Creating A Productive Meeting Culture

The Ugly Truth about Meetings

As a leader you know that unproductive meeting culture can undermine teamwork and limit the potential of your team.  Have you been in meetings where some voices are heard because they are louder than others, or where people talk over each other, or people have checked out or the same problems are repeated without progress?  I am sure many of us can identify with this.

Power dynamics are a reality that plays out in meetings, and while they benefit some they undermine many.  The person with positional power may dominate the conversation, the articulate speaker may be favoured, or the forceful person may win the argument.  Very quickly there is an unspoken meeting culture that limits the intelligence and creativity of the team.

As a leader you have the power to create productive meeting culture of trust and respect where people feel heard, valued, seen and are stimulated to bring their best thinking forward.

Leaders are aware of the theory to have productive meetings which speaks to inclusivity, listening and sponsoring active participation, yet time and again they show up with mechanical reactive behaviours.  So knowing the theory does not translate into performance. 

So how do leaders create a productive meeting culture?  Leaders need to behave in ways that sponsor and create healthy and productive environments.  I believe the answer lies in leaders being able to embody and presence the components of the Thinking Environment designed by Nancy Kline, such as . 

  • Listen with beautiful attention and without judgement
  • Ask open ended questions that invite people to think deeply and critically
  • Share appreciation for the contribution people make

Are you ready to create Thinking Environments? Are you willing to share power with others and create space for everyone to think and contribute?  Join us on a course to learn, experience and practice creating a Thinking Environment. 

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