Embrace the sub-meeting

These days, meetings can take place in a conference room, video-conference, web conference or Starbucks. Sometimes there is a pre-meeting BEFORE the big client meeting, just to make sure everyone is on the same page. Sometimes there is a post-meeting to discuss what you discussed. And there’s one more meeting you attend whether you like it or…

Turn it on

When you ask co-workers to turn on webcams during an online meeting, some will say “Sure!” and appreciate the social connectedness it brings.  Some will reject it faster than a bushman afraid of losing his soul.  Everyone wants to look their best at work, but why is webcam video so different than a face to…

The Gilligan Effect

Have you ever told your team “OK let’s brainstorm…” and then the free flow of great ideas didn’t exactly flow?  Maybe the environment or timing was not quite right.  Maybe the presence of  executives made it too risky to share freely.  Maybe you just needed a good dose of the Gilligan Effect. There’s a good chance…

Shut the door! Geez!!

I sat next to a group of cacophonous card players on the train this morning.  I have nothing against people socializing on a long commute, but they were shouting and laughing at FULL volume, as if there were no one else on that car working or sleeping.  I asked myself (as I plugged in my noise-cancelling…

The heartbeat of a meeting

Have you ever attended a formal meeting or special event and wondered “why all the rules?”  There are so many traditions, customs and parliamentary procedures… there’s no way to keep track or live up to all of them.  And you may think “why bother?”  Why not just wing it? I’m sure you’ve had to sit…

The key to influence

We had an interesting presentation about influence at work recently.  One of our executives led us through an exercise where each of us had to sell a “magic” pen to the person sitting next to us.  It was a compressed timeframe and the pressure was on.  Afterwards, she asked which person talked the most in…