173: Five Steps to a Better Meeting
Published December 29, 2014
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    We've all seen bad meeting behavior, but do you know what to do? Donna Schilder shares five power steps for leaders and facilitators to get us towards a better meeting.

    Donna Schilder (LinkedIn)
    Leadership, Career, and Business Coach

    1. What are some types bad meeting behavior we often see?

    Late arrivers
    Side Conversationalists
    Note Passers
    Chronic objectors
    Off-the-wall commenters
    Eye rollers
    Personal attackers

    2. How can leaders identify disruptive behaviors as they happen?

    Realize that your job is to create the agenda, lead the participants through the agenda, but also, to watch for and facilitate behaviors that prevent the meeting from being as successful as it can be.
    Now that you are more focused on what they are, you can watch for these disruptive behaviors.
    Scrutinize and reflect on meetings that don’t seem to be as productive as they should be.
    Watch for other people’s reactions.
    Are they rolling their eyes, sighing, showing signs of frustration, shuffling in their seats?

    3. How can a leader intervene in disruptive behaviors in meetings?

    For Side Conversationalists, Ramblers, Multi-Taskers, Note Passers, Eye Rollers, Off-the-Wall Commenters, & Eye Rollers: Use non-verbal cues
    For all behaviors: Acknowledge and reinforce acceptable behavior
    For Late Arrivers, Dominators, Ramblers, Gate Closers, and really any behaviors:

    Review Ground Rules for Effective Meeting Behavior
    Don’t interrupt others, encourage new ideas, don’t be late
    Encourage shared responsibility for handling disruptive behavior

    For Ramblers or if new topics just come up:

    Use a Hold Bin when the meeting gets off topic

    For Non-Participators:

    Round Robin – always allow people to pass
    Invite people into the conversation

    For some of the more difficult behaviors, like Dominators or Personal Attackers:

    Utilize team feedback tools
    Plus Delta
    Team Effectiveness Surveys
    Use firm but friendly confrontation

    4. What is firm but friendly confrontation?

    This is in order from the lightest intervention to the strongest intervention. Tread cautiously with the strong

    General Question: Does anyone else feel we are digressing?
    Specific Question: For a side conversation: Andrea, do you have anything to add?
    General statement (no names): We had agreed as a team that we would be on time to this meeting
    General statement (looking at the person): Not everyone here seems to be open to new ideas
    Specific statement: Joe, you seem to be objecting to this idea.

    5. When should a leader Take it Offline?
    Visit Donna's detailed notes and downloadable PDF

    Join the conversation: http://coachingforleaders.com/173
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    Next Q&A show is episode #174 on resources for leaders

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