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.