Solve the 3 Most Common Meeting Maladies with One Simple Tool

Think Alone before Thinking Together and Banish Groupthink.

For the next few months, I’ll be Working Out Loud, creating a book on designing and facilitating creative conversations.

Today I started that experiment. I’ve put together an outline of a book I’m going to write and will be live streaming it weekly on my Podcast and Facebook page. This is a little write up and capture of what I’ve covered: Three Common Meeting Maladies

Episode One, in all it’s glory

1. First Speaker Syndrome

This is one of the biggest issues I see with group conversations. Whoever speaks first, all responses are in…ehem…response to that. Simply having everyone write down what they think first and mapping the group’s thinking means that we can process the overlap and see the gaps. If you have a persistent First Speaker Syndrome sufferer ( or a HiPPO) in your team, you know what I’m talking about.

2. Wrong Room Syndrome

Do you show up at a meeting and ask “Am I in the wrong place? Because y’all are *not* solving the *real* problem in here.”

Wrong Room Syndrome happens because of mis-framing, over-framing or under-framing a problem. It also happens when the invite isn’t accurate, or there isn’t one! Stopping, stepping back and using Think Alone, Think Together to reframe the challenge on the table is very, very helpful.

3. The Plane Can never land

If you’re a They Might Be Giants fan, you’ll know this reference. If you don’t, you’re welcome!

If your team conversations never land, run out of time, don’t launch or misfire, you know what this feels like. I love landing the plane for groups. It’s my job! That’s how I describe a meeting or workshop that gets to a real and satisfying place. A solid landing means you can move on to the next thing. Never landing means you are stuck, forever.

Seeing the problem in a shared way, making fresh connections, positive closure

Thinking alone before thinking together (TATT) and using visual tools for your group conversations will make things better. I’ll talk more about all of this next week!

Big or Small, Internal or External

BTW, it doesn’t matter if you’re in charge or not, if this is a one-on-one or a day-long workshop, or week long sprint…TATT will help!

A Bonus tool: Sketchstorm instead of brainstorm

I write about this tool here, and you can download the template here. It takes the “Think Alone, Think Together” idea and puts it into the simplest format possible!

…and if you’ve made it this far, consider signing up for updates about the next episode!