If you’ve ever attended a company meeting, it’s probably easy to recognize that not everyone communicates in these scenarios in the same ways. Some people love the spotlight of providing their opinion to a large group, while others need more time to take everything in.
Because of this, you often get a situation in which the meeting organizer leaves feeling that things were incredibly productive, while some others leave feeling it was a waste of time and they weren’t able to truly get their thoughts across well.
Cary-based Let Each Speak aims to eliminate these meeting hang-ups with a platform that ensures employees are able to express their opinions and communicate more effectively with each other.
By collecting information on employees’ opinions before the meeting, the actual conversation isn’t derailed by the extroverts, and quieter meeting participants still get a chance to have their thoughts heard.
Meeting participants will be able to document their opinions on certain topics—for example, adding in a new product feature—in the platform beforehand. This provides greater depth to each team member’s perspective instead of just doing a group vote that can get overpowered by a few loud voices in the room.
Let Each Speak’s Founder and CEO Jaiwant Mulik, a computer science PhD who spent the bulk of his career in education, said the platform targets senior-level executives at larger firms.
Hearing a diversity of opinions
If you’re an executive trying to make the best decision, every voice in the room matters, and figuring out the nuances behind each opinion is essential.
“It’s very rarely black and white,” Mulik said. “When you have folks and each of them have these different opinions, if you’re the organizer, you need to understand the subtleties of each of them.”
The Let Each Speak tool also works as a good way to archive the basic ideas that were discussed within a meeting, so executive teams can look back at their previous conversations and give a full history to new team members.
Managers also have the ability to keep employees from seeing other workers’ opinions before writing their own on the platform. This could keep a team from being influenced by the majority or a particularly forceful personality.
“It’s well-advised for any manager to try to listen to all these opinions,” Mulik said. “People express it in different ways. Some people are able to think on their feet and in fact, they almost need that energy. Some people are the opposite. They need a quiet environment.”
Keeping conversations productive and friendly is also still important in the platform environment. While users can like others’ comments, instead of being able to ‘dislike’ something, they can only flag comments for ‘logical fallacies.’
“As a CEO, your biggest thing every day is ‘I’ve hired all these folks. I paid a premium for all these smart people in my company. Am I listening to them? Am I getting the best out of it?’” Mulik said.
So far, Let Each Speak is in its customer discovery phase, but the platform hopes to launch by October. As the company prepares for its takeoff, Mulik said he’s developed an understanding of just how important it can be to get feedback from other founders.
Benefits of the GRO incubator
That’s one of the reasons why Let Each Speak is participating in CED’s GRO incubator this summer.
“It is critical because you can read all the books you want,” Mulik said. “You can watch all the YouTube videos you want. You can join all the online entrepreneurship courses. But I think there’s a lot to be said about just finding somebody local.”
Just relying on the feedback of family and friends can take your startup nowhere fast, Mulik said, so he is looking forward to the knowledge and networking that comes with the GRO incubator, which includes eight other startups.
“Whenever you talk about your idea to your friends or your family or anybody you know, everybody invariably says, ‘Fantastic idea, I wish you the best, I’m so glad you’re doing it,’” Mulik said. “They want to be supportive. They want you to succeed. Nobody’s going to say your thing sucks, that you’re going to crash and burn and be left with nothing.”
As companies increasingly adopt permanent work-from-home or hybrid policies, Let Each Speak also has an opportunity to usher in a more effective way of holding meetings over different mediums, Mulik said.
As Let Each Speak continues its journey through the GRO incubator, Mulik said he is focused on finding product-market fit and welcomes any prospective customers to reach out.