I’m not talking about physical movement although that is important in meetings. I’m talking about feeling moved, emotionally.
Tears, passion even laughter can all be hallmarks of an effective meeting, much as they are in literature or drama. In the same way that we find ourselves binge watching a thrilling box set, a well led meeting will attract attendees. They will turn up early, well prepared and keen to engage. Does this sound like your business meetings?
If not, consider Patrick Lencioni’s approach, detailed in his book Death by Meeting. Lencioni says a meeting should be like a movie, there should be a plot or purpose of getting together, a problem to solve.
There’s a cast, each with a distinctive character and point of view. There’s conflict, something to debate. And there’s a structure which effectively introduces the characters, plot and dynamically reaches a resolution within around 90 minutes.
All too often we avoid contentious issues and therefore our meetings are boring and unproductive. We fear that conflict has to involve bad language, raised voices, unkind words and even violence. Whilst that may be the case for children in a playground, mature executives should be capable of sensible debate – so long as they share the same purpose.
Encourage attendees to:
- Focus on a single, agreed issue
- Seek to collaborate
- Embrace silence and time to think
- Speak courageously, with kindness
As a meeting leader encourage more truth-telling and directness, and lesspolitics. Model and commend vulnerability, create a culture in which people willingly have the kinds of courageous conversations that truly drive business.
One of the many advantages of meeting virtually is that it is inexpensive to invite a third party to observe or even moderate your discussions, if this is something you’d like to explore, please get in touch.