How To Have Effective Meetings
Walk Out Of A Debate Feeling Like A Winner
Everyone likes a good argument, be it trivial or a formal debate. Airing your views trying to win the other person to your side and your way of thinking can be quite exhilarating. However, most arguments can turn into full out brawls if not handled properly. Constructive debates can become emotional fights if you don’t maintain a level head and some wit.
Meetings in a business environment are a good example. During a meeting, negotiations are made, and there are debates (heated ones) about how things should be done in the business. These meetings can get out of hand, leading to serious arguments and quarrels, and the meeting can end on an inconclusive note. Effective meetings are ones that everyone emerges a winner, while everything goes smoothly and without qualms. How do you have an effective meeting in your organisation?
#1 – Listen To What The Other Party Has To Offer
There are two sides to every argument. You aren’t the only one with a view; the other party has their own views as well. The tendency in some meetings or debates is to interrupt the other person frequently or talk over the person just to be heard.
An effective meeting does not work this way. Once you have made your point, stay quiet and listen to the other person’s points. Sometimes the silence even disconcerts them, making them bumble through their argument.
#2 – Know Your Facts
An effective meeting can only be fruitful if everyone involved knows (and can prove) his or her facts. If you are pushing for hiring freelance workers in your company, give proven statistics and other material that show that freelance workers will be a good fit for your company.
Do not make up your argument as you go: be sure of what you are arguing for or against, and you should be able to back your points up as well.
#3 – Keep Emotions Down
It is very easy to get emotional when the other party isn’t seeing or agreeing with your point. However, you shouldn’t let your emotions get the best of you. Keep calm and maintain a level head, talking softly and steadily even when the opposing side is trying to get a reaction out of you. You could win your debate just by being soft-spoken!
#4 – Negotiation with a Smile and Wit
When negotiating for a contract, for a position, or for some benefit, one of you is going to get less of what they actually want. This does not mean that you should be mean and insulting, whether you are losing or winning.
Smile when you talk, and even throw in some witty comments and humorous statements. Lightening up the atmosphere with smiles and humour is a good way to keep emotions down, and everyone walks away with good feelings.
#5 – Keep to the Subject
Temptations may come in the form of different topics, topics that vary from what the main argument is about. When you are losing an argument, you may be tempted to change the topic. Whether this is you or the other party, don’t let this happen. Make sure you stick to the subject at hand and finish it before moving to other topics.
#6 – No Personal Attack
Everyone is entitled to his or her opinions. Do not tell someone outright that they are wrong during an argument. This is considered a direct attack on their intelligence, and the debate could escalate quickly into a fight. Even when you know that they are wrong, show them this with good counter-arguments.
Prove your points with verifiable evidence, and be charming as you do this. In the end, they can agree good-naturedly that you have a stronger point, and everyone leaves happy.
#7 – Always Aim for a Win-Win Solution
Whatever the argument is about, always try to make both parties leave the meeting feeling like winners. In a debate about the usefulness of freelance workers in your small business, or the lack of thereof, you can decide that, rather than hire freelancers right off the bat, you would hire a few on a trial basis. This will satisfy both parties, and everyone wins. A win-win solution keeps the peace and validates the position of both parties in the debate.
Meetings are about gathering people and picking their minds for ideas, solutions. Quoting Dale Carnegie, “When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.”, it is imperative to aim for effective meetings and walk out as a winner.
This was a guest post by John Packman from Karrass check them out here.