Call Meetings that Brains Run to!

For years I attended toxic meetings where one guy yammered on and one  fellow worker turned off his hearing aids. It’s the only time I can remember wishing for Gordon’s hearing disability.

That’s how bad these meetings were. People moved back and forth  from bored to bitching, while Gordon slept with his eyes open and the rest of us envied his ability to escape through a switch on his ears.

Have you attended meetings that left you feeling dumber at the end?

If so, you’ll likely see the benefits of  calling a meeting the best brains in your company literally run to. It’s likely no surprise to you that most meetings literally work against the human brain, and therefore detract from your organization’s productivity. It doesn’t have to be that way.

See innovative meetings e-handbook here for dozens of practical strategies that bring meetings alive where you work.

Ask the lecturer in this video and he will say he engages listeners.  He might even go on to suggest today’s audiences expect too much and give too little. Ask listeners and they may support these 100 reasons to run hard from lectures!

Have you considered these 5 steps to reconfigure your next meetings by facilitating with the brain in mind?

  1. Question in ways that draw in new ideas and advance old ones with new leverage from reconfigured angles. Ask 2 footed questions so that people are drawn in and problems get solved. Ask for instance, If you could change one practice in your department this week to raise the bottom line, what would you change?
  2. Target so that you collaboratively set one goal to improve a problem area at work. Identify one area that needs improvement by facilitating as many voices as possible on the possibilities that carry mutual dividends. Look at problems with solutions in mind, and you’ll find your goals grow bigger than any one leader, as enthusiasm springs up from many angles.
  3. Expect in ways illustrate criteria most can agree to. List what’s required to ensure the change you plan to instigate. Common criteria may include: a). Date that action plan is to be completed; b). Cost allowed for improved practice; c). Evidence the new routine gets improved results; d). Assurance that all team members contribute; e). Teachable takeaways to share across the company and beyond.
  4. Move resources so that people’s multiple intelligences become brainpower tools for growth in the area identified. Check out Dr. Robyn MacMaster’s cool suggestions for brainwriting at meetings, for instance.
  5. Reflect in ways that sustain growth in the area of change by asking,  Where to from here? on a weekly or monthly basis.

It’s important to note that these steps to brainpower meetings that more can live with, require a skilled facilitator. A leader with acumen to draw from diverse intelligences that build a finer organization for all.

How will you open your next meeting so that more brainpower emerges?

5 Comments

  1. JD says:

    Hi Ellen, Happy New year! We have to challenge ourselves to make each meeting an event and strive to make it memorable, and not memorable boring. I like to strart with loud music to set the tone, have frequent breaks, Q&A’s and audience particapation.

  2. eweber says:

    Hey JD — how cool to see you and breathe in your wisdom and you fun ideas! No wonder folks like your meetings. Bet they all get to speak and feel heard. I am getting dozens of responses that tell me people hate meetings!

    I too would enjoy and learn lots at your meetings:-)

    What’s up in your world and are you still blessed in business?

  3. [...] Reconfigure meetings to motivate more brainpower. Encourage disagreement that builds goodwill. [...]

  4. Shirley Lee says:

    I agree with your ideas for encouraging participation to get the most from all the brains at a meeting. Another way to move meetings from boring to productive is to add structure people can be comfortable using. When I speak on meetings, I suggest using the RARA approach of assigning Roles, having an Agenda, leeping visibile Records, and Actions with deadlines too. For more on this approach including pre and post meeting functions, see the book “R.A!R.A! A Meeting Wizrad’s Approach.”

  5. [...] applied, they cannot create the change people long for to rejuvenate broken workplaces. Feel good meetings may make disgruntled workers laugh or play a bit, but they too often plaster Band-Aids on sore [...]

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