How to moderate a meeting? Communication in a meeting! (PT 3-3)
Welcome back to part three of the series on “How to moderate a meeting?“. In part one and two we have talked about the preparation and hosting so if you have not watched them already please consider doing so. Otherwise some information might be confusing and less helpful to you. Now let us look at the communication within a meeting.
Of course there are no 100% right or wrong things. After all communication is everywhere and everything when it comes to human beings. We can never not communicate. Wether through our body movements, facial expressions, sounds or even words. We can however explore certain patterns of communication and thus develop strategies to cope with them. So instead of giving you some situative advise on how to deal with such and such I want to equipped you with two communication tools I use for every meeting.
The first one it to make sure no one behaves rude or impolite to any suggestions and person. It is a collection of three simple guidelines for harmonious communication. If you include them in your preparation and hand them out to everyone or put them on constant display you can use them whenever a tensed situation needs to be defused. These are…
No. 1: Concentration
Which can be ensured by the rule “Listen to understand, not to answer!“. Most of the time we are more concerned with our own thoughts and goals. Thus we listen to others in respect to our opinion and tend to prepare our answer instead of trying to understand each other.
No 2: Reasoning
A successful discussion is the result of reasoning communication. If anyone has problems following a thought this can be voiced in the form of “Could I please ask you to […]? Because […].” This way the recipient knows exactly what to explain further or in other words.
No 3: Understanding
When we speak about ideas that matter to us it impacts on our emotions. Discussions can get tensed if a person feels misunderstood and that can lead to arguments or even fights. To minimise these effects it is great to clearly show understanding which you can do by saying: “I understand you. You’re right. And […]” and then add our thoughts.
Now you have set a code of conduct oder communication for your meeting. Everyone can adhere to these guidelines and use them to create an harmonious environment.
The second one is merely a piece of paper that helps us to be focused. The idea is to write down everything that catches our attention when another person is speaking. Instead of reacting to what was said we write down our intended response. You can see we make practical use of the first guide line for concentration. As a moderator you have to point out and explain these guidelines and show the people how to use them in conversation. The great effect is that everyone will be more focused and is less inflicted with showing off their own skills. The guide lines even function as a barrier fencing of impolite behaviour. Simply repeat them to the person when they portray themselves as better or more valuable than the others and remind them that everyone else is following the code. Now you know how to professionally prepare, host and moderate your meeting.
If you like this article, please consider sharing it with your network. Also tell me your thoughts in the comments below and check out my professional workplace trainings. Thanks for your attention, this is Stephan signing off and stay curious to Re:Think.