The Meeting After the Meeting

Don’t do this. Don’t hijack an hour of time from people, ask their thoughtful opinion, and then excuse everyone and hold back your cronies and have that “meeting after the meeting.” Sometimes you hear it on the conference call when a team leader says, “Hey Margaret can you call me right after this to follow up?” What is that all about?

We can easily sabotage our efforts to build the valued trust, rapport and engagement we know are important to drive excellence. Here’s a little way in which we can sometimes show to the team that their opinions aren’t really part of the solution: Having the meeting after the meeting.

The meeting after the meeting in which the “real” decision-makers call the shots, says to everyone that they don’t really have a voice. Or at best, they are fighting for their opinion to be heard. Or at worst, it’s a polite move so the shot-callers can attest publicly that opinions were heard, that they took in people’s concerns.

Do this instead. Listen more than talk. Ask credible, relevant and probing questions, and then collaboratively work toward decisions in front of everyone that recognizes and includes the voice of everyone. If you don’t intend to value an opinion, you’re not leading, you’re lobbying.

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