Last week we wrote a post entitled, Stop Talking! Now, Communicate and we received many responses from leaders who were having success connecting in new and much deeper ways with the people in their organizations as they stopped talking and started listening.  Through listening, they were beginning to see a level of engagement and commitment to solving organizational problems that they had not realized was “out there.”

We also received quite a number of inquiries asking us how to get people communicating in meetings.  They are finding that it can be very difficult to get people talking in meetings when their previous input was ignored – or worse, had gotten them into hot water.  Creating engagement in meetings so that people will teach you what they see, share with you ways they would suggest to solve problems, and explore the opportunities that they are bumping into takes effort, patience, and consistency over time.  

Unfortunately, many meetings today are structured so that the “leader” does the majority of the talking and others speak only when someone is reporting out on something that they have been working on.  In an effort to spend less time in meetings, leaders have mistakenly gutted meetings of their value.  Of course, some meetings are solely for reporting out but for ongoing meetings, effectiveness depends on creating opportunities for robust dialogue, respectful disagreements, and the development of creative ideas. 

We would like you to spend this week observing the meetings that you attend.  Ask yourself which meetings you look forward to and which meetings you dread.  What makes the difference?  Don’t do anything different this week, just watch, listen and learn.   

Then join us next week to learn a new framework that will move your meetings to a higher level of productivity, creativity, and satisfaction.