- There is little or no context for contributing, other than contributing something.
Participants don’t know what aspect of their experience or expertise is relevant.
- In their longing to be relevant, some people over-participate
- 1. Begin any agenda item with a purpose and or outcome This shapes the context for participants. Is your item to give a direction or to provide information. Do you want a group decision, or do you want to have something new implemented?
2. Craft specific thoughtful questions related to the outcome you want to draw out the experience and expertise of group members.
* Mark presents a policy paper which will shift interest rates for investments. He asks ‘Firstly, let’s hear from each of you how confident you are that this will achieve what we want, then let’s hear from each of you what risks you see we need to address before this goes live.’
* Anna is working with stakeholders in a controversial and long standing matter. The diverse views create a tense atmosphere. She comments, ‘We have a range of views around the table. What is needed for us to proceed? We have common ground in that we all want to find a resolution. ‘Let’s hear from each of you, the main roadblock that needs to be addressed from your point of view for us to proceed.’ She then summarizes, and says: ‘there are at least four themes in our responses. I propose we address each of these.’ After this discussion, Anna says, I propose we hear from everyone here, ‘one action you will take that will progress our current situation.’
Invite meeting participants to contribute with a clear process so their position, abilities and experience is appreciated. They become disciplined in their response and participation. These meeting create tough discussions, yet vitality and progress are the core experience leaders have in these meetings. Leaders experience their contributions are being wisely accessed, and those leading these meetings are satisfied the outcomes being sought are achieved.