Let the conversation flow naturally, but remember that it is your responsibility to keep everyone on task and make sure that it’s not the same people talking all the time (including you).
Some ways to make sure everyone contributes include:
Ask those who haven’t spoken on the meeting yet if this situation is something familiar to them or “what their take is” on the situation you’re discussing
Thank the person currently speaking for their ideas, feedback, contribution, and elicit advice from someone else who seems engaged
Open up the floor:
“Does anyone in the meeting have experience or ideas that can help ___?”
“Has anyone in the meeting today experienced something like ___ just spoke about?”
“Does anyone in the meeting today have knowledge of resources that can help ____?”
“I know that we all have different experiences at work, but maybe we’ve dealt with a similar situation in our personal lives or relationships that are similar to ____. Have any of you dealt with something similar and if so, what did you learn from it?”
Be curious about each member’s career path:
Questions will always drive discussions forward and encourage members to share more context about where they've been and where they're going in their career. These questions are borrowed from First Round Review; of course, any of your favorite networking questions will work perfectly.
What drew you to work in this particular industry?
Tell me about the business model — who pays whom and who is delivering value to whom?
What’s your favorite part of your job and why?
What's your current focus for your career? What would you like to change?
Lead by example:
Never speak for more than a few minutes at a time
Always ask people to contribute
Don’t swear or accuse anyone of anything (whether they are on the meeting or not)
Use your sense of humor and be yourself
Be open to feedback:
Regularly ask Squad members what they need and if they’re getting it
Be open to changing the way you run the meetings, send notes, follow up, etc.
Understand that we’re all here to get better and to support each other
Taking notes is one of the most valuable parts of the Squads experience. If you are not able to take notes yourself during the session, make sure someone does. The sessions are not recorded to respect the intimacy and privacy of the Squad meetings, so use the notes to keep track of:
Resources you shared
Hot Seater’s goals & next steps
Common themes and challenges you notice among the group
Any notes/ important things you’d like to remember about the Hot Topic (generally these are taken from the Ellevate resources about the Hot Topic)
You may be surprised how important following up is. Everyone’s life is busy, so the more you can be that consistent reminder to people about the details of your meeting, interesting things you have and will discuss, the more likely you are to have an engaged group for the duration of the 12 weeks.