Team Management Systems

Magic Meetings

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People approach work in different ways.Sometimes these differences get in the way of effective interactions with others, especially in team meetings. The plan below uses the RIDO constructs to develop a list of 'Meeting Ground Rules'. This will provide a guide for behavior and help to improve the team's effectiveness and efficiency in meetings.

Meeting Ground Rules

  1. Run a quick group discussion based around the question 'Why do people sometimes dislike meetings?' Common responses include:

    • "Talk, talk, talk - there’s never any follow-through."
    • "I'm not sure what the purpose was - were we supposed to make a decision or was it to share information?"
    • "The meeting went for over an hour; we could have had a decision in 15 minutes."
    • "I don't know why they asked our opinion, they'd already decided - they ask us, but it doesn’t matter what we think."
  2. Given we spend a significant proportion of our time in meetings at work, how can we make them more productive? Pose the question, 'Who do meetings favor?' Extroverts or Introverts; Practical or Creative; Analytical or Beliefs, Structured or Flexible?

  3. Split the team into 4 groups and give each group the two constructs in each work preference continua. That is, one group gets Extrovert and Introvert; another group, Practical and Creative.

  4. Ask each group to list responses to the following:

    • 'When xxx (Extroverted, Practical etc) people go to meetings, they want ...'
    • 'When xxx (Introverted, Creative etc) people go to meetings, they want ...'
    • 'Productive meetings for both xxx and xxx would look like ...'

    For example, if we look at Analytical and Beliefs on the work preference measure, 'How we prefer to make decisions’, Analytical decision-makers will tend to prefer to apply an objective viewpoint and look at the cause and effect of decisions. Beliefs-based decision-makers will be likely to focus on the impact of decisions on people and will want to be sure everyone is included. Productive meetings would incorporate both perspectives. One way of achieving this could be to have the team formulate a couple of questions to ensure both the Analytical and Beliefs approach are given attention. For example:


    • What are the objectives?
    • What are the pros and cons?
    • Does the decision best serve our organization?


    • How do we feel about this?
    • Have we heard from everyone?
    • What is the impact on people?
  5. Each group discusses their 'guidelines' with the broader group and agree on their top ten (less will do) meeting guidelines.

  6. These meeting ground rules can be incorporated into the team's meeting agenda. If the team is unbalanced, the approach outlined helps to ensure all RIDO perspectives are taken into account at meetings (not just the team’s preference areas!). If the team is balanced, our strength is that we each see things differently. The meeting guidelines help to illustrate the value of differing views, while minimizing disruptions and conflict.

Copyright © Team Management Systems. All rights reserved.

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