Leading Meetings in a Thinking Environment
How to Master an Essential Business Skill
How many meetings do you attend?
More to the point, how many effective, productive, creative and… SHORT meetings do you attend?!
So much of our time is spent in teams - groups of people responsible to carry out a task or make decisions crucial to the health of an organization. These people are often filled with dread and despair about these very meetings and results.
When was the last time you participated in a meeting where the attendees were energized, enjoyed the experience and had a clear, actionable outcome? When you, and your team, learn how to create the conditions for this to happen – the results are significant, with demonstrable bottom-line implications.
"A leader's first job is to create an environment where colleagues can well think together. Every subsequent act of leadership gains quality from this". This might seem obvious... but it isn’t.
Leading in these demanding times is a sophisticated process of conceiving a vision, articulating it compellingly and then getting the best from people so that their work manifests that vision.
‘Getting the best from people’ is about, firstly, getting their best thinking. This means knowing how to treat people, how to offer them the highest quality attention, learning how to ask Incisive Questions, how to recognise people's strengths and achievements, how to entice them beyond their addiction to certainty - and into a preference for responsible risk. This is how to create a Thinking Environment.
Getting the best from people also means knowing how to build teams and groups whose members routinely treat each other well.
Leaders who are creating and shaping change at unprecedented rates, must be able to think for themselves and to set up the conditions in every interaction and in every meeting, that will allow people, at all levels, to think for themselves, too -- with rigour, imagination, courage and grace.
A one-page summary of research of the substantial benefits of Transforming Meetings can be found here, and the full research paper by Emily Havers may be downloaded here.