Managing Monsters in Meetings - Part 1, General Strategies for Unproductive BehaviorWritten by Steve Kaye
It happens easily. You're conducting a meeting and suddenly a small side meeting starts. Then someone introduces an unrelated issue. Someone else ridicules new issue. Everyone laughs, except person who mentioned idea. Then someone insults person who told joke. Two people stand up and walk out. Others complain that meeting is a waste of time.
Now, what do you do?
And how do you prevent this sort of thing from happening?
Or what could you have done to stop it once it started?
Here are basic strategies for dealing with unproductive behavior in meetings.
Respect other people. Always treat others with respect, even if they are doing things that seem wrong. Their "bad" behavior could be based on many things, such as a lack of skill, a misunderstanding, or a response to a threat. It could also be a simple mistake. Or maybe they're expressing an indirect warning, complaint, or cry of pain. If you respond with disrespect, such as with a counterattack, you will make a bad situation worse. They will either retreat, which means they stop contributing to your meeting, or they will retaliate, which can escalate to an argument that ruins your meeting.
Ask questions. Use questions to find out what is really happening. For example, when someone introduced a new issue, you could have responded by saying, "That sounds interesting, and I wonder how that relates to what we are working on." Notice that this is a neutral, gentle question. It is not a trick question like, "What are your trying to do, ruin my meeting?" and it is not a command like, "Hey, stick to topic." Both of these (hostile) responses put other person in an awkward position, which is a form of disrespect.
Perfection vs. Excellence (Business, Career, Life Coaching Series)Written by Ruth Zanes
"(Howard) Hughes never learned how to convert his knowledge to practical application. Instead he sought a perfection that assured failure." - From Empire: The Life, Legend and Madness of Howard Hughes by Donald L. Bartlett & James B. Steel
How many times have you heard someone (it may have been you) proclaim or complain that he/she is a perfectionist? You may have noticed that going for perfection is a fool's game. You simply cannot win when you set perfection as your standard.
There may be rare and unusual situations where perfection is assumed to be an appropriate standard. Frankly, I can't think of one - no, not even life and death situations such as heart surgery demand perfection in process. Each stitch does not have to be sewn perfectly in order to affect outcome. Perfection is present in ultimate result, as evident in patient's survival or death, not in process.
When "perfection" is goal it is usually out of an exaggerated desire to be right, to avoid criticism or risk. The focus is on "how am I doing?" rather than on producing a specific outcome. Excellence, on other hand, is a way of life. It is context in which high achievers and peak performers produce and contribute to quality of life. High achievers and peak performers get things done by taking action looking for appropriate outcomes and measuring their success based on quantity and quality of their results.