Leaders can’t lead without meeting with others. Sometimes meetings go well. Sometimes they don’t. Often team dynamics derail productive meetings simply because someone misspoke or misheard. As I began to realize this, several years ago I asked a psychologist to help me create some rules for talking in our staff meetings. I call them conversational ethics. Here are the 7 rules.
CONVERSATIONAL ETHICS FOR MEETINGS
- Listen: let others say their piece; as Covey said, “Seek to understand before being understood.”
- Suspend judgment: don’t make assumptions about what others say.
- Share in the thought pool: everybody gives input; participate truthfully (how you really feel).
- Stay detached from your ideas: don’t take things personally; use “I” messages; own your personal view.
- Let others be inarticulate: help others articulate what they are trying to say by engaging.
- Privacy: if personal issues with you and another person potentially could affect a discussion and/or a decision, first deal with it 1-on-1 in private with the individual.
- Accountability: everybody helps hold each other accountable to this set of ethics.
What guidelines have helped you lead good meetings?