At times when we meet with people individually or participate in a meeting, we leave believing that we enjoyed a great interaction.
Over time it has become clear that to ensure great interactions individually or with teams we should focus on leaving them with three things:
Clarity. Belief. Energy.
The Cambridge dictionary defines clarity as the quality of being clear and easy to understand.
In a great interaction or meeting people come out with a clearer understanding of a situation, with greater precision of knowledge, and clear-cut next steps than before the meeting or interaction.
Doubts are cleared. Any mixed signals clarified. Hedges eliminated.
Everybody is clear as to what they need to do next and who is doing what.
One leaves the interaction better informed and equipped to tackle whatever the challenge or problem might be.
Now think of the meetings one has when people come out more confused, more unsure of what to do. We have all attended these group gropes or even individual one on one meetings which were thick with dense mumbo-jumbo, buzz-word bingo, oozy obfuscation and mixed signals that left us more mystified and doubtful than before we had the interaction.
One way of ensuring clarity is to speak simply using plain language and have people play back what the next steps are.
It is one thing to be clear as to what must be done next but as important is to leave an interaction with a greater belief in your or your team’s ability to do what is necessary.
Many managers collapse the mood of a room by berating an individual or team’s performance without some offsetting knowledge or guidance on how they can do things better or improve themselves.
A great interaction occurs when one leaves a meeting feeling more confident about one’s capabilities in tackling what must be done. Even if one had received feedback in a meeting about not having done a good job it is key to leave with guidance and a sense of motivation that one can fix the situation and finding a remedy.
A dirge like procession of individuals with hang-dog faces, droopy shoulders and shuffling feet is not just a downer but a negative vibe that echoes through everybody who interacts with the individuals whose self-belief was drained out of them.
A key is to leave someone feeling better about themselves after you meet them rather than worse even if you provide them with less than positive information by showing how you or another individual tackled the same problem, reminding them of the times they recovered when they were knocked back by a challenge or sharing your individual stories of tackling similar situations.
We are living in a time of great change, accelerating velocity of business and multiple pressures.
This is leaving people often drained, burned out and wanting to just curl up under a blanket from the noise and tension.
Great interactions leave people rejuvenated, replenished, and refreshed.
While clarity is about the mind, belief about the heart, energy is about the body.
Bringing energy to a meeting can boost others. Energy is contagious. Other ways to leave people more energized can involve leveraging humor, providing the opportunity to take a break, or bringing empathy and understanding on the forces that drain energy with some ideas of fixing them that can leave people with a boost.
Regardless of whether one interacts in person or remotely, individually or in groups, how senior or junior one is the likelihood of having a great meeting or interaction is likely to improve if one focusses on leaving everybody you interact with clarity, belief, and energy.
Photography by Paul Wakefield
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One comment on “Great Interactions!”
Some interesting and uplifting ideas … xxx
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