If you are leading a team of specialist professionals, it can be a challenge to make them enthusiastic for your next meeting. There is a chance that they would much rather continue working on their own project. In this article I will give you 4 unusual tips on how you can motivate them to actively contribute to a terrible meeting.
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You lead a team of professionals. Real specialists in their field. They prefer to only work in their field. They find team meetings really terrible and a waste of their time.
This is certainly recognizable for 1 person in my network. In this blog I will give you 4 tips for what you can do to ensure that professionals want to return to their workplace even faster.
1. Begin with a dance
There is a good chance that your professionals will stay put or, in fact, walk away. Exercise will have an effect on the blood circulation and on the mindset of your professionals. If you want to make that clear to them, you will have to come up with a (scientific) proof and have them do a few simple stretch exercises.
This will undoubtedly lie outside the comfort zone of most of your professionals, but I am convinced that it will have an impact on the meeting.
2. Put nothing on the agenda
Invite your professionals for a meeting and do not put anything on the agenda or just a vague agenda item. Ask everyone what they want to talk about. Useless talking without a goal will be terrible for them.
Professionals need a clear framework. They prefer to receive a detailed agenda with a start and end time. Ask them in advance which agenda items need to be discussed and let them prepare it for themselves. Find topics that are of interest to them.
That means that you have to figure out what your professionals are keeping busy with, in one way or another. They probably won’t tell that in a group meeting so make a (lunch) appointment with them individually to find out more. If you know each other better, it is also easier to work together.
3. Do an icebreaker
See 1. but this activity is especially for people who are no icebreaker types. It is called “In or Out” and only takes 5 minutes. The professionals do not have to move.
What you need is a flip chart with markers and a list of “Ins and Outs”. You can find it at the end of every year in newspapers, magazines or search the internet for trends for the coming year.
Go through a list of “Ins” and “Outs” with your professionals. Explain that you may not agree with what is on the list, but it is nevertheless printed. What is in and out depends on the behavior of people. There is never a universal agreement for all of our behavior.
Ask the now group to make a list of what “In” is and what “Out” is for the organization together. You can also do this for a specific topic that is current at that time.
An additional advantage of this activity is that you as a leader have a better idea of what the professionals expect for the upcoming period in your field. Perhaps this can be discussed in a follow-up consultation.
4. Invite an inspirational speaker
The Success Formula for an inspiring session will be speakers who talk about topics such as “love as a success formula in business” or “12 steps to a happier life in abundance”. There is a good chance that these topics are not very appealing or that they are terribly soft for your professionals.
What you can do is invite a speaker from outside your organization who is also working in the same or an adjacent field. That could be someone from a university or research institute.
Within the DISC communication profile, a group of professionals, often are people who are accurate and conscientious (the C profile). They find processes and quality very important. Main values are high standards, careful analysis and diplomacy. What you can ask yourself as a leader of such a group is:
- whether enough risk is being taken
- to what extent are you not working in too much detail and whether they should not take action?
- whether there is sufficient attention for the emotional and social needs of the group members (see 2)
- what the frustrations and challenges are (see 2 and 3).
for more clarity and tools for better communication and collaboration, you can do a DISC communication test. It also provides insight into how professionals with different communication profiles can work better together. For more information, read this article or this article about effectively dealing with conflicts and contact me.
You can also ask yourself how the culture of your group can contribute to the success of the organization. That will become stronger when the Why, the purpose, the conviction or the WHY becomes clear to the group.
This is a nested WHY and can be different from that of the organization. If this is clear, it will provide solidarity among the group members and connect to the rest of the organization.
The Why of other departments can be different from that of your group of professionals. When it becomes clear what your nested WHY is, it will become clear how you can best work together and what your unique contribution is towards a common goal. For more information about the nested WHY, you can go here and contact me.
How do you motivate your professionals to make an active contribution to a meeting? Let me know in the comment field below. I and the other readers of this article are looking forward to reading from you!
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