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Determine Your Meeting Style

by admin on September 29, 2011

Do you clarify or classify the style of your meeting in advance so participants are prepared before they walk in the room?  There are basically three different styles of meetings: ‘information share,’ ‘creative discussion,’ and ‘consensus decision.’

An ‘information share’ style of meeting consists of information flowing in one direction only, either ‘up’ to leadership from employees, or ‘down’ from senior management to employees. Requests for clarification can be entertained during this type of meeting, but there’s no real debate or discussion.

‘Creative discussion’ meetings revolve around the process of brainstorming, and getting ideas out on the table without making any decisions about the feasibility or validity of what’s produced. During this style of meeting, it’s critical employees understand that at a later date, key stakeholders will make decisions using the information collected.

When decisions need to be made, ‘consensus decision’ style meetings should be held. These types of meetings tend to get pretty heated, and passionate feelings will almost certainly be expressed. Despite any conflicts that may arise, all participants must reach consensus. Once you’ve concluded the meeting, all feelings and conflicts should be left in the meeting room. Never continue the discussion outside of the meeting.

Curious if you’ve ever seen meetings that fall outside of these three styles?

For more information on this topic, check out: Leadership at 100MPH.

3 thoughts on “Determine Your Meeting Style”

  1. I find it difficult to clarify the meeting style if a meeting can only be one of the 3 options above. Some meetings I find start as an information share and then convert to a concensus decision style. For example, my direct reports meetings usually start out as a bottom up info share but then turn concensus.

    Strictly information share meetings I find to be only when we have company meetings or townhall meetings. Other than that we use email or voicemail to handle infomation share items.

    – Eric

    1. I agree completely – I should have said to tag each agenda item with the style – a meeting will change styles based on each agenda item. GREAT catch.

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