This means that, for your meeting to add value, such understanding, attitudes and/or intentions need to change. Read More
Such change is significantly easier when people’s attention is fully focused on the potential of what is evolving in the meeting – when their thinking is open: curious, compassionate and courageous (see diagram below left).
And closed thinking tends to be contagious, closing down people’s capacity and willingness to adopt the perspectives they need to develop and make progress.
People’s attention then shifts from the potential of what is actually happening (the green side of the diagram) to focus almost exclusively on its risks to their concerns and their baggage (the red side of the diagram).
Listening with an open mind, and an open heart, is key to making efficient shifts in attitudes and intentions.
But listening is often the first casualty of a ‘shift to the red side’ as described above. What may appear to be ‘listening’ may be more accurately described as simply ‘reloading and waiting to take your next shot’. Read More
When this is the case you tend to see a few people heavily involved in the discussion, and the rest disengaged and waiting to see who the winner is. The exchanges are more intense, without pauses to either reflect on what was said before responding, or to let other voices into the dialogue.
Because all the protagonists are talking and not listening or seeking to understand other viewpoints, it is common for arguments to become circular with points repeated multiple times.
The first step is to recognise this is happening, and then to get others to recognise this is happening. It is then possible to flag up the need to all move back toward green, and to unpick the nature of the tension and gradually work through how to resolve it – which, as everyone will discover, is a lot easier when you can see that everyone is listening.
If your meetings have a bit too much of what is described above, or a tendency for unbalanced engagement for other reasons, you might like to consider the potential of the suggestions available through the clinic: https://help.inspirometer.com/tag/attention/
Inspirometer users can access further support at: https://my.inspirometer.com/preview/meeting_clinic#7
Leadership is key to creating an environment in which real listening can take place, and in helping to resolve the issues described above.
Key to this is ensuring that each point gets fully heard (once) and that everybody accepts that it has been heard.Read More
Key to effective meeting leadership is the need to keep things ‘green’, and while it is down to each individual to monitor their own internal condition, this becomes increasingly difficult for them as the conversation itself adopts a red bias.
It is the leader’s role to keep track of this, and to flag this up to the group in a way that they can work together (and individually) to do something about it. There are some useful tools to help with identifying this shift, and putting things back to green.
This ‘more facilitative’ approach to meeting leadership is increasingly recognised as necessary, but it is not uncommon to find people who run meetings are not actually sure of exactly what facilitation is, or the range of tools that are available to support them in doing this.
Inspirometer users can access a range of tools and techniques to support them in adopting more facilitative approaches at: https://my.inspirometer.com/preview/meeting_clinic#4. However, facilitation is predominantly a skill set and we would therefore advocate that application of these tools would benefit from good hands-on training programmes to develop those skills and the confidence to apply them.
Use the model below to develop a vision for how you want your meetings to be different going forward, and then research the resources above to develop a coherent plan for how you plan to bring about improvement.
For a selection of resources which support ‘attention’, please go to: https://help.inspirometer.com/tag/attention/