You set an hour or two to meet with your employees and discuss essential matters. However, you end up going beyond the allotted time since the discussion gets heated. Your employees might even be at each other’s throats during the meeting. Something needs to change if it usually happens. Here are the reasons behind it, and what you can do.
You failed to set rules
When you have a meeting, the rules must be clear. You should know who will speak first. Then, if someone wants to respond or provide an alternative suggestion, there should also be rules. It can be a recipe for disaster when you allow employees to run free and speak whenever they want.
You’re not in control
If you decide to head the discussion, you must be in control. You can’t let anyone talk over you or disrespect the flow of the conversation. Sure, you want your employees to feel comfortable when speaking, but you can’t let them go wild. It’s still a professional setting, and everyone needs to respect the boundaries.
You didn’t inform the participants about the agenda
Before the meeting starts, send an email to discuss the agenda. Make sure everyone understands what the topics will be and the potential questions. It allows your employees to prepare themselves and even research the best answers. Expect the flow to be smoother than when you only throw everything on the spot. For instance, if you want to work with a funfair stall for hire provider for a corporate event, the committee members must know the initial plans. Then, they can think of ways to improve the project or suggest alternatives.
You let people fight
The problem can also be from the top. You allow your employees to answer each other and not do anything to stop the situation. Worse, you instigate the fight as if you’re hosting “The Apprentice.” Your employees might tend to find ways to impress you; then, it leads to an ugly discussion at times. Make it clear that the goal isn’t to be the best but for everyone to improve.
There are no snacks
It might seem shallow, but creating a conducive meeting place helps in reducing tension. For example, imagine if your meeting went beyond lunchtime and everyone in the room is hungry. No one wants to end the discussion since the conversation is essential. When there are snacks, it’s easier to calm the situation. Sometimes, food is enough to help people feel better.
You look too serious
It doesn’t matter how serious the topic is. You must maintain a positive disposition. Let everyone know that even if you try to solve a challenging problem, you can get out of it. The meeting will take you a step closer to the solution.
Identifying the reasons for the existence of these problems is the start. Then, find ways to prevent another tense meeting in the future. It can be counterproductive. It takes a while, but things will get better.