Some meetings have participants who dominate discussion. They speak first or forcefully and “hijack” the direction of subsequent contributions. Other participants may remain silent or focus on their reactions to the first individual. The breadth of possible comments may be lost. Possible new insights and creativity are lost. Fortunately, you can choose a structure for your…

Does this sound familiar? You are in a meeting where the discussion seems to be going on without building towards a conclusion. You are not sure whether all the participants are even following the exchange. To top this off, you are only a participant and not leading this meeting. You can’t intervene to “fix” the…

Effective discussions can build commitment to decisions, but many meetings fail to do this. One reason for this can be participant assumptions about the nature of the decision. For example, participants may assume they are providing input to the leader’s decision. Meanwhile, the leader assumes s/he is gaining their commitment to the decision. You may…

Dialogue can lead to more insightful and well-supported decisions. People feel heard and ideas are carefully considered. But effective dialogue is hard to achieve. It requires a respectful exchange of views. This can be difficult when the issue is complex and individuals have different stakes in the outcome. The usual way to create more respectful…

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