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Using SOCIAL STYLE to Improve Team Meetings

We all know that team meetings can be a chore, and are sometimes downright painful. They can suck up critical daylight hours that could otherwise be productive.  Yet they are necessary and can be fruitful if well managed. While you can’t please all people all the time, there are some strategies you can use to strike a balance between meeting everyone’s needs and achieving the results you desire.

Putting your knowledge of SOCIAL STYLE to use can also make the meeting itself pleasant and improve the outcome.

Plan ahead. Recognize the Style of your team members and anticipate the types of input, questions, attitudes, etc. that you are likely to encounter. Think ahead about how you will interact with different members in ways that will satisfy them without diverting the team from its focus. Provide information ahead of time if this is possible, and even have one-on-one discussions with certain team members if you feel this will help.  This will allow you to tailor your interaction to the differing preferences of each Style and set the stage for an effective group meeting.

Develop an agenda. This will help focus your team on the most important meeting objectives and discussions. In particular, agendas that list meeting objectives, timeframes, and participant responsibilities will help your Driving and Analytical Style team members. It will satisfy Driving Style members’ need for results, and Analytical Style members’ need for an organized and efficient process.  Try and include agenda items that will appeal to people of each Style.

Have fun. Though it may seem like a waste of time or a distraction, a good sense of humor will help keep Expressive and Amiable Style members engaged and productive. Keep these individuals involved by utilizing group discussion and problem-solving strategies.

Only include people who are necessary. If appropriate, try to schedule meetings with sub-groups of the team to discuss specific issues. This will ensure that progress is made without needlessly taking up the time of team members who are not required for specific aspects of the project.

Follow these guidelines to make your meetings more productive and empower the individual members of your team.

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