Help for the Meeting-Weary Manager

Most of us have found ourselves working on a team at one time or another. That means we have been asked to attend, and even participate, in lots of meetings. Unfortunately, few of us found these meetings to be particularly effective. Many in fact are a complete waste of valuable time and resources.

The difficulty with most meetings is that they are typically planned and run by extroverts, who do not take into account the needs of the introverts. Why is this important? Because a key diffentiating characteristic between extroverts and introverts is in the way they process information.

Extroverts will tend to "think out loud." They verbally walk themselves through the thinking process. Introverts however want to process new information on their own, in their heads, before commenting or vocalizing their thoughts.

And that's just the beginning of the problem. Extroverts do not take into account the needs of the Introverts or the way in which they prefer to process the information to be shared or discussed. Because Introverts require time on their own to process information, they are not prepared (or willing) to make decisions on items that are only being discussed fo the first time in a current meeting. All too often Extroverts bring a new topic up in a meeting, even if it's not on the agenda, and expect everyone to get engaged and act on it right away. Because the Introverts are processing the new information, they may not comment. To the Extrovert, no news is good news and this only means the Introverts must be on board.

Decision-making bias is highlighted when the meeting is controlled by the Extrovert. Extroverts view the quieter more contemplative members as:

"I just assumed that they weren't interested."
"I thought they had nothing to share or say.
"I figured they were a bit stuck up, stand-offish."

But let's not blame the Extroverts for all our meeting problems. Because Introverts prefer to process new information before speaking, they may plan the agenda and arrive at meetings thinking their decisions are foregone conclusions without ever engaging others for input or discussion. In fact, if the normally self-sufficient and reserved Introvert had his way, all meetings would occur by telephone or web conferencing or even email. The electronic meeting minimize the extra-curricular comments and diversions that occur when you put a bunch of Extroverts in a room. But like the Introvert who needs time to process, Extroverts need the opportunity to talk out loud and see who is doing the talking.

Now let's take a peek inside the Introverts' heads. What are they thinking about their group-oriented, outgoing Extroverted colleagues?

"They're all blow-hards."

"Not one of them has a clear thought in their heads."

"They don't know what they're talking about."

You can see how valuable insights might be ignored or interpersonal conflicts arise when personality and behavioral styles aren't considered. When other people's behavior patterns do not match our own, it is not unusual for us to begin to "make up stuff" about why others agree or disagree.

Don't fall into the trap of making stuff up about others without even knowing you're doing it. Understand your personal style, then understand how style differences drive and bias decisions.

Ira S. Wolfe is founder of Success Performance Solutions (http://www.super-solutions.com), a consulting firm specializing in helping employers fit the right employees to the job, on the team, with the company culture. He has also authored two books, Business Values and Motivators and The Perfect Labor Storm. He is also the a frequent guest on TV and Radio Cable shows as well as the subject of several interviews for the likes of Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek Online. You can contact Ira at iwolfe@super-solutions.com or 800.803.4303.

Let the Intern Do It - Affordable Help for Your Business

Do you have more projects than time? Help might be as close as your nearest... Read More

10 Critical Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Consultant

Talk to as many consultants as you can before hiring one. Even if you have... Read More

The 10 Realities of Change

I've seen several articles that begin with lines like "the only constant today is change."... Read More

ISO 9001 Compliant Program: Steps to Build

Implementing an ISO 9001 system represents a major effort. However, all of that effort can... Read More

Vampire Meetings and How To Slay Them

Meetings can be like mythical vampires ? sucking the life out of intelligent and creative... Read More

Knowledge Mapping

This module focuses on the basics of Knowledge Mapping, its importance, principles, and methodologies.Key QuestionsWhat... Read More

Tales from the Corporate Frontlines: The Responsibility for Job Security

This article relates to the Job Security competency, commonly evaluated in employee satisfaction surveys. This... Read More

Help Your Employees Prepare for a Performance Appraisal

PREPARING EMPLOYEES FOR THE PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL INTERVIEWS: Remind employees to give some thought to the... Read More

Improving Patient Sensitivity in Doctors and Hospital Staff

COMPANY/ORGANIZATIONA South Florida hospital. The CEO of the hospital saw the need to provide exceptional... Read More

Tales from the Corporate Frontlines: The Role of Character in Leadership

This article relates to the Senior /Top Level Management competency, designed to measure satisfaction levels... Read More

Encouraging Behavior That Gets Results

You're the boss, and you have every reason to feel good about your organization.You've built... Read More

Avoid These Seven Deadly Dangers Of Outsourcing

Here are seven dangers of outsourcing your software development. They become deadly if your career... Read More

