As you might guess, different styles of communicating work best in each type of meeting. This point has an important corollary: Each style prefers a certain type of meeting.
|Directors: Strategic meetings||Expressers: Brain-storming meetings|
|Thinkers: Problem-solving meetings||Harmonizers: Information-sharing meetings.|
If a particular communication style prevails at a meeting, or if one person’s style dominates a meeting, it can cause the meeting to shift suddenly. This causes a disconnect in people’s minds.
People come to a meeting thinking it’s one type, only to discover they’ve somehow stumbled into a different universe.
|Informational||Balance of styles|
|Strategic||Balance of styles|
Skilled communicators know how to modify their style appropriately from meeting to meeting. They also know that a meeting needs preparation in order to be productive.
|Information||Exchange information, reach agreements||Agenda optional
|Problem solving||Define solutions to problem, reach agreements||Agenda needed
|Brain storming||Define objectives, generate options, reach agreements||Agenda needed
|Review||Review individual or group performance; reach agreements||Agenda needed
|Strategic||Define issues, describe scenarios, set goals, reach agreements||Agenda needed
Ground rules needed
By following these protocols, in conjunction with understanding the different types of meetings, your organization can use meetings in highly productive ways.
This post has illustrated the importance of distinguishing the five types of meetings – and the needs served by each. It has also shown how certain communication styles are more suitable for certain types of meetings. It also described how people often try to shift a meeting into one that matches their style.
This underscores the need to be able to identify not only individual styles, but also group styles. The productivity of a meeting is directly related to how well managed it is. Meetings that ramble result from a failure to follow sound protocols and lay down ground rules.
|Lesson 15: The Habits of Highly Effective Facilitators||Lesson 17: Inner Scripts|