Want great meetings? Talk less

What’s a great meeting? Part of it is that everyone can participate. The talkative people don’t talk too much, and the quieter people get a chance to talk.

Some places formalize this by asking people to “step up/step back.” That is, if you’re quiet, set up and speak up. If you’re talkative, step back and listen up.

But some folks really have a challenge stepping back.

The Chief Happiness Officer blog offers up Five simple ways to STFU in meetings

  1. Put your hand over your mouth
  2. Ask some great questions
  3. Keep track of how often you blab
  4. Notice how you feel when you’re quiet
  5. Ask yourself a simple question: “Is what I’m about to say something I need to say or something the other participants need to hear?”

(For the acronym challenged, STFU is “Shut the F**k up.)

Great suggestions, and thank you to Jeff Brooks for the recommendation.

3 thoughts on “Want great meetings? Talk less

  1. TeacherPatti

    Can we mandate this at teachers’ meetings??? :) I often pass the time playing “bingo”, cuz I know exactly what’s going to be said: we aren’t paid enough; the kids are horrible; the job is too hard; no one respects us; the district sucks. (And btw, I only agree with one of those statements)

  2. admin Post author

    Whatever the meeting is, it’s hard to get mandate for this. You have to have a strong chair to call people out if they talk too much or go way off topic, even if most people would be grateful for the intervention.

    I like the teaser, though, I wonder which of the statements you agree with. I’m pretty sure it’s not “the kids are horrible,” and I know you love your job, so I doubt you think it’s too hard.


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