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Better: Always prepare an agenda. Always contact key participants before meeting to explain their role and to check if they are prepared for meeting.
4) They disagree
Meetings are an excellent activity to resolve disagreements. However, if people disagree with issue, process, or results AND are unable to exert influence, they will rebel. This rebellion will appear as misbehavior in meeting or (worse) sabotage after meeting.
Better: Use process tools in meeting that involve all of participants. Always contact key participants before holding a meeting on a controversial issue. Use these conversations to listen to their views, explain goals for meeting, and promote your intent for a fair resolution. Make sure that you seek a "Both/And" result instead of an "Either/Or" result so that everyone gets what they need.
5) They misunderstand
Sometimes people misunderstand expectations. For example, an executive was surprised by negative comments, ridicule, and hostility that occurred during his first staff meeting with a new group. After some investigation, he learned that his predecessor openly criticized and ridiculed people. Thus, this was behavior that staff had learned to emulate. The executive fixed this by a) stating new expectations, b) coaching key offenders, and c) setting an example of respectful conduct.
Better: Cultural management is a primary leadership responsibility. Demonstrate type of behavior that you want for productive meetings and provide private corrective feedback to those who misbehave.
An effective meeting is a team activity conducted by a fair process that involves everyone. People respect this approach and will make positive contributions because they know that such a meeting represents a good use of their time.
IAF Certified Professional Facilitator and author Steve Kaye helps groups of people hold effective meetings. His innovative workshops have informed and inspired people nationwide. His facilitation produces results that people will support. Sign up for his free newsletter at http://www.stevekaye.com. Call 714-528-1300 or visit his web site for over 100 pages of valuable ideas.