March 25, 2020
"You don't build consensus around what people think. You build consensus around why they think it." ~Terrence Metz
Chances are good that you’ve got a meeting scheduled today. Assuming that it starts on time, how many of Terrence Metz’s eight meeting killers will your team slay before agendas are abandoned, egos bruised, and goals sidelined?
As managing director of MG Rush Facilitation Training and Coaching, Terrence has built a career helping businesses and organizations conduct faster, more productive meetings. His insights could revolutionize your next meeting and promote higher-quality outcomes.
“We would be better off running more workshops and having fewer meetings,” says Terrence of the stagnation prevalent in meeting culture today. He notes that once-productive sessions have devolved into little more than discussions.
“The problem is most people can't get prepared well enough to know what they would do in a workshop environment. They use meetings to lift the fog high enough that they can figure out what they should do until the next meeting, and that's quite dastardly.”
It’s no wonder that businesses and organizations waste precious energy trying to reach consensus when a majority of the decision-makers don’t even have time to adequately prepare. Things rapidly disintegrate from there, often at the expense of the end goal which, in Terrence’s view, is the only reason to have a meeting in the first place. “Know what done looks like,” he says and work backward from there.
Distribution Talk is produced by The Distribution Team, a consulting services firm dedicated to helping wholesale distribution clients remove barriers to profitability, generate wealth and achieve personal goals.
This episode was edited & mixed by The Creative Impostor Studios.
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Touching on the idea of consensus again, Terrence is clear about the difference between a kumbaya group hug and a workable agreement.
“Yes, everybody has to agree. But they don't have to agree it's their favorite [decision]. They have to agree the resolution is robust enough that they will personally support it, that they will not fault it and try to unravel it.”
It’s a level of understanding born from years of observing group dynamics and successfully coaching participants toward a common goal. And, yes, he’s facilitated consensus-building across the great generational working divide.
The key, he says, is for facilitators to acknowledge the diversity in the room. That’s where younger decision-makers have the edge, Terrence says. Gens Y and Z are generally more willing to accept a broader range of individual working styles within the confines of a team goal than their older counterparts.
So, what about Terrence’s remaining meeting killers? You’ll have to listen in! Then head over to the MG Rush blog for free facilitator resources and additional tips. Bonus book club recommendations mentioned in this episode: Harvard University’s Howard Gardner PhD, and an old favorite The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey.