A meeting with your colleagues is the best time to bring up new ideas or object to ones already on the floor. If that's not happening, try suggesting a new rule: if you're silent, that means you agree.
Photo by John Benson.
As business site Harvard Business Review explains, meetings can understandably be intimidating. However, if your team is keeping quiet, you could be missing out on new ideas. Worse yet, someone may be completely silent during the meeting, but object to the plan once everyone is gone. This makes it harder to move forward. Instead, this rule encourages everyone to speak up:
These three words do a great job of forcing people to open up, no matter how reluctant (or passive-aggressive) they may be feeling. Explain to people that if they don't say anything when given a proposal or plan, they're voting "yes" to it. Silence doesn't mean "I'm not voting" or "I reserve the right to weigh in later." It means "I'm completely on board with what's being discussed."
If your team has a lot of passive people who prefer direct, one-on-one conversations to speak their mind, this new method may take some coaxing. If you're running a meeting, try asking each person one at a time if they're on board with what's being discussed. Give them an opening so their voices aren't trampled. But eventually, get your team used to the idea that if you're not speaking up, it's assumed you're on board.