This blog post is the second in a five part series that covers the top 5 meeting killers that are the root causes of most ineffective meetings that we all are forced to suffer through. By combating these 5 meeting killers you can realize tremendous improvements in your meeting effectiveness and reduce the amount of time that you and your coworkers spend in meetings.
A common killer of meetings performance involves a fundamental lack of personal accountability throughout the meeting process, both on the part of meeting leaders and attendees. Participants who consistently show up late, unprepared and distracted contribute to this problem just as much as the meeting leader who arrives without a thoughtful plan and approach for maximizing the use of stakeholders’ precious time. The importance of creating a culture of accountability cannot be understated especially when it comes to collaborative meetings.
We define a collaborative meeting as follows:
A collaborative gathering of two or more people designed to advance an organization, project or opportunity by driving discussion, decision and action, while fostering team alignment and accountability.
Notice the usage of the word fostering. Fostering accountability means holding attendees responsible to adhere to decisions, take action and share the information necessary to move business forward.
On the one hand, a system of accountability confronts individuals that leverage ambiguity to avoid being held accountable. On the other hand, it addresses individuals of low accountability that make commitments (that is, accept action items, acknowledge deliverable dates and agree to decisions) but fail to follow through.
Regardless of the situation, the goal is to ensure accountability is clear and develop a process to reinforce it. There is an important distinction between enforcing accountability and having direct authority over an individual. A common misconception among meeting leaders is, “I can’t hold attendees accountable because they don’t report to me.” But a skilled meeting leader uses the meeting process to bring stakeholders to account in a professional manner.
Do you find a lack of accountability in your meetings. Leave us a comment and let us know your experiences.