What’s your biggest concern about getting your opinions and plans across in meetings? What’s the best way to control the flow of a meeting? Can you be sure those attending the meeting are listening and how can you get them to agree with you? How can you convince others that you have the same goals?
People’s objectives may seem different at first glance, but a lot of the time the company and team’s goals are the same at the end of the day. That’s to say, there’s often a greater shared goal above individual goals. Reaching the ultimate true goal that transcends other goals is known as the “meta-outcome”.
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Finding these shared meta-outcomes is the path that turns adversaries into allies.
It’s important to fully acknowledge the true purpose of your objective to be aware of this. And it’s also important to understand the true objectives of others.
Public speaking coach and Right Voice for You facilitator Kazuhiro Hosoya shares his tips to leading an engaging meeting at work:
1. What results do you really want to achieve? Ask yourself
First off, can you be honest with yourself?
“What will be achieved by doing this project?” When you come up with an answer, ask yourself again. “What is the purpose beyond the purpose?” “What happens if you make this happen?” When you come up with an answer, ask the same question about the answer.
2. What are you really looking for? Ask other team members (or imagine you’re asking them)
Ask your colleagues the same questions above. If you can’t ask directly, imagine asking. What is the other person looking for? When you come up with an answer, ask the same question about that answer. “What is the higher purpose above the purpose?” “What happens if this is achieved?”
3. What’s different about each other’s “meta-outcomes”.
What’s similar about each other’s “meta-outcomes”. What are the shared points between “meta-outcomes” and what’s different?
4. Ask questions
“What is this?”
“What can we do to achieve each other’s meta-outcomes?”
“What can I do to gain consensus?”
“Is there anything I can change?”
“If I can change it, how do I change it?”
“If I can’t change it, can I change something else?”
5. Talking about “meta-outcomes”
If everyone understands that the “meta-outcome” is the same, people are likely to listen to what you have to say.
6. Don’t fight your team
Once you establish the common goals and meta-outcomes for the team, and the meeting, everyone will have an understanding of the purpose of the meeting and the intended outcome. With a common goal, you don’t need to treat the team as an enemy. Don’t feel like you’re confronting a crowd. The more you try to force your opinions, the more they will push back. Let the team find the merit in what you have to say. Think of it like helping them find what’s useful in what you’re presenting by motivating them to ask the questions themselves.
Determining the team’s goals and objectives before your meetings and constantly considering them throughout, will not only help you get your point across, but engage your team members and help everyone achieve their intended goals. Understanding this is simple, yet vital. Ensure your meetings are always engaging and running smoothly by considering those meta-outcomes, their purpose and why you want to achieve them and create an environment where everyone is on the same page and comfortable. Always remember you’re a team working towards a common goal.