Meetings often start off with good intentions but quickly fall into a place failure, blame and defensiveness making the metaphorical hole deeper. This builds frustration and wastes time for the attendees.

This little model takes us somewhere useful, particularly in meetings. These five points will help you change your focus, and hence that of the group, on to a more constructive path. It works on the premise that this is where we are and we have to move from there. Going back to blame or to point out failure will only waste time. Try these out; they will make the difference at that crucial time when you are most under pressure.

5 Solution–Forming Focuses

  • Outcomes                   not blame
  • How                              not why
  • Possibilities               not necessities
  • Feedback                    not failure
  • Curiosity                     not assumptions

Focusing on the outcomes or goals will direct people to finding answers. ‘How’ puts the emphasis into a much more constructive, forward-looking place like ‘how can we…’ Necessities give us an answer and usually one that was appropriate to different circumstances; looking for possibilities opens up options and new ways of doing things. Feedback is a whole science in itself and I suspect I will come back to write again on this subject. Suffice to say, good feedback gives the person a chance to change their behaviour in the future. Failure just makes everyone feel dreadful. Curiosity again opens up options to improve products services etc, assumptions just keep the status quo.

There is also a great change in motivation within a group as it directs them to do things. This in itself can change the culture quite quickly if used consistently. So next time you see some finger-pointing, people stuck in outmoded assumptions or simply in a failed situation come back to these five simple areas to help you move everyone on.

Of course this will not solve everything and if you want to discuss how to make your meetings more effective or have motivation and engagement issues, call me on 020 7987 7080

All the best.

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