Here’s a crazy idea to improve productivity in your next meeting. Determine which people fall into these three categories, and then take the corresponding actions:
- Some people come to meetings waiting to find out what decisions are made so they know what actions to take. Corresponding action: Thank these people for caring, then kindly send them on their way and inform them you’ll communicate digitally the outcomes of the discussion.
That cuts meeting attendees by about one-third. Next step:
- Ask the people coming into the meeting with their minds closed and already made up on what decision must be made to kindly take this corresponding action: Write their decision on a sticky note or in the chat space; then, instruct them to leave the meeting as well. Inform them that while this isn’t a democracy, their opinion has been noted.
Now, we’re down to a small subset of the original invitees. It’s time for serious business:
- Thank those who are left for coming with an open mind. Then, take these three corresponding actions:
- Share what objective must be met
- State why the objective must be achieved
- Then ask questions that promote co-discovery of the best solution.
Calling people together to simply exchange information or for political jousting drains resources and the human spirit. Instead, meetings are meant to do what can’t be done in any other format: activate the hearts and brains of the team so we can discover, decide and direct a better future.
Let’s not just be busy. Let’s be productive.
Note: If you’re interested in building on those last three steps (say what’s important, say why, and ask a question), watch the short video below.