Poor Meetings Put Your Company’s Future in Jeopardy

Meetings provide a cadence of accountability for your executive team. You should cascade these meetings
throughout your organization as well to increase accountability. Did you know that if your business is
conducting boring, routine meetings without team members providing their opinions, feedback, that failing
to encourage conflict is putting your business in a position of severe risk?
In Conflict is Good Strategic Discipline we explained how a lack of conflict leads to dull meetings and
suggests a lack of interest and commitment from your team.

What is the ultimate outcome of boring meetings?

It’s bad decisions. What happens when your meetings are                 
boring? First of all your team loses interest. They fail to offer
critical opinions, input, and feedback. They fail to evaluate
others input, opinions and feedback. In addition, they may not
even bring up the right issues for discussion. If your meetings
are boring, more than likely you don’t offer room for conflict
and your team to get passionately involved. The result is poor
decisions. You’re not getting the full attention and input from
the team to help with the decision process. They’re more
interested in getting out of the meeting on time than they are
in contributing.
What’s your role in all of this? Do you want to make your meetings more interesting and get your team
more engaged?
Your leadership role should include introducing conflict into your meetings. In fact, at the beginning of your
meetings you may wish to introduce issues that stir conflict to stir the pot and increase the passion and
energy that will enliven the meetings. You need to offer why certain issues matter and what could go wrong
or develop potentially if the conflicts you bring up are not resolved.
When your team members passionately weigh-in on topics, meetings get interesting. Isn’t that what you
want? Don’t you want your team to provide their input to help you make better decisions in operating your
business?
This past week I spent two days working with my clients on Patrick Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a
Team. One of the meetings was on conflict and specifically setting up a set of conflict norms that govern
how the group engages in conflict discussions in their meetings.
There was great diversity in the groups experience with conflict, from one person indicating they
immediately turn to another TV channel when there’s conflict in the program to another who had constant
conflict with the family in their childhood. How do you marry these two together to make both comfortable
when conflict arises in your meetings? Can both parties exist and offer their views and opinions when they
are on such opposite sides of the scale? We’ll look at how next blog.
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For meetings to be effective you should encourage conflict.
More importantly and impactful to your business is that without your team
feeling comfortable to engage in conflict your business is in jeopardy. You will
make more bad decisions without getting their input. Remember most
businesses don’t fail because of poor execution; it’s due to poor
decisions. Learn how to improve your level of conflict in meetings. Work to
improve your team’s willingness to be vulnerable and offer their
opinions. When you’ve achieved this you’ll be on your way to better decision
making and growing your business at a faster pace.
My good friend, Doug Wick – Gazelles Coach in Cedar Rapids Iowa is the author of this insightful article.

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