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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Are You a Bore? Three Tips to Lead More Effective Meetings

'Never miss a good chance to shut up.'  Will Rogers

Tired of standing in front of Monday morning meetings sounding like the teacher in Ferris Bueller's Day Off ? "Beuller? Beuller? Beuller? Anyone?" If you're leading meetings people can't wait to get out of, use these trainer tips to turn your meetings into lively and engaging discussion groups that promote team work and produce employees fully-invested in the discussions.

Stop Talking. Do you think you control the meeting and message by doing all the talking yourself? Not true. When you’re the only one talking you're the only one listening. While you're enjoying the sound of your own voice, everyone else is entertaining themselves doodling, making lists of what to get at the store, and passing notes. All they hear you say is "blah, blah, blah, blah….any questions?" To gain control, you must give it up—starting with the need to hear yourself speak.

Start Listening. If you really want to get something done, redefine meetings as a place where you listen while everyone else interacts. Set up the discussion then shut up. Nothing makes you look more brilliant to others than when you artfully set up meetings so everyone is actively engaged in presenting their ideas.

Make it easy to speak up. Even the most outgoing professional may be reluctant to speak up in a large meeting--especially if put on the spot. To make it easy for attendees to fully participate, break the larger group into discussion pairs. Give people five minutes to discuss an issue in duos before asking them to engage in a large group discussion. Ask for volunteers to speak up and share what they think when you reconvene. You may be surprised by the free flow of ideas. When people are engaged in their own discovery process, the meeting is never boring.

 'If you're riding' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there.'  Will Rogers

 Make it easy for colleagues to want to attend your meetings

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Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Sue, wow! Just wow! This is brilliant and should be required reading for every person who holds meetings. "Set up the discussion then shut up." Words to live by.

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

Thanks, Jean. Wouldn't the world be a better place if we knew we could attend meaningful meetings that didn't waste our time?