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Are you a Meeting Monster?

30th January 2018

When it’s time for a business meeting, it can conjure up a feeling of ‘dread’ – agree? Even if there is an agenda, you know there is no point reading it, as it will change as soon as the meeting begins. Discussions can get hijacked. Bad ideas may fall like blunt objects. Long-winded colleagues consume all available oxygen, killing good ideas by asphyxiation and you desperately feel the need for that extra coffee. 

Often colleagues wander off topic, send texts, disrupt decision-making or behave in other dysfunctional ways. Even the best leaders can resort to desperate measures to keep the discussion on track: chocolate rewards, soft toys on the table, fancy lighting and ice-cold rooms to keep us alert.

Have you met a Meeting Monster?

• The Naysayers – don’t contribute for whatever reason
• The Silent Plotter – at the drinks machine before and after the meeting but say nothing in it
• The Ramblers – ‘say no more’
• The Head Down Exec – ‘I am typing my meeting notes honest – not answering my emails’.

If any of this resonates with you – why not go back to basics when planning or attending your next meeting? Try and apply some of the following:

• Set a clear agenda.
• Impose a ‘no devices’ rule or schedule periodic tech breaks for email, texts and phone calls.
• Contract with the group to agree to redirect people back to the agenda when they ramble or digress.
• Draw out quiet people by asking them in advance for a specific contribution.
• Do a ’round robin,’ when appropriate, to allow everyone to contribute.
• Ask early for objections to keep them from derailing discussions later.
• Limit the length of slide presentations.
• Interrupt people who talk too long or talk to each other.
• Set an ending time for the meeting and stick to it.

You never know, you may even enjoy it!

If you would like advice to help your team be better at managing meetings or need facilitation support to enhance your team’s productivity – let us know!

Please get in touch with our expert team on +44 (0)78 9183 9136.