Leaders, Leave Meetings. Get to a Meeting of the Minds!
by Kate Nasser |
Musings on Effective Meetings from The People-Skills Coach™
In the workplace, leaders and teams still search for ways to hold tremendously effective meetings. Despite years of pundits’ advice, side trips into tangent land, chatty corner conversations, habitually late arrivals, vibrating smart phones and tablets, tunnel vision, resistance, and lack of focus keep everyone from the bulls-eye.
They also leave most people dreading the next meeting.
So I wonder, will we find the Holy Grail if we leave meetings in the dust and instead hold a meeting of the minds?
Words do matter and the word meeting has always been too vague for me. It has confused workplace teams for decades. A meeting and its 21st century cousin, a meet-up, suggest a free form event to which people can arrive fashionably late.
Whereas the phrase, a meeting of the minds, is packed with clear requirements.
A meeting of the minds,
- Sounds the knell of knowledge exchange that calls everyone to be there on time — else there’s no exchange.
- Suggests there is a specific topic and purpose. You wonder a meeting of the minds “on what”? It breeds interest and focus.
- Prepares the mind to be ready to meet. Most would feel embarrassed to attend a meeting of the minds and say only I don’t know or I’m not prepared!
- Inherently requires listening, discussing, and participation of all minds. Unless everyone is telepathic, all must engage else the views stay hidden in the minds.
- Engenders all to speak in terms that others understand else the minds don’t meet.
- Brings the endless talker up for air to hear what other minds think.
- Bends the obstinate else why are they at a meeting of the minds?
- Coaxes all to agreement and decision. After all, isn’t that the meaning of we came to a meeting of the minds?
In the workplace today we have multicultural teams, virtual technology, global reach, and still that pesky problem of ineffective meetings.
I say we’ve got nothing to lose by giving meetings a new moniker and seeing if it gets us to the Holy Grail.
Maybe we should even hold a contest to see what the new moniker should be if a meeting of the minds doesn’t hold everyone’s attention!
What say you?
From my professional experience (with a wry twist) to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™
Related Post: 7 Steps from Brutally Blunt to Helpfully Honest
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, customer service, customer experience, and teamwork. She turns interaction obstacles into business success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.