Picture yourself entering a corporate meeting, team meeting, or business meeting. There you are sitting in the room, while someone in the “expert” or “boss” chair speaks to you or at you. There you are, not aligned with that person’s mission or vision. There you are, feeling apart from the process. There you are, lacking energy and the desire for being there. There you are, hearing what is going wrong and what you or your team or department needs to change or improve. How are you feeling?
Are you feeling a great connection to the meeting? Are you feeling enthusiastic about being in attendance at the meeting? Are you fully present at the meeting? Are you deeply tuned in and listening with your heart and your head? Are you inspired to co-create, participate, and contribute? Or, are you ready to fall asleep, or count the minutes of what you feel is wasted time?
My experience in my two plus decades of being in business and in coaching business clients around the world is that the system of meetings, clearly, must change. Most meetings don’t include participant involvement and actually serve to tune people out rather than tune them in, and as a result, the intention of the meeting falls short of its purpose. In other words, they really can be a waste of precious company time.
The process of Meeting Alignment, that we’ve been teaching companies around the world, has allowed them to use a systematic process that engages people in meetings and creates a desire for them to contribute and fully participate in these business meetings.
The Meeting Alignment Process and the results it creates include:
A desire to co-create: The purpose of a meeting isn’t to get across “your” agenda; it shifts to sharing your thoughts and hearing fully the thoughts and ideas of others to co-create the meeting purpose and actions.
Deep tuning in: Most meetings involve people talking and listening to themselves. The Meeting Alignment Process teaches people to fully listen with their hearts and to listen beyond the words to what is not said, to emotions, and to fully hear others.
The Meeting Alignment Process teaches techniques of being non-judgmental, so that people can fully hear and support each other and let new ideas IN vs. rule out and defend against why things won’t work. It produces a safe environment in which people feel encouraged to participate.
Non-attachment: Many people think meetings are about a specific outcome occurring – the meeting holder’s outcome… that’s a surefire way to alienate people and result in them NOT wanting to support you. The Meeting Alignment Process allows for each person to give up “their” outcome and allows the meeting and solutions to unfold for the good of the entire group.
What’s wrong: Most meetings focus on problems, fixing problems, or informing people of change. The meeting needs to come from a place of asking what IS working and involve what IS the right type questions. These questions form the basis of creating a positive energy flow and opening up creativity. It’s the basic principle of encouraging a sense of positivity rather than negativity.
Framework of questions: Questions in this process focus on what is working, why it works, what would be the perfect ideal vision, and what isn’t quite right yet, and then, coming up with resources and inspired actions to create the outcome of the meeting.
Feel good! When people attend a meeting where EVERY idea is praised and contributions rewarded and people thanked and really appreciated for their contributions, this raises self-esteem, confidence, and morale. People want to participate in meetings that make them feel good, not only about the company they work for, but about themselves and their role in it.
This process is effective in all companies and will work with all size groups. It requires a shift in the employer and leaders’ thinking, from managing and bossing and telling to coaching and co-creating and sharing. The effect is profound. People treated with value and respect, rise up to challenges. They are more excited to solve problems, participate in the mission and vision of the company, and create more productivity. They feel that the company’s success is their success. It motivates them to greater achievement.
Companies following a systematic process of creating a Meeting Alignment Process, take morale out of the toilet bowl fast. Their employees are happier, their retention rates rise, and the corporate culture shifts to one of enthusiasm.
A beneficial win-win situation is created and everybody gets to bask in success.