What One Question Can Move Your Meetings from “We Met–We Talked” to “We Met–We Decided!”?

What One Question Can Move Your Meetings from “We Met–We Talked” to “We Met–We Decided!”?

How often are you apart of meetings that have a topic(s) but no clear purpose that you are aware of?  You Meet–You Talk–then the meeting ends and as you walk out the door, you scratch your head and ask yourself, “Was anything decided?”   Frustrating, isn’t it?  Did you know that you can change this?  You can!  By simply asking “One Question!”

But first:

What is your “Current Reality” for the meetings you lead?

What is your “Current Reality” for the meetings you attend?  

If your meeting scores are 4s or 5s to the right–You are an incredible leader!  I want to join your team!   Will you please share your “best practices” for meeting effectivenss with me?  (actually with everyone)

But if your meeting scores are 4s or 5s to the left, would you like to know the one question that you can use to move your meetings to the right side of the scale?

In a recent meeting that I was attending, one of the other meeting participants asked a very simple question that had a huge impact on our meeting:  As soon as our meeting got going, she simply politely asked:

“What ‘Outcome’ are we looking for?” 

As soon as our group settled on the “Outcome” we had traction!  And soon we walked out of the door of that meeting with that “Outcome” in hand!

So the very next time you are part of a meeting that has a topic but no stated purpose, you can serve everyone gathered by politely asking, “What ‘Outcome’ are we looking for?”  

(Look for future  posts with more potential questions for you to use to increase your meeting effectiveness!)
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Niranjan Moses   |   16 April 2012   |   Reply

if iam not leading a meeting what questions can i put on to the meeting to get to ‘we met, we dicide’ ?

Malcolm Hutchinson   |   17 April 2012   |   Reply

This is something I can use at home every day starting right now. Thank you for sharing it,


Brian Lenderink   |   07 May 2012   |   Reply

Bob, this is a tough thing for many to learn. But it is one of the most important skills we can use during meetings and conversations.

I’ve been a certified facilitator in Crucial Conversations for the past 3 years. The final principle I teach during those workshops deals with how we move to taking action at the end of any Crucial Conversation. It is critically important that we all understand 1) who 2) is going to do what 3) by when, and 4) how we will follow up.

If we don’t do these things it is likely that we will have to revisit a host of issues. Those types of de ja vu conversations are typically much more difficult than the original conversations because we’ve run out of energy to engage in the topic.

Do yourself and your teams a HUGE service by making sure you end meetings with everyone understanding who will do what by when and how you will follow up.

Brian you are a wise man! Great input! What else would you add? Bob Tiede http://www.leadingwithquestions.com