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Your Meetings: Four Rules of Engagement

Four simple Rules of Engagement will keep your meetings focused, guarantee improved productivity, reduce the turf wars, while assisting you to fail fast and fall forward, to accelerate your momentum, your development, and your results!

1. Clarifying questions
Questions to help you understand the root cause of the problem, not to further one’s own agenda or prematurely begin the ideation portion of the discussion. Before you start offering solutions (your opinions), make sure you understand what the real cause of the problem is, was, or could be, by asking questions which help you understand, explain, and inform. When in doubt, ask. If you have no doubts, ask more.

2. Tangent alert!
When anyone starts to dominate the discussion with too much detail, off-track commentary, bloviating, defending their position repetitively and vociferously, everyone in the meeting is authorized to call Tangent Alert! and to expect the person to stop immediately or wind it down quickly. This saves time and keeps the team on-track.

3. Time-out!
When anyone needs to take an immediate short break, to breathe, to gather their thoughts, or to shield themselves from what they feel is an onslaught, or when comments are mean-spirited, insulting, or repetitive, anyone can call a Time-out! Everyone must stop, look to the referee, cool down, get direction, and get back on track.

4. Asking yourself: How could they be right?
As others express their opinions, you work diligently to understand their position, their feelings, their possible correctness, and even the possibility they may have a better idea than you. If you do this and still can’t figure it out, they may be wrong. Neither assert nor defend your position until you have considered theirs, sincerely and deeply. When you do so, you’ve worked through it rationally and compassionately, and worked hard to understand what they had to offer. Now everyone is prepared to use that information to help you all move forward as a team.

Our clients will attest: when they use these four simple Rules of Engagement in their meetings, it helps them get more done in less time with less effort and less in-fighting. Our question to you: When will you test the Four Rules of Engagement to see how your team can accelerate their results?

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