Have you ever been in a meeting, even a meal, with more than 4-5 people and multiple conversations are going on at once?
I have. And it’s frustrating.
What’s even more frustrating is when YOU are the person that has to try to reel everyone back into focus. I’ve had to on many occasions and always feel like the “bad guy” breaking up a good (side) conversation.
I want to share with you a rule that my mentor, Michael Hyatt, shared with me over dinner last Fall.
It is a rule that has transformed my meetings with groups. More importantly, it has forged better relationships and, in many cases, SHORTENED the meeting time.
Who’s up for shorter meetings? Says everyone.
Here’s the rule: only ONE person talks at any given time.
Everyone has to listen when that person is talking.
NO side conversations.
In the session rooms and group meetings that I’m leading, I literally tell everyone the rule before the meeting begins. I get some blank stares at first, but then when the productivity and empathy starts pouring in, no one questions it.
Productivity and empathy are just two of the benefits I’ve witnessed. Here are others:
- Introverts feel like their presence is acknowledged and that they’re valued.
- Extroverts don’t overtake the meeting.
- You create an environment of respect and honor.
- People LISTEN better! (Go figure.)
I encourage you to try this out next time you’re in a group meeting or meal. It’s seriously a game-changer.
On a scale from 1-10, how are your meetings going? Please let me know in the comments below.