We need to get more people talking.
Think about all the times you have been in a meeting and you ask a question, only to have absolutely no one respond. They are sitting there looking at you with blank stares. You know that they are thinking something – anything. Your heart may begin to race – your mind begins to swirl – and you just wish that one person would lend their voice to the conversation.
What could be getting in the way?
People need time to think. Internal and external processors are quiet for different reasons. External processors may not want to blurt and internal processors may need time to formulate thoughts. So, how do you make blurting okay and provide space for thinking? One possibility is sending the agenda ahead of time. Then, let’s think about it and formulate some questions or come with information that supports the conversation.
Empowerment can happen on both sides of this equation. Calling into the Circle!
People seem to want a seat at the table without recognizing the responsibility of being called into the circle. Often, clients say “I don’t want to be called out.”
And yet, if we have been invited to the table, we need to bring our energy, voice and ideas.
And sometimes as leaders or facilitators, when the wall of silence hits us, we either move on without a response or we resort to calling on people randomly. We either have those go to people that we know will talk or we call on those quiet people that haven’t said anything because we have an inclination that they have something of value to say. This can land on a person as being called out.
You’re not getting called out – You’re getting called in.
As a leader, you’re not calling out – You’re calling in.
Meetings take a lot of our time and can be vital – And we need these sessions to be productive. At ARTiculate: Real&Clear, we coach that the goal is to be more efficient and effective. This happens by calling people into the circle.
So, let’s be prepared to call people into the conversation and as a meeting attendee, let’s be prepared to participate and be heard. Let’s dialogue with each other rather than resigning ourselves to a monologue.
And if you find that, as a leader, your voice is dominating the meeting without hearing others, we can help you with that.
As leaders, we can be talking at others without taking the time to hear them. Listening is a powerful a tool for calling others into the conversation. Sometimes, we already have our minds made up and we merely want to inform them of a decision or a strategic direction. Sometimes we ask questions and they know that our minds are already made up. So. Let’s provide space for questions.
Sometimes, as participants, we have learned not to think out loud for fear of having our idea shut down. By accepting all responses as options, rather than shutting down the creative strategic thought process, we may find more meaningful dialogue. The ideas don’t have to be the best option nor the one that will be taken as the strategic direction – they just have to be the one that shows a participant that they have been called into the circle – their voice matters.
Let’s get our dialogue going. We want to hear you. Come into the circle with your energy, your ideas, and your voice.