Makarios Consulting Blog

5 Game-changing Behaviors to Make Your Next Meeting a Homerun

When was the last time you considered it a joy to be in a two-day meeting? For me (Rip), it was within the past two weeks. What made my client’s annual leadership team meeting a pleasure was five healthy behaviors that were on full display throughout the two days. And, I assure you, these behaviors made the meeting a homerun for each person around the table.

5 behaviors for a home run meeting

  1. Listening to understand

The first outstanding behavior every person demonstrated was listening to understand. This involved much more than simply giving each person the opportunity to speak. Listening to understand meant that each person knew their voice would be heard with the intention to fully understand what was being said and why it was important to the speaker.

2. Respecting one another

Listening to understand flowed out of a second healthy behavior, that of respecting one another. Each individual knew they would be respected when they spoke, regardless of whether or not everyone agreed with their position or opinion or idea. This respect created a safe environment where dialogue could take place without fear or acrimony or worry.

3. Speaking only when they had something meaningful to share

Because each person knew they had the respect of their colleagues – unequivocally and unconditionally – they practiced a third healthy behavior: speaking only when they had something meaningful to share. In dysfunctional team settings, people frequently feel the need to speak up in order to protect their status or promote their cause or prove their worth. On this team, none of that was necessary. Mutual respect made them comfortable with both speech and silence.

4. Giving constructive feedback

A fourth healthy behavior in evidence was giving constructive feedback. Each person on the team provided feedback for every other person on the team. Not off-the-cuff generalities, but specific, actionable, relevant comments that would generate good outcomes for the individual and the business. Clearly, they had each reflected on what they would say, weighed their words carefully, and positioned their messages with care and respect. As a result, that feedback was willingly received and, I am certain, will be acted upon.

5. Setting goals and resolving issues for the good of the business

Finally, the team was committed to setting goals and resolving issues for the good of the business. Their personal wish lists or pet projects were not the priority. Every person had their eyes focused on the success of the company as a whole. Good projects were tabled in favor of the best projects. Difficult issues were addressed rather than kicking the can down the road. Solutions were evaluated from a broad cross-functional perspective, not from the viewpoint of a narrow agenda.

Watching the meeting unfold, I saw something else: the more the team members demonstrated these healthy behaviors, the more motivated they were to keep practicing them. It was a positive, reinforcing feedback loop. They willingly put energy and effort into these behaviors because they liked the dynamic, energized environment it created and the practical, tangible value for the business that it drove.

These five behaviors may be challenging to implement, but they are inherently simple in nature. If your team has not been fully displaying them, you can make conscious improvements as early as your next meeting. When you and your team get a taste of what it means to hit a home run when you get together, there will be no going back!