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How to Conduct a Meeting

For many of us attending a meeting is right up there with a root canal.

If you're the one in charge of meetings, use these EQ competencies to create better ones. A meeting, after all, is a microcosm of your business and philosophy.

INTENTIONALITY

Intentionality means accepting responsibility for your actions and motives. Always ask yourself, Why am I having this meeting? Could this be done better another way?

Meetings exist for different reasons 'sharing information, receiving instructions, planning, crisis management, socializing, process.

Define the reason for the meeting, share this information, and stick with it. This goes to credibility.

Avoid the anathema of productivity and morale, 'Because we've always done it this way.'

Check in with your thoughts, opinions and feelings before you start the meeting to make sure you're centered and will be doing what you intend to do.

PERSONAL POWER

Running a meeting is not a committee affair. Someone needs to be in charge.

The leader sets the tone in attitude as well. People will seek opportunity to test limits, upstage, divert, entertain and manipulate instead of staying on-task. The first time you allow this to happen, you set precedence, and lose credibility.

RESPECT

Respect for everyone 'their time, opinions, contributions and feelings. If you hold off starting til Paul arrives, you establish the precedent that the meeting doesn't start at 10, it stars when Paul gets there, because, by inference, he's more important than the others.

So why are the others there?

To lead, you must 'make sense' to your followers. Surely your intent is to reward those who come on time, and not the ones who come late.

CONSTRUCTIVE DISCONTENT

The opposite of this EQ competency is destructive content. Being able handle disagreement is one of the strongest indicators of leadership. It means being able to stay calm, focused and emotionally grounded during conflict.

If there is no conflict, nothing is happening. If there are 10 people in a planning session, and they all agree on every point, you either really have a goldmine, which is unlikely, or there are 9 people you don't need for the brainstorming.

CREATIVITY

If your meeting is to generate creative ideas, alternative and solutions, you have to create the atmosphere where this can happen. If you ask for ideas, and reply to the first one, 'no,' you'll deadend the process. Brush up on the rules of divergent and convergent thinking in the creative process.

PROCESS AFTERWARDS

It's a good idea, if you're serious about improving the quality of the meetings at your office to have your coach 'shadow,' observe and then process with your afterwards. You'll learn a lot!

About the Author

Susan Dunn, MA Clinical Psychology, The EQ Coach, http:www.susandunn.cc. Emotional intelligence coaching for executives. EQ coach training and certification program, www.eqcoach.net.



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