Do people forget about your staff meetings? Do you find yourself herding them into the conference room… or see eyes rolling at the reminder… or bring food-bribes to lighten the burden? Group meetings are important for most teams, but when attitudes close minds, meeting effectiveness is dulled or even deadened. Closed minds do not convert that time out of production into the engagement required to apply the meeting benefits to performance.
Weaving one or two of the following aspects into each of your agendas can act as that ‘spoon full of sugar that helps the medicine’ like policy change, data-updates, corrections, reminders, reporting, etc. seem more digestible.
Encourage people by using their own competence; open the floor to ideas or examples like how they customize smart solutions for customers or use their judgement to ensure the proper balance between the business and client needs.
Ensure you consistently build trust: hold yourself accountable to behave like you expect them to, address the issues instead of the people, clarify expectations through discussion and employee-validation, be loyal to both the company and individuals, show respect for all input even if you need to question it. (List is not exhaustive…)
Never let them be totally surprised by a change. Talk about the business needs in ways that help adjustments feel like solutions when they are introduced. Implementations are always problematic, but resistance can be reduced when people don’t feel betrayed by the news.
You don’t need to agree with feelings, but you’d better affirm they are real. People have them – don’t ignore them. Share yours – wisely. Craft ways to allow them to be voiced safely, respectfully and in confidence.
Meetings are a great place to create energy round quick, career-impacting learning that has little to do with their current jobs and everything to do with their next opportunities.
Include the business reasons for each practice adjustment; bring it back to mission, vision, and goal-levels as often as you can. Soon they will make those connections, and that practice will seep into their judgement calls and performance.
Some of these ideas require facilitation skills neglected by many managers. If your hesitation to the list above was a squeamish feeling about what will be said if you allow open discussion in your meetings, you may need a refresher or coaching on strategic facilitation. Even if you just need a sounding board, we can certainly help. Give us a call.
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