How Can Emotional Intelligence help in Meetings Dynamics ?

– Posted in: Emotional Intelligence

Like any human interaction meetings are filled with non-rational and emotional dynamics. Adding your Emotional Intelligence “tool kit” to your logical and practical tips to run a meeting can make a big difference to your meeting outcome.

As Ron Ashkenas articulates in his article The Hidden Side of Meetings, “Managers at every level almost universally complain that many of their meetings are a waste of time. It’s an old story, repeated over and over: “We didn’t have an agenda.” “We didn’t manage the time well.” … It’s a long list of dysfunctional behaviors that are familiar to just about anyone who has worked in an organization.”
Ron goes on wondering “why is it so difficult for organizations to develop and sustain more effective meeting patterns? The answer lies in the fact that meetings are not simply logical business mechanisms, but are also social systems that are embedded in the cultural and emotional reality of an organization. This means that whoever runs a meeting also has to take into consideration a number of non-rational dynamics that aren’t covered in the standard meeting manuals.”

Emotional Intelligence can help you address the emotional reality of your meeting and your organization. This information in turn will allow you to decide what is the best strategy to achieve your meeting goals. Making sure that you fully use the following E.I. competencies can make a huge difference and help you make the most out of your next meeting:

First, fine tune your Emotional Self Awareness! It will ensure that you have a clear awareness of your own emotions and the resulting behavior. You can’t be aware of others if you’re not aware of yourself. Having clarity of awareness of yourself will allow you to choose how to behave rather than react to your own emotions and to others.

Second, fully use all your Empathy! It will help you tune into others feelings and allow you to “emotionally read” other people. This will help you assess the emotional agenda or baggage that each participant brings to the meeting and decide on the best strategy to manage it.

Excluding these non-rational and emotional aspects of meeting management is no longer an option. Keeping them in mind and understanding them will help you make a difference and take your meetings where you want them to go.

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