7 simple ways to enrol people in meetings – How to develop relationships at work.
As a consultant I have often noticed how easily we forget others in the meeting. We are engrossed in what we are saying, and often unaware of our impact. Even when we are silent, we forget that we may affect others. We act as if meetings=sharing information. Actually this overlooks human nature. Human beings are social, and can notice others’ reaction, or non-reaction, at all times!
As ever this is not rocket science, but we do sometimes forget the following.
Meetings are an opportunity to build, damage or maintain relationships. They are relational, not transactional, as are most conversations. Ask do you want to make friends or enemies?
What follows are 7 suggestions to enhance our relationships, while still exchanging information.
Of course it is always your choice.
1. Engagement Before you go to a meeting make sure you are in a good place and feeling committed and enthusiastic. * (see above link)
2. Civility Arrive on time. Make sure that you manage diaries. You need time between meetings to reflect or move.
3. Connection When you enter the room greet people by name, or if you don’t know them, introduce yourself.
4. Speak Say something within the first few minutes this could be an agreement or a question. Keep it brief and simple, this is not the moment to prove your knowledge.
5. Listen Show interest even when it’s not your subject. Most importantly manage your body language, I once watched a man tap his pen every time a particular woman spoke. As she was lead in this five hour meeting, there was a lot of tapping! What would you think if you noticed this when you were speaking?
6. Courtesy Do not look at your phone, your laptop or any social media, unless you want to make an enemy of the person. If you don’t believe this happens, take off those rosy specs. I have seen people doing their emails for hours. Given I was frequently coaching their boss, not very socially aware!
7. Motivation Think of something truthful, positive, or encouraging to say to a colleague. This is not creeping it is simply a way of encouraging and inspiring colleagues.