What exhausts us about the mere thought of meetings is that time is eaten up by circular discussions that take too long to get anywhere or end up nowhere.
Having the awareness to keep the conversation on a course that lends to positive collaboration makes a big difference in productivity and ups the chances of success. Having a structure to turn to when having a conversation with our team, whether it’s 1-1 or a group, helps it stay focused on solutions, be productive and exciting, and everyone leaves pumped to go execute.
When entering a conversation, whether it’s brainstorming, problem solving, goal setting, or feedback oriented, putting this structure in place allows for it to kick off on the right foot, with all parties in a positive state. THAT is a major step to getting it right. **The order here is key!**
The Structure of a High-Level Conversation:
5 levels of focus
Vision: Starting the conversation with a lively discussion of why we are putting the upcoming effort in, what it would look like and feel like to get to that point, causes a heightened creative energy around the topic. It puts all parties in a toward state because it’s discussing possibilities and potential.
Planning: Vision is lofty, broad, big. Planning lays out the milestones needed to get there. Less emotion, more road map. This also provides people certainty, a major necessity, as the how part begins to take shape.
Detail: Actionable steps, tactical. Further breaks down the planning into actions. **Most of the time we start here when we have conversations. And that is what gets us in trouble. When you start here, it can swiftly get caught up in focusing on failed attempts and hurdles. Detail can be a very comfortable place, it feels like we are paying a lot of attention to the guts of it all, but in reality all that information ultimately is ‘interesting not useful’.
Problem: Following this structure for conversations is what helps because it is approached from a toward state, there can be some gain from discussing it. But if we come at a problem head on it puts all the focus on the problem. It takes a lot more time to dig us out of that hole and start tapping into energy that leads to solutions.
Drama: There really isn’t any good place for this, just saying the word drama you can feel the weight attached, this is where emotionally charged baggage lives. Again, by focusing here it takes a lot of time to get everyone’s energy towards one that lends itself to productivity, ideas, and collaboration.