4 Tips to hold a productive meeting

Couple Meeting With Financial Advisor In Office

Every social agenda, meeting or encounter is preceded by our opinions and prejudices about it. Walter Lippmann, American writer and journalist once said, “We are all captives of the picture in our head – our belief that the world we have experienced is the world that really exists.”

These beliefs or notions have the power to cloud our judgement and prevent us from achieving our real goals.

Hence ask yourself these questions before every meeting or interaction to define the way ahead and bring about an inspired response.

  1. What do I really want to achieve?

Define the outcome. Visualise the end result in graphic detail right down to the emotions you and the other party are experiencing at the end of the meeting. This will help you to clarify the big picture and your role in it. Also clarify what you really don’t want? This will help you to eliminate all actions or ideas, which do not support your desired outcome.

  1. What are my motives behind the desired outcome?

Sometimes a seemingly innocent remark in a meeting might harbour sarcasm, guilt, or an even a desire to embarrass the other. This chain of thought invariably gathers momentum and creates a negative outcome for all. But once you visualise your desired outcome right down to its bare essentials, it becomes easy to release the stronghold of negative emotions to examine your true motives. You can then choose to consciously shift your motives or create new ones.

  1. What is the win-win outcome for both parties?

Now that you have clarified your motives, the next step is reinstate a win-win outcome where both parties come back mutually satisfied or at least with a certain measure of acceptable gain. Even conflict situations can be resolved if we stop viewing the other as an adversary but simply as an individual trying to satisfy his needs. Try to see the problem from their point of view to start understanding the real concerns of the other person. And understanding always opens the door for creative solutions and fosters mutual respect.

  1. How would I behave to achieve a win-win outcome?

Decide what you will say and how you will express it. Do you words or your body language support your intentions and desired outcome? Is there a way to express yourself without offending the other, yet clarifying your needs? Step away from a boxed in ‘either or approach’ to evaluating several new chain of thoughts and ideas.

Finally the key to a successful interaction or exchange or any business for that matter is rooted in a quote by Zig Ziglar, “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”


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