Article Details

Set your Meetings apart

What you will get: Tips for improving the quality of your meetings


“All’s Fair in Love and Meetings”


So how many meetings have you attended in the last year?


a. 0-10
b. 11-50
c. 51-75
d. 76-100
e. More than I can possible remember!


Now how would you rate the quality of those meetings?


a. Please God get me out of here, I am losing the will to live and will end up stabbing that egotistical idiot if he doesn’t shut up
b. Boring, boring, boring
c. What’s the point – my life is too short?
d. When I came in this room I am sure my hair wasn’t grey?
e. I will kill the next person who speaks.
f. All of the above


So why is it meetings can be so bad?


What goes wrong and what can you do so you stop wasting your life stuck in rooms losing the will to live?


Well here’s where the latest neuroscience can help you.


You see…


The biggest problem happens in meetings when we feel they are not fair. It’s like we have a fairness switch in our brain, and as soon as someone hits it and we think things are not fair, all sorts of negative things happen.


Things that trigger your fairness switch could be…


  • That egotistical a**hole who always speaks for the sake of speaking
  • Feelings that you are not listened to
  • Unfair and undemocratic ways of making decisions
  • Poor chairing
  • Lack of structure and focus
  • People arriving late
  • People arriving unprepared
  • People not listening


And once your fairness switch in your brain is triggered, here’s what happens:


  • You use more oxygen and glucose
  • Your working memory becomes worse
  • Your creativity is impaired
  • Your stress levels go up
  • Your immune system is less effective
  • Your ability to learn is reduced
  • Your productivity, focus and effectiveness levels are all decreased.


No wonder so many meetings are a waste of time!


Just imagine a whole bunch of fairness switches being triggered in one room!


So what can you do about this?


Make fairness a core value of all of your meetings.


And define exactly what fairness means in terms of specific behaviours.


Things like…


  • Arriving on time
  • Allowing ALL team members to share their opinion
  • Preventing dominant members from taking too much “talk time”


…you get the idea.


So I’m off to take part in a fair and productive meeting. How about you?


To your success.







Steve Neale
“Europe’s Leading Expert on Personal and Professional Growth”


Psychologist, Executive Coach, EI Practitioner, Award Winning Trainer, International Author, Psychodynamic Therapist, Hypnotherapist, Mindfulness Instructor, International Speaker, Creator of the LPS, Creator of the Accredited Masters in High Performance Leadership

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