“There are countess ways to screw up a meeting,” writes contributing editor Jeff Haden in Inc.. In fact, many employees view meetings as “costly” and “unproductive.”
Research shows meetings are even less useful when they start late and when there are too many of them. They are especially counter-productive when participants complain in ways that express futility. Killer phrases like “Nothing can be done about that” or “Nothing will work” can set off a chain reaction of negativity that — as you can imagine — lessens the odds of productive outcomes.
Yet, Haden says, smart leaders know how to convert even a sense of futility into effective problem solving. Here’s how: Begin setting an expectation that requires everyone to reframe objections or different opinions as questions.
If a participant says, ”There’s no way we can get everyone to work overtime this weekend,” the leader can reply, “Please reframe that as a question.” That might sound like: “How can we get our staff to work overtime this weekend?” Similarly, “We will never finish this job on time,” becomes “What actions can we take to finish this job on time?”
Soon enough, such reframing becomes a habit! Now, you’re in problem solving mode.
Many of you have experienced our Hardwiring Teamwork course that offers step-by-step guidelines on how to make meetings successful. Check it out here.
What do you do to ensure your meetings are productive, and what do you avoid? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
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