Business Meeting Skills
Starting out with the best intentions is a good beginning.
Approaching a business meeting with a heavy heart and an indigestion tablet in your top pocket isn't wise.
When Meetings Fail
When a business meeting fails it probably fails on many levels and for many reasons, here's just a few with some suggestions for getting back on track.
Just because there's an agenda, it doesn't mean everyone's going to follow it.
A group of people around a table almost never do or think what you expect, so be prepared for a few curveballs.
If it's an adversarial situation, take a partner if possible, two heads are invariably better than one.
Order and Focus
Bringing order or focus to a business meeting that's gone off the rails can be achieved by anyone around the table.
The method is called levelling and it's as simple as just saying what you see is going on.
"There seems to a lack of focus."
"The energy seems to have dropped"
"We seem to be stuck on one issue."
Just Drop it Into the Meeting
The trick is not to direct it at anyone in particular, but just drop it into the middle of the table and then bite your tongue.
Resist as much as you are able the desire to add what should happen next.
Your silence will require someone else (often the chair) to pick up on what's been said and take the meeting forward.
This tactic ensures that the dynamic of the meeting changes and that the people who are disruptive will be brought to order.
Sometimes the chair of a meeting may not be on top form.
This is a business meeting skill that anyone can use.
When things seem to be going array anyone can throw in a level to bring back the focus and give the chair a helping hand.
The same games are played during internal and external meetings.
Both can sometimes fall into useful patterns.
People may feel they know where they are, feel at ease, not feel threatened and lots of other warm comfortable slippers, pipe and purring cat on the lap feelings.
However, just occasionally you might want to stir things up because, "if you do what you've always done, you'll get what you always got".
It's sometimes a good way to wake up the cat and get it chasing that mouse.
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