There are no rules.
Running a business, moving a new product along the birth canal, change, getting things done – there are as many ways to do stuff as there are people who answer to ‘you.’ Thankfully. That means my way, or your way, are both fine. You’re good. Go for it.
But if you’re in a place where other people are just, you know, hanging around waiting to contribute, why not give them a shot? Running a meeting isn’t like driving or typing or looking in the mirror, it’s not a table for one. The point is to share, to bring along, to hear, to understand, to convince, to check, to develop, to decide.
To communicate, to converse. Two way.
And here’s the thing.
Everybody is talented, original and has something important to say, if only given the chance. Of course, some people have to be invited, “what do you think John?”, whilst others should be invited to allow them space, “that’s fantastic James, thank you. Now let’s hear what someone else has to say. How about you Jane, what are you thinking?”
Everybody is talented, original and has something important to say, if only given encouragement. Creative and independent thought is in everyone, but it is sensitive and easily scared off. Make it feel welcome. Facilitators’ guide books are a hundred ideas on encouraging, they all boil down to, “feel free, be bold.”
Everybody is talented, original and has something important to say, if only given permission. Talking shops and rubber stamping happens when people are afraid to speak truthfully. Push for candour, especially when it’s hard to take – better hear it in this room today than in the market tomorrow.
I have no idea why you called the meeting, but I know for sure it will be better if everyone speaks, and speaks the truth.
There are no rules, but if there were, this would be one of them.
Picture credit: From an excellent series by lou, via Flickr
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