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Snoring in Staff Meetings

June 07, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 239

Right now you may be smiling, thinking about times when it almost happened to you; only the jerk of your head woke you up. You're not the only one this has happened to. Staff meetings are known for being irrelevant and boring. Sometimes one member dominates the discussion or no one participates. In any case, many people see staff meetings as a waste of time.

What would it take to put life into your staff meetings? Can you imagine a staff meeting where people would be more than happy to attend? In fact they wouldn't want to miss one, because the experience is so engaging, so vital to the future of the organization; they would not want to be left out.

Many people do not see a staff meeting as somewhere that they can be honest and express how they really feel. This is a real problem for you if you are a leader, because you may have decisions being made without the benefit of everyone's opinion. If that is the case, you might as well make the decisions yourself and not waste everyone else's time.

But you are well aware that your staff are committed, intelligent people who should be able to make important contributions to the future of the organization. What can you do to encourage your staff to express themselves in a constructive and helpful manner? Here are several suggestions.

1. Encourage people to get to know each other... as persons. Periodically, ask everyone in the meeting to share something about themselves that no one else in the room knows. There are always surprises. People feel a greater sense of bond after this exercise.

2. Work toward the expression of varied, even dissenting opinion. This will not happen quickly but you can work toward it. As the leader you can suggest a range of opinion on a particular subject and ask people to comment. By doing this you indicate your willingness to hear varying views. Later, go around the room and ask for an opinion from everyone. Finally, be patient... silence is ok.

3. Reinforce participation. Compliment the group when the discussion has been lively, even though there may be some disagreement. When everyone always agrees, someone is not being honest.

4. Finally, don't rush decisions. The meeting may have a time limit but don't allow that time limit to drive decisions that we are not ready to make. Thank the group for their hard work and table the matter until the next meeting. This is another way of saying, "I value everyone's opinion and we will not make a decision until all opinions have been heard and taken into account."

Staff meetings do not have to be dull and boring; they can be both interesting and effective. Accomplishing this may at times take us (leaders and participants) out of our comfort zone but the staff meetings will be seen as places where the tough issues can be dealt with effectively. And, guess what? The liveliness of the discussion will certainly keep you awake.

Ask me for a copy of a related article: Dealing with Meeting Troublemakers. Concrete tips for managing the varying personalities who show up at your staff meetings. Send your request to:

Source: EzineArticles
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Effective Staff Meetings


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