All I Really Need to Know about Meetings I Learned at Intraway
Better communication is an essential ingredient to compete in the modern marketplace. Although nowadays we have many more communication channels and tools than ten years ago, sometimes we fail to accurately develop the contents or to manage meetings correctly.
Here are a few tips that I’ve learned at Intraway to improve your meetings in order to get better outcomes.
The Right Mindset
First of all, take a deep breath and become aware of your mindset.
We usually participate in meetings where a unilateral thinking mindset prevails. Each participant takes a strong position with a clear goal in mind: win the others over. If we operate using unilateral thinking, we won’t get a strong commitment from others to get the job done.
On the contrary, mutual learning is based on active listening, curiosity and compassion. Active listening means listening to other arguments with empathy and curiosity to find a better way together. Compassion means leaving our biases aside for a moment and trying to see the world from a different viewpoint.
The right mindset is the first step to leading an effective meeting.
A Clear Goal
Be clear about what you want to get from the meeting.
The meeting request has to state a very clear goal. Each participant should understand how to contribute to get the desired outcome. For a moment, imagine the team leaving the room after the meeting. What is the most important priority they should have as a team?
A clear goal will help you keep the meeting on track.
The Right Team
When you invite the participants, think about how they will contribute to one another’s opinions. It doesn’t make sense to engage participants who won’t work together to solve a common problem.
The key role of the chairperson is to build a positive environment to allow attendees to commit to one another in order to reach the goal, instead of committing to the chairperson.
It is important not only to communicate the topics to be discussed to all the attendees but also to share a tentative time slot for each topic.
Planning the group dynamics you want to generate during the meeting is even more important. There are a few tools to consider, like brainstorming, pondering alternatives or voting to reach consensus and engage the participants during the discussion.
Before the meeting starts, we have to engage the participants in following some basic ground rules.
Arrive on time and don’t check your smartphone or e-mail account when another person is talking; show respect. This is common sense. Besides, remember to share all relevant information, give feedback using specific examples and explain your interest, but don’t focus on defending your position.
The Power of the Pen
During the meeting, it is critical to take down notes. Part of the active listening exercise is to write down, at least, two lists.
As the meeting progresses, an appointed attendee or the executive assistant should write the action items to be performed after the meeting. They need to state who will accomplish the task and when.
Finally, the parking lot is a list of subjects that show up but do not matter to reach the goal at hand. They should be addressed in another meeting. The parking lot is useful to keep the meeting on track.
Closing the Meeting
If you have managed the meeting well and kept the team on track, you will finish the meeting on time. This is as essential as starting it on time. Plan to have five to ten minutes to wrap it up correctly.
Plan your meeting in advance following the steps described above and don’t get involved in any meeting without a clear goal.
In summary, I hope my personal experience at Intraway facilitating meetings will help you lead effective meetings.
If you would like to learn more about us, please click the following link to visit our website: www.intraway.com.