What to do if you hear ‘crickets’ in your business meeting!!
Do you have the best intention with running a team meeting only to be rewarded with crickets in your meeting? The team avoiding eye contact with you, not wanting to be asked a question?
Have you felt that frustration…. wanting to make it a great, inspiring meeting and all you get is silence? You’re wanting to pump them up and get them excited and it’s like moving the titanic.
I know that frustration and I know how completely deflating it can feel, so I wanted to give you some tips on what to do to stop the crickets and improve engagement in your meetings.
Firstly, ask yourself the question…. why do you think there is little engagement. Usually it’s one of two things;
- A lack of skill problem
- An attitude problem
So let’s address each one:
1) Do they have the skills to contribute?
Do they understand their part in the contribution to the bigger picture of the business Vision and Goals? What are their specific KPI’s?
Be very specific when it comes to what they are responsible for and communicate to them what this is in a one on one conversation. Then in the meeting ask them specific questions to give you more insight into where they are at. You can even ask them to bring their numbers to the meeting with the intention to help them improve. If they are new, you’ll need to help them with this, to build their confidence, until they can do it on their own.
2) Do they have an attitude problem?
An attitude problem is often a result of a fear. Either fear of failure or a lack of trust.
Do you run a ‘success and failure’ environment or a ‘success and learning opportunity’ environment? Can they trust that they are accepted even if they ‘fail’?
If someone makes a mistake is it seen as a failure or as a new way not to do something – something to celebrate? How you and the rest of the team respond to mistakes will determine how capable they are taking risks, sharing and opening up. Even making the mistake of ‘saying something wrong’ can be enough to paralyse some people into silence.
In your meetings do you speak at them or ask questions? Great leaders listen more than they talk. Ask more open ended questions about what’s going on for them;
“Tell me about ….”
“Whats happening with ….”
‘What’s not working”
Are great ways to ask open ended questions with out getting a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response.
The safer they feel the more they will share. The more vulnerable they feel the less they will share.
If you’d like to have a chat about how you can make your team feel safe in your work environment, comment below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll have a chat to come up with 3 new ways to make your team feel safe enough to share more in your business meetings.