Making meetings matter

In this time of back-to-back meetings the prospect of yet another meeting can feel like little more than a drain on our time.

But what if we shifted how we participated in these meetings?

When our time is a precious resource, we can find ourselves attending a meeting with the sole objective of getting our opinion across, making our contribution and getting on with our work.  With that mindset, we can get frustrated with gaps in the conversation and jump in quickly to get things moving. But trying to do things quickly can backfire. Sometimes we might need to slow down to go fast.

Consider these approaches:

  • Listen actively. Instead of waiting for a chance to speak, actively listening enables us to absorb information, ask pertinent questions and to fully engage with what is being said.  The speaker feels heard and a culture of respect can be fostered.
  • Allow Silence. When silence is allowed as a period of time to absorb and understand, it won’t be viewed as an ‘absence’ and it can become a space ripe with potential.  Our brain can start to reflect, process information and tap into our own creativity.  Allowing intentional silence can in fact contribute to the outcome of discussion.
  • Speak with purpose.  A meeting can be transformed when participants only contribute when they have something meaningful to say.  When contributions are considered meaningful and strategic, they are more likely to be listened to and appreciated.

The power of silence, coupled with active listening and purposeful contributions, unlocks the full potential of thoughtful meetings and stops us feeling like our time is being wasted.

Because we spend so much time in meetings, sometimes we can transform our teamwork by transforming our meetings. Consider this approach to team development and read more about it in this post: Great meetings make great teams.

Rewired to Communicate

Rewired to Communicate

For more about developing great communication skills, check out our neuroscience based programme, Rewired to Communicate.

more info