4 Tips for Making Your Meetings Work

Posted February 19, 2013 in Communication, Latest News & Insights

Our preference as to how we show up at work and in the world is a result of our experiences and our perceptions of those experiences which creates our unique personality and communication style. Each of us brings a different style to work and often these styles conflict with one another, especially in a team setting.

For example, if one team member is naturally assertive and talkative and another is quiet and shy, these conflicting communication styles can impact the effectiveness of your team.

Team meetings are the place to make decisions which can impact the success of an organization and yet we all make decisions differently. Some of us make decisions based solely on facts and others make decisions based on feelings and others with a combination of both.

Here are few suggestions to help lessen your frustration and ensure that everyone on your team is engaged and able to make the necessary decisions needed to maximize the potential of your organization.

1. Appoint a facilitator: A facilitator’s job is to lead the group; to help them improve the way they communicate, examine and solve problems and make decisions. An experienced outside facilitator will keep your meeting on track and to ensure that everyone participates. Alternatively, rotating your team members as facilitators gives each an opportunity to bring their unique style to the role.

2. Create an exceptional agenda: An agenda, like a roadmap, helps your team achieve a desired outcome. To help ensure that important issues are addressed, the agenda should be created with the input of the team members. Some teams spend time at the end of a meeting preparing an agenda for next meeting.

The agenda should have an estimated timeframe for each topic and a leader who is responsible to distribute necessary supporting documents ahead of time. Being prepared allows those analytical types the opportunity to review and prepare in advance which will help them make decisions more easily during the meeting.

A meeting that has clear objectives and accomplishes them will motivate those results oriented types which will help keep them patient and focused.

3. Creativity takes time: Each personality type processes information differently and at different speeds. Encourage people to build on ideas by giving enough time for each person to respond in their own time. When team members have time to formulate their thoughts, they are more likely to be creative and come up with best solutions.

4. Set the tone: Creating a positive atmosphere will get the most from your team members. Meetings where conflict isn’t resolved or personal criticism is allowed creates stress within a team. Stress causes those that are conflict adverse to shut down for fear of drawing attention to themselves. Stress causes those that are assertive to become aggressive which, in turn, causes more stress for the team. For teams that have a history of conflict, creating a code of behaviour will move the team from conflict to collaboration.

By letting each member know they bring their unique personality and communication style to the team and our valued members of the team, you will teach your members to respect each other for their contributions and set the tone for productive meetings with positive outcomes.

[fancy_box]Today’s guest blog post comes from Barbara Morris, Elevate Organizations Inc.

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