A guide for effective and collaborative meetings
Here are some guidelines to help people feel included and respected during meetings:
- Be kind: Treat each other with respect.
- Remote matters: Listen for and solicit input from remote members so
their voice is heard.
- Ensure the space is set up so everyone can see each others’ faces.
- Enunciate and speak loud enough so that remote members can hear you clearly.
- Introduce everyone: Don’t assume everyone has met before. Introductions help break the ice and give an opportunity for voices to be heard.
- Non-verbal Communication: Remember that your expressions and modes of
communication are important.
- Your facial expression can say a lot, even without words.
- If you’re comfortable, eye contact can help keep people engaged and show you’re interested in what someone has to say.
- Distractions aren’t always bad. Be mindful that others can have different ways of engaging in a discussion. For example, for some it can be helpful to doodle to synthesize the information in a meeting.
- Be respectful of others’ schedules: Try to start and end meetings on time.
- Step up, step back: After you speak, let others speak. If you are speaking often, make sure others have had a chance to say something.
- Apply the Shine Theory: Notice if someone is being cut off or ignored. Help shine the light back on that contributor by repeating their idea, giving clear support and credit to its source.
- Give credit: Acknowledge input from others and highlight contributors. Show encouragement and, if you agree with something, call it out. Ensure that even the quiet voices are heard and supported.
- Why am I talking?: Make sure that the thing you’re about to say has not already been said. If it has and has been ignored, clarify that you are amplifying an under-recognized idea.
- One mic: Let one person speak at a time, and let them complete their full thought before responding. Don’t interrupt.
- Clarify what you hear: Use phrases like “What I heard you say was…” or “My feedback for that is…”
- Speak as I: Try to speak from the I perspective. Don’t speak for others.
- Disagree: You don’t have to agree with everybody, but be aware of how you frame your feedback. Criticize the idea, not the person.
- Everyone can participate: Assuming someone doesn’t want to participate can be exclusionary. Give people the opportunity to decline an invitation.
- Speak up: Follow up if team members treat others disrespectfully. If you don’t feel comfortable addressing someone directly, speak with your manager or Chief People Officer.