Over on the excellent RethinkHr.org blog, Benjamin McCall writes a thoughtful post on meetings (with a bonus dollop of hilarity at the end).
In "Meetings Can Be Unbearable," Benjamin laments purposeless meetings as time-wasting and dull. No argument here! His examples include meetings with no agenda (disastrous, generally) and meetings to which you’re invited for no apparent reason.
Workforce Management’s John Hollon recently pointed to a new NFI research study on business meetings on Workforce.com. The study found that "57 percent of business leaders spend 21 percent to 60 percent of their time each week in internal meetings. Some 56 percent of the executives found half of their meetings to be productive." Unfortunately, by implication, that means that half their meetings were not productive, leading to a waste of 10 – 30% of these business leaders' work days.
Most inventories of desirable leadership characteristics will place "good listener" near the top. Good listening helps leaders to understand, empathize, and engage their team members and employees. Good listening builds rapport and trust; it invariably improves the relationship. Listening is not a warm-and-fuzzy competence: it’s an essential skill-set that yields significant results.
Listening as an Ally™ Case Study
Tightly Organized Agendas Lead To Fruitful Meetings
by Morey Stettner, Investors Business Daily.
A succinct, well-organized agenda raises the odds of a successful meeting. It saves time, sets expectations and helps attendees prepare.
To read more of this article from Investors Business Daily, please go here.
Clearly, we're on the threshold of a huge shift in the numbers of women stepping up as senior executives with so many poised to move up from the No. 2 or No. 3 spot.
What's more, statistics indicate that we're seeing the tip of a very big iceberg. Though women still face 4-to-1 odds against being chosen for senior executive posts, several early indicators herald significant changes ahead:
- More than half of the Fortune 500 companies have more than one female corporate officer.
At one time or another we've all coached a group of people who give us "the silent treatment", who sit in awkward silence after we ask a question. This lack of immediate response tends to make us consultants nervous. After all, we're paid for answers. We are hired to produce results, to find solutions. So we start talking, to fill in the uncomfortable space. We start talking and talking and sometimes we forget to be quiet.
Have you been in a meeting lately — with one or twenty people — when the whole conversation went off on a tangent of no return? This is not an uncommon experience, particularly when the topic is challenging and the players have different points of view.
What can you do — either as a leader or meeting participant — to get people back on track, heading in the same direction, with shared commitment to a positive outcome?