Do you know how to lead a meeting that others look forward to attending?
Would your team describe your meetings as productive? Do they see you as an active leader?
A client who is also a leader recently commented that she did not think her team considered her to be compelling as their lead. Asked to elaborate on this further and she said she felt there were times when leading meetings, they didn’t have confidence in her ability to keep meetings on track. She couldn’t make informed decisions that would support them.
How would your team rate you as the leader of meetings?
Some leaders reflect on this a lot, and others rarely think about what their team feels about their ability to lead a meeting. As a team member, one expects to have a leader who supports them, listens and seeks opinions from participants. Some qualities make a leader efficient at meetings. If you want to be considered persuasive by your team as the meeting leader, here are some skills to embrace.
6 Habits of Effective Leaders
1. Be Prepared
Leaders can sometimes find themselves in situations where they don’t understand the scope of the issue that they discuss. They struggle to contribute to the conversation or make a critical decision because they are not clear on all the concerns.
Be prepared. Review the agenda ahead of time. Review all issues to be explored and determine if you have a full understanding of each one.
2. Seek to Understand What is Important
If there are issues that you don’t fully understand, seek to understand. What are the issues at hand? What is the expected resolution? Or what does success look like to you? Who needs to be involved? Before you go to that meeting with your team, prepare, so you have a full understanding of the issues, expectations and people required. You can then speak with confidence, outlining the situation before you seek comments, perspectives from others
3. Create a Safe Space
A leader is responsible for creating a space in which participants feel safe and respected. Including the notion that no idea is a bad one. Holding this area for participants provides them with the opportunity to speak up. Some participants will jump at the chance to contribute. There are always those who hold back. If they feel safe and respected, they will be more likely to participate, and sometimes their thoughtful insights create new possibilities for everyone to explore.
4. Be Curious
Everyone likes feeling heard. The role of the leader is to explain the issues and then ask the questions that help everyone reflect and bring forth their brilliance. Now is the time the leader can include everyone to create the best possible solutions. Therefore, by asking open, curious questions, the leader can expand possibilities and create new opportunities for the team. They can help the team dig deep into their exploration and discover new ways of solving issues.
5. Listen, Paraphrase and Hold the Focus
The leader needs to listen to everyone, paraphrase back at times to hold the focus, so everyone stays on point. The leader maintains the discussion while keeping everyone on track, taking everyone deeper through the questions asked.
6. Respect time
Finally, be punctual, starting meetings on time and ending at the time stated. This messages respect for all attendees.
Co-Founder of The Institute Of Curiosity
Kathy Taberner is a retired occupational therapist, Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with a MA in leadership and training. With her daughter, she is a co-founder of the Institute of Curiosity and co-author of the ‘Power of Curiosity’. She is committed to supporting women to strive to become the dynamic and successful leaders they want to be. Her research project for her Masters explored the leadership styles and emotional intelligence of senior female leaders in BC.
She and her husband of many years, share their time between the Okanagan and Vancouver.
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