The idea of meeting with your employees is for you to hear what they have to say. The problem is that when you already know what you want to do, you tend to dominate the entire meeting. Instead of listening to what others have to say, you impose what you want. It’s not a good practice because it might turn other people off, and make them feel unheard. If you think you’ve been dominating the meetings for the past few months, these tips will help you take a step back.
The good thing about having prepared questions is that you allow everyone to speak. Since the questions came from you, you don’t want to answer all of them. You let everyone speak out on different issues, and it might help them become more open in the future. You can also ask follow-up questions depending on how your discussion is moving forward.
Have an open mind
Before you step inside the meeting room, you need to ensure that you have an open mind. The problem when you already know what you want to happen is that you will not listen to anyone anymore. Another instance when you don’t have an open mind is when you immediately shut down someone’s ideas because you think they are ridiculous. Even if you feel that way, you still need to keep an open mind since those ideas might work if refined.
Encourage everyone to talk
When you keep talking during the meeting, the rest might think that they don’t matter. In future meetings, they might decide not to speak anymore because they already got used to the process. You have to encourage everyone to speak out and use their voices appropriately. You also need to be clear that there’s no correct or incorrect response. The goal is to allow everyone’s ideas to come out, and see which of them would be useful for the business.
Don’t preside over the meeting
When you preside over the meeting, you might tend to dominate the conversation. You think that is your responsibility to keep the meeting going, so you speak a lot. If you want to avoid this from happening in the future, you need to let someone else take the lead. You can still talk during the meeting, but you have to realise that you’re not running it. You don’t control the narrative, and the person you assigned to lead the meeting has the responsibility to keep it going.
If you don’t want your employees to think that you’re a bossy leader, you need to start by speaking less during meetings. You also need to organise activities that help all the employees feel relaxed. Sometimes, consecutive meetings can be very exhausting, and some fun activities would help. Check out fairground hire if it’s interesting for you. Your employees may love the idea because they can take a break from work, and they also have the chance to bring their children to work.