Business > Effective Meetings

| February 23, 2015

Help People Raise Difficult Issues in Your Next Meeting

NOV14_18_11_459983483

Harvard Business Review

You won’t accomplish much in your meeting if there’s an elephant in the room. The team might just stare at their notebooks and refuse to make eye contact, or people will start to speak and then censor themselves.
For example, firing a bad vendor might solve your problem, but if it would create more work or hurt someone’s feelings, people might not bring it up. You have to raise the issue yourself to get the group unstuck.
Then ask people to explain in detail the nature of the problem, issue, or opportunity. Find out how long it has existed, who is involved, and what the consequences are. Thank people who bring up controversial or different viewpoints. And let everyone know how important it is to raise all options, concerns, and issues, even if they are difficult.
Once people know you won’t kill the messenger, they’ll feel safer tackling thorny subjects.

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