Making Meetings Matter: Meaningful Connections!


Author Dr. James Ware notes that the 21st century is the age of networked knowledge: connecting in a meaningful way with others, whether you do it via email, Twitter, Facebook, and other forms of social media, or by using plain, old-fashioned face-to-face conversations.

“The nature of work itself has changed,” observes David Coleman, founder and managing director of Collaborative Strategies Inc., “along with where we work and how we work. It is this change of work paradigm and a new generation (digital native) workforce that is driving the changes in leadership.”

In his blog, Coleman points to Ware’s definition of the 10 different types of meetings, each with a specific purpose: informing, sharing, exploring, planning, problem-solving, designing, producing, decision-making, persuading and inspiring. Most meetings, he notes, combine two or more purposes.

>> Here are a few of Ware’s tips for conducting successful meetings:

>> Focus on broad goals that everyone agrees with.

>> Respect individual differences, and understand that everyone has their own individual circumstances (this means trying not to put meeting members in difficult circumstances).

>> Participants should strive to be open and curious.

>> Build on agreement and commonality.

>> As the meeting leader keeps things on track, be firm but flexible.

>> “Small talk” is a quick way of meeting members to establish trust, to understand each other’s circumstances, and to get everyone present and into the moment.

>> Tell stories rather than overwhelm the meeting with data.

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