Meetings are an essential part of running an effective professional team. But all too often, poor communication can turn meetings into an inefficient waste of time. Last week,we gave three simple tips for running the most successful meetings possible. Today, we present part two, with three more great tips!
Make sure no one dominates the conversation: Everyone has different communication styles and different levels of comfort about talking in a meeting environment. Unfortunately, this can often lead to an imbalance in the conversation, with one or two outspoken individuals dominating. While you don’t want to discourage open speech, it’s important to maintain some balance for an effective flow of communication and ideas. If you feel someone has hijacked a topic, politely more the conversation along by saying something like, “It sounds like you have some great ideas, and I’d love to chat about them later, but unfortunately we’re a bit short on time right now so we need to move on.”
Really listen!: People are often stressed out in meetings, wanting to contribute to the conversation and sound intelligent. However, this can often lead to people internally planning what they want to say instead of listening to the person who is actually speaking, resulting in missing information and misunderstandings. Make sure to really listen when someone is speaking, rather than just making eye contact and nodding while plotting your next discussion point.
Keep it clear: Remember, it doesn’t matter how intelligent or innovative your ideas are if no one can understand you. Many people speak more quickly when they’re excited or nervous, which decreases the clarity of their speech. Keep tabs on your rate of speech and make sure you’re not running your words together. Also, enunciate all of the letters in each word, especially the sounds at the ends of words. Missing the final sound of a word can change the meaning entirely and cause confusion.
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