The Secret to Turning Meetings into “Results Generators,” Not “Time Wasters”
Written by Renée Safrata - firstname.lastname@example.org, January 27th, 2010
Good relationships. It’s no secret they’re vital to business success. They’re also the key to turning team meetings into “results generators,” not time wasters. I’ll show you exactly how to do just that using applied emotional intelligence. It all starts with on one simple question.
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But before we get there, let’s look at a typical team meeting. As the team leader, you jump into the agenda to get things rolling. People appear to be listening but in fact, they’re not really engaged. They’re checking their watches, scribbling notes, or lost in what I call the “swirl” of data in their heads. In short, they’re checked out. They sure aren’t thinking about how to get better results.
If it does, try this tip from applied emotional intelligence. Take a moment to ask your team this question: How are you developing relationships? That single question can tell you whether or not you are on track to get the best out of your team.
When I ask that question with teams I’m leading, here’s what I often get: “We’re on email with each other and that creates a lot of relationships.’” Emails create relationships? Hah! I don’t know about you but emails connect people. They’re about exchanging facts and figures not forming relationships.
Another answer I get is, “We have regular meetings”. Regular meetings are good but are you developing relationships there? I don’t think so.
The third answer I usually hear is, “We have regular social events”. Well, social events are also great, but when your company is throwing them and you have to go—well, it’s not the same thing as going to a party with friends. You’ll probably be in for a night of shoptalk. Not exactly the stuff from which relationships arise.
So what kinds of answers say, yes, my team is building effective relationships? First, you’ll hear, “We communicate clearly and that develops relationships.” Another one is, “We give each other regular feedback and hold one another accountable.” Accountability is a sure sign that relationships are in place, because it’s based on trust, engagement, and alignment.
If you’re hearing those comments from people sitting around the table, pat yourself on the back—you’re doing a great job of fostering relationships and highly effective teams.
See how it easy it is to apply the power of emotional intelligence? Try it and let me know what your team members say about how they’re developing relationships. At the very least, it will help them focus on the one thing that can get them out of their heads and onto the same page, where they can work together to get the best results possible.