Meetings are a fact of life.
Unfortunately, we’ve all experienced our fair share of bad, frustrating or less-than-productive meetings. It’s no wonder, really, when you consider that a meeting typically involves several people sitting around a table, with one person speaking at a time. This is generally a good rule, except for the fact that so many things can go wrong. For instance:
- some people can take up more than their fair share of the air time or speak in a way that is highly aggressive or that dominates the conversation
- other people prefer to stay quiet, which could just mean that they are thinking or that they are afraid to say what they want to say or to ask what they want to ask
- people can easily go off topic and talk about something important to them but not to the group
- some people have side conversations which distract everyone else
- some people don’t stick to the rules of the meeting
- and some people simply get tired, check out mentally and stop participating with the hope that the meeting will end more quickly that way.
While impolite behavior in meetings is definitely a problem, overall, I would have to say that meetings suffer more because people tend to be overly polite. People will suffer in silence during the meeting and then save what they really want to say for the conversation in the parking lot *after* the meeting is over. As a result, you have likely sacrificed both productivity and accountability.
Now, wouldn’t it be nice if you had a polite and effective way of alleviating these common meeting frustrations? What if rather than trying to read body language you could actually see what people are thinking, at least on some core points?
Meeting Helpers let you do just that. Each set of Meeting Helpers includes 30 colour laminated cards, each with its own message that might be useful for meeting participants to raise — without interrupting the person who is speaking. Meeting Helpers are an easy, unobtrusive way to:
- Signal when it might be time for a break
- Applaud someone’s idea
- Ask for a chance to speak
- Find out which policy is under discussion
- Move the group to a decision
- Let someone know when they are running out of time
- Point out a meeting process issue
- and much more.
- encourage the group to get to the point and to make a decision
- encourage participation from the quietest members of the group
- move quickly through awkward situations and be more accountable
- and even inject some humour.
Meetings are a fact of life. Bad meetings don’t have to be. Order Meeting Helpers now for ALL the members of your board or team by visiting www.browndogconsulting.com (products page) and please, let us know how they work for you!