Training Adults, Not Teaching Children

Adults are vulnerable to personal and professional embarrassment from poor performance in the training program.... Read More

10 Fool Proof Ways To Intensify Your Profits

1. Create benefit intensifiers for your list of ad copy benefits. Example, The Benefit: "Save... Read More

Nine Steps to Help You Develop Your Potential

Go into any bookstore and you will find a big selection of... Read More

What Every Manager Should Know About How to Become An Effective Executive

In his book, The Effective Executive, Peter Drucker pointed out that the effective executive is... Read More

Making Your Workers Your Partners

There is an inherent conflict between owners and managers of companies. The former want, for... Read More

Getting Information From Prospects

You're at a networking function and you've made that all-important contact. You want to get... Read More

Employee Turnover: Is It Eating Up Your Profits?

Keeping the cost of doing business down, yet providing a quality product or service, is... Read More

How to get an Audiences Attention

A trainer dryly discussing how to motivate people in an organization basically has just another... Read More

Power of Pinpointing Accountability

I have always said that if I were to write a book on effective management... Read More

Temporary Employees and Operational Problems; Your Use of Temps Might Reveal Warning Signs

A recent Washington Post article, described the life of temporary employees working at an automobile... Read More

DIVERSITY is a BIG word -- With A HUGE Business IMPACT

Second thought! Just in case. YOU or someone you personally know may fit the following... Read More

Managers? Biggest Blunders

Nobody's perfect, including the boss. Managers, we polled recently, acknowledged making a number of mistakes,... Read More

Learn How To Get The Most From Your Team

Being a leader isn't easy. Every one looks to you to make decisions, resolve disputes,... Read More

The Power of Positive Communication

Communication is the key to your success at work, at play, and at home. Here... Read More

Knowledge Management - Creating a Sustainable Yellow Pages System

How can I "know who knows" None of us can personally know more than around... Read More

The 5 Things Great Managers Sense about their People, Every Day

Using all of your senses, to help you test how your people are feeling in... Read More

Listening Strategically

Usually, we're most interested in communicating outwardly; getting our messages out to others. But finding... Read More

Workplace Security Plan: Does Your Company Have One?

Consultant's Perspective...The threat of violence whether it emanates from a disgruntled employee or the threat... Read More

Collaboration: 3 Keys to Keeping Your Documents from Getting Lost in the Shuffle

Often, collaborating documents in a team or in a business can feel like a complex... Read More

14 Ways to De-Stress Employee Vacations

Employees truly deserve paid vacations. Theystruggle through stressful jobs most of the year,and productivity goes... Read More

The Significance of the Mundane

This article begins with a tip of the hat to a scholarly publication called the... Read More

5 Creative Evolutionary Leadership Niche Strategies!

I have a short story to share with you about an important skill many leaders... Read More

Why and How to Work with a Consultant

A good consultant provides specialist abilities and experience, innovative ideas, second opinions (reality checks), unbiased... Read More

Is Your Employee Newsletter Management Propaganda?

It should not be. If it is an effective newsletter, it will serve the needs... Read More

Organizing The Information

Putting a piece of paper in a file folder is easy; finding it again is... Read More

Turn Your Speech Into A Leadership Talk

My experience working with thousands of leaders world wide for the past two decades teaches... Read More

How Your Business Can Pick A Software Developer

Eventually, your business is going to need to have some software development. Your business is... Read More

Help for the Meeting-Weary Manager

Most of us have found ourselves working on a team at one time or another.... Read More

Why You Need a Business Plan

This article was originally called "Do You Need a Business Plan?"The title was changed because... Read More

Hiring Tip -- Picking The Best Candidates

I often hear leaders from all types of organizations ask questions about hiring the right... Read More

How to Enhance Quality in Your Business

Every business must strive to provide quality products and services to customers. To achieve that... Read More

Why Would Anyone Hold a Bad Meeting?

Pssst, want a stock tip that will make you rich? Okay, here it is: phone... Read More

Diversity in the Workplace: Benefits, Challenges and Solutions

Workplace diversity refers to the variety of differences between people in an organization. That sounds... Read More

The Business Shaman: Exploring the Mystery of Success!

Note: This article was written for a internet business site. It is a promo for... Read More

Hire The Person, Not The Resume

"? [get] the right people on the bus, the right people in the right seats... Read More

How to Coach Your Employees - 5 Simple Steps Anyone Can Do!

Want to get more from your people, but you don't know how? Are you up... Read More

Experiences of Management Coaching (Part 2)

In our experience, we have found that there are several reasons managers fail to get... Read More

Teamwork Training: Learning to Build a Successful Team

Teamwork is a process that can be experienced outdoors and well as in the workplace.... Read More