Johnnie Moore in his latest weblog discusses Conference ruts. He begins by quoting Harold Jarche who makes a number of interesting comments on the frustrations we all encounter when we attend conferences. Significance is given to the issue of problems being presented in a plenary session and then immediately being asked to comment and brainstorm the issue. The obvious question being, “Why was the issue not presented weeks ahead of time?”
A few days ago I wrote a blog article entitled “Meeting Hell?” where I discussed the need to transform meetings into “productive, focused and energising collaboration sessions.” I am drawn by the similarity and parallel need to transform meetings and I encourage you to read both Johnnie’s and Harold’s articles.
Earlier today I clashed in a meeting with one of my team because I thought an issue was raised in a meeting without adequate time for preparation and pre-positioning. Fortunately, after things cooled down we both realised that important lessons had been learnt:
- People don’t like surprises. They don’t like being put on the spot and asked to make a decision.
- It is easier to gain support for an idea or a proposal if it is pre-positioned before the meeting.
- It is often too easy to let your own passion for an idea obscure your understanding of another’s point of view.
I for one will be taking onboard Johnnie’s suggestions to collaborate earlier and allow meeting participants more freedom to discuss. Hopefully the team at Axispoint has learn’t that presenting the “Why?”, “Why Now?” and “Why This Way?” before asking for a decision is more likely to receive a favourable result.