Leaders lead meetings. Organisers organise meetings. Don't mix the two!
No one likes to waste precious time, especially business owners. A good meeting creates learning conversations, but way too often poor leadership behaviour is mirrored by the attendees.
This can be demonstrated by managers arriving late, using the wrong choice of words, not being sensitive to other people's situations or simply being rude. One of the most vital behaviours of good managers consists of the use of praise versus the use of punishment.
A meeting should not feel like torture, something an employee must endure. This only discourages learning opportunities through conversation. Often during meetings, the inner critic turns on instead of the inner coach and any benefit from sharing knowledge between team members is quickly sabotaged.
It is essential that the leader of the meeting sets the right tone to ensure conversations give rise to the following:
- “Motivation to Act.” Distinguish between “opinions” versus “motivation to act.”
- Gives individuals an occasion to contribute their gifts and talents.
- Allows, as a group, “dreams to be realised.”
- Creates opportunities for individuals to thrive and grow.
- Addresses individuals’ concerns and needs.
- Builds strong relationships and provides the catalyst to add new people to the mix.
- Decisions are made in a fair and inclusive manner.
- Encourage everyone in the meeting to be an influencer by sharing their knowledge.
- Avoid instruction methods that come across terse and like shorthand statements that derail what the messenger is actually thinking.
- Believe in what you are saying, otherwise, why should anyone else care? This resistance of attendees to listen to you will generally result from a lack of trust.
- Even where there is trust, your motive is often challenged in a group environment.
- Don't make people feel like a spectator, make them feel like a participant.
- Help others to understand and believe in a new point of view by triggering their emotions. We understand by feeling, not necessarily by thinking.
- Draw on true life stories to illustrate situations. Move away from the lecture or pep talk. Support people to answer these two questions: "Will it be worth it?" and "Can I do it?"
- Acknowledge all successes and provide hope where possible.
- Ask questions that mean something to the attendees. The usefulness of the knowledge we acquire and the effectiveness of the action we take depends on the quality of the questions asked.
- Finally, at the end of the meeting, ensure team members believe and know they have made a step forward.
In the bestselling book Influencer, the Power to Change Anything by Patterson, Grenny, Maxfield, McMillan and Switzler, they say "Often humans react to their immediate environments as if they were on autopilot.They don't pause to consider how their immediate choices reflect their ideals, values, or moral codes. The connections between their actions and personal standards are rarely 'top of mind.' It's the lack of thought, not the presence of thought that enables our bad behaviour."
As disconnected and unreflective as we may be during our meetings it only gets worse when we feel threatened or challenged. What has been your experience?
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