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Apr 6, 2021

How Should People Participate in a Meeting Essay

Basic Way:

A simple way is to simply raise your hand, let people know what you want to say and let the rest of the meeting play out according to your plans. The meeting moves forward and everyone is accountable for its progress. It's the most basic form of leadership.

Meeting must not be Interrupted:

But how do we do it? How do we raise our hands, say what we want to say, and have the rest of the meeting proceed according to our plans and not be derailed by someone interrupting to take over the next topic?

Here's a simple formula: Have the people wait in line and say what they want to say.

In a recent coaching session, I explained this to a client who'd always been a good listener and now found it difficult to participate. At other times, she excelled at making connections and building consensus, but most of the time, she'd be lost as to what to do next.

To make the most of her skills, she needed to learn how to have the people in line talk.

This was different from being able to "hear" what other people wanted to say. It involved participation.

People to be Engaged in a Line or Queue:

How Should People Participate in a Meeting

The client accepted my advice and began to train her support team to engage the people in line and participate in the meeting. When people in line didn't have something they needed to say, they were invited to speak. People in line were no longer ignored, they were now being managed and steered, if necessary, to the parts of the meeting that were appropriate for them. As the process of managing those in line became easier, participants in the meeting became more able to participate and others began to actively participate as well. This meant a shift in the overall tone of the meeting.

Be an Effective Listener:

You can use this idea to train employees how to lead, manage, and coach yourself. For example, if you feel you don't have the skills to manage your own meeting, you can train your employees to do it for you. If you're not an effective listener, you can teach yourself to become one. And if you know you're not a natural planner, you can teach yourself to become one.

Accept the Absentism in a positive Way:

The concept of "showing up" is important as well. To keep the momentum going, you must show up to the meeting and be accountable to everyone for your actions. If you're late, you need to make sure everyone knows, including the participants, the importance of your attendance. If you miss the meeting entirely, you need to explain the reason behind your non-attendance, including the day's big goal. If you're absent for a long period of time, you need to communicate to everyone that your absence is not acceptable and will have consequences.

The concept of participation should be clear:

The idea of participating in your own training is a hard one for many people. There is no single model for participation. What does work is setting clear expectations for how you want the training to be used, for example, to make money or solve a problem, and making sure that each step of the process is explained clearly and completely. You also need to make sure that there are no misunderstandings or surprises along the way.

To participate fully you also need to have some training about how the process works. For example, you may want to train your employees on how to use the process to identify potential opportunities. You may want to offer them training on what the process is and how to follow it. You may want to set up systems for tracking money received and disbursed. You may want to set up a billing system so that it is clear to everyone where money is going and who is billed. This can all be part of an overall training program.

Why people afraid to participate:

A big reason why many people are afraid to participate is because of the idea of failure. The idea of failure is a huge deterrent to participation. But I would suggest that the most powerful reason why people aren't willing to participate is that they're not willing to make mistakes. The idea of making mistakes and trying things that aren't working is what's going to make them get out of their own way and get to work.

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