It starts with how you go into a meeting .....
The hours spent in attending and getting to meetings is ... HUGE! Yet more than 70% of people asked view them as a waste of their time and a distraction. On the plus side, it was conceded that they are a good source of jokes and access to snacks!
Developing meeting skills and tools is a must, but let's first start with the mindset in which you prepare for the meeting and the one you walk into the room with.
The typical mindset of those surveyed revealed an intent to:
- Get my views across
- Get the decisions I want
- Avoid more tasks being assigned to me
- Prove I am right
- Get agreement to my approach
- Make sure person x does not bad mouth my work
- Protect my budget/resources/people
- End on time!
Result - individuals are walking into meetings with their own set pieces and presentations as a completed story, bubble wrapped and sealed, just waiting for others to agree and applaud, with hard copies handed to and binned by, recipients at the first opportunity.
Not exactly fertile ground for sharing a fusion of ideas, making decisions, resolving issues and building relationships!
So why not take time out to share the current mindset and the mindset sought if meeting are to be productive and positive. Then engage people in identifying what it would take to get them to adopt the ideal meeting mindset!
These actions can be a good start point for turning the meeting experience around. Then keep the meeting mindset and actions visible at subsequent meetings for a reality check.
Ideal Meeting Mindset:
- Understand different options
- Contribute ideas
- Check my perspective out against the others
- Deal with issues
- Get feedback and tips
- Get to know the others better
- Find out how everyone is doing
- Make the best possible decisions