What does your meeting discussion look like? Better yet, have you considered what your discussion feels like?
Some meetings are informational. Someone speaks, others are expected to listen, take notes, and then to proceed with the prescribed information. It isn’t intended to be interactive. It is more of a press briefing.
In many workplace meetings, there is heavy interaction. Questions raised, statements that sound like questions, and rebuttals.
Most businesses feel that they have room to improve on communication. At one point, or another, they’ve had a breakdown in communication that felt costly.
It might be happening in their internal meetings yet often it isn’t recognized.
Depending on the meeting format and agenda, some people may attend a meeting to be heard. Listening is secondary.
This can be the case when the culture has previously illustrated that meetings are mostly informational, intended to be a meeting leader speaks and everyone else listens.
After all, the meeting leader may have a point to be made. A point or list of points that are intended to change something in the present and for the future.
Changing forward direction may come from a compelling speech. It may come from a good or bad experience. Something shocking, delightful, or that reduces pain.
For everything else, listening may be more important. Listening helps provide clarity, gain understanding, and illustrate values and beliefs.
People don’t jump on board when they lack trust. People who have different values or beliefs struggle with information that feels contradictory to their own personal pathways or agenda.
Suggested change meets a lot of opposition when it is dictated. It gains much more traction when others see it as a pathway that works.
A discussion makes more difference when compared with a command.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.