In basic training on “How to Run an Effective Meeting” how many times are we instructed to encourage the quiet to contribute verbally? Go around the table asking everybody to say something? Jot comments down on a flip chart?
The measure appears to be, “How good are we at getting people to talk?”
Some people don’t like to talk. Some people are shy. Some people want to think before saying something.
So what is the value of making these people feel embarrassed, uncomfortable and frightened?
There is another way.
A way that makes people feel comfortable regardless of the way they naturally behave.
Here’s a few of the behaviours that need a different approach:
- The verbose (Windbags)
- Those who can’t sit still (Fidgets)
- Those wanting to doodle (Doodlers)
- Those who are negative (Debbie Downers)
- Those with a hidden agenda (Trouble Makers)
- Those who repeat a comment again and again (Annoying?)
- Those who have all the answers (Blockers)
- Bosses who don’t allow free comment (Dominant)
There are different ways to contribute There are different methods to capture these inputs and give every group member power to help direct the meeting, make decisions and be committed to the final outcome.
Getting people to speak may well be participation – but it’s not engagement! For change to stick, it needs engagement Brain, Body, Belief.
Keen to hear your thoughts.
Author of ‘The Complete Facilitator’.
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