Get your questions answered:
It you have a list of questions that you need answered, print them before the meeting and tick them off as they are answered.
Help keep the meeting focused.
If a meeting goes off topic, then say “I appreciate this topic; however…
- ….I don’t think we can resolve it in the meeting and let’s mark this as an action item or take this offline.
- …I suggest we add this to the control log for future discussion.
Listen for the unsaid
The number one thing to look out for are the unsaid thoughts or feelings.
- For example, did someone seem confused during the meeting, then reiterate what you heard and ask for confirmation. One way to do this: I heard X. Is that correct? (Notice: the usage of a closed question to ensure mutual understanding).
Take detailed notes:
If it is your meeting, take detailed notes and ask your teammates to do the same. Once the meeting is done, clean up the meeting minutes, summarize the key takeaways and email them to the attendees. Make sure to ask, “Do the meeting minutes match their understanding? If not, please send your updates.”
If it is not your meeting, write everything down — you can always send them to the meeting organizer and say “Here are my draft notes, I hope they are helpful.”
If you are on a video conference lean in. If you are in person, lean in. Your body language keeps you energized and focused. Remember: We owe it to one and other to give our full attention.
An excellent resource on keeping sites/services up and running — after all, reliability is also feature.
Google – Site Reliability Engineering
— Read on landing.google.com/sre/sre-book/toc/
At the heart of getting something done is getting everyone on the same page to move the project forward. This is especially relevant in an environment of a variety of individuals from department teams, and, ultimately, different walks life.
The diversity of views creates a challenge: Do we argue about the rightness or wrongness of ideas or a decision? Or, do we agree on a set of “guiding principles” and make decisions?
What is a guiding principle?
A guiding principle is a statement that summarizes a criteria or value-based mechanism. Let’s take the following situation in pricing strategy:
- Situation: Company X has developed a patented Water Retention System that helps trees grow faster, while using 80% less water.
- Complication: The founder and owner of Company X wants to target low-income farmers that cannot afford an expensive system. The venture capitalists wants the founder to charge higher rates to ensure maximum distribution, and ultimately a strong return on their investment.
- Question: How should Company X price the Water Retention System?
If you were in this situation, how would you facilitate a decision? Clearly, both the owner and the venture capitalists have a strong case to make regarding the rightness of their decision.
Option A: Conduct a pricing analysis, and present different prices and see if there is a price that meets both needs.
Option B: Develop a core set of guiding principles around making key business decisions, and then conduct a pricing analysis, and evaluate the options based on the guiding principles.
In Option A, there is an implicit debate about what the Owner and the Venture Capitalists value. In Option B, there is an explicit debate about what the Owner and the Venture Capitalists value.
Why is this important?
The point of this example is codifying the unsaid in guiding principles, each individual can evaluate what they value and see whether it resonates.
If there is resonance, then decision making and team dynamics can be more fluid (or, at the leaser — easier).
If there is not resonance, then decision making will be stalled and inauthentic — team members may grudgingly go along, but there will continue to be dissension as increasingly complex decisions are made, and the team will need to decide whether to continue together or not.
Originally posted on Karma Advisory’s medium page here.