We’ve all attended meetings that have failed in some way. Maybe we’ve even led some ourselves. We’ve conducted some research among business meeting participants to see what they think goes wrong. The astonishing discovery is that so many things are so easy to fix.
Over fifty percent of respondents saw ‘The meeting wasn’t necessary in the first place’ as a reason for failure. Top of the failure pile was ‘Unclear objectives’. You can see the other choices clearly enough.
The two that interest us today are the ‘behaviour’ ones – ‘Poor leadership’ and ‘Poor interactions’. Plenty of organisations run training courses on the mechanics of meetings, but few address the mechanics of interactive behaviour. Certainly not in a straightforward and jargon-free way. This approach holds the potential to transform the effectiveness of meetings through behaviour observation and shaping by both leaders and participants. Meetings would be accelerated, objectives achieved and goodwill maintained, despite internal differences.
This image shows the part of interest in the context of all the elements of a successful meeting:
We thought it would be interesting to give you a quiz in which you could map the behaviours of a meeting leader you know. (It could be you, of course.) The result would give you an idea of that leader’s interactive skills. Anything short of Excellent (75-100 percent) would suggest a potential for improvement. Like all things, people will only improve if they actually want to.
Perhaps this quiz will provide the necessary nudge: