Three Tips for a Successful Meeting

March 13, 2008 at 3:43 pm Leave a comment

Tip one:  form a discussion chorus

During a meeting it is important to repeat the same statements several times, a cyclical act which should only by terminated by invoking the phrase ‘action item’ which very effectively schedules another enjoyable cyclical discussion, or a discussion chorus, if you will, for the next meeting. It is not always necessary that more than one person take part in the cyclical discussion, though it is often useful to have an “audience” by which I mean other people in the room that are waiting to either rephrase the topic in a new and different way…that means the same thing only different…or to begin their own cyclical discussion topic.  But a truly skilled group-member can carry on a discussion cycle independently. 

Tip two: create your own language

Also, it is useful, and will help in the creation of cyclical discussion topic, to use a form of group jargon.  This is a sort of shorthand sub-language and is often made up acronyms and metonymic phrases (words or phrases that stand for, or represent other concepts or entities) that can be used to make general interactions more efficient, in the sense that everyone in the group understands the acronym and you don’t need to define it every time.  In fact, group-speak is an excellent tool for creating a discussion chorus, where each member of the group takes time to experiment with the new phrase, let it roll around on their tongue, and try it out in the sheltered context of the group.  Imagine the excitement when a new member joins the group! 

Tip three: create interesting metaphors to “explain” things

Closely related is the use of metaphor and metaphoric stories to elaborate on the running refrain.  In this case each member of the group has to come up with their own metaphor to one-up their group-mate.  For example, one group member might say “awash in a sea of information” while another group member, picking up on the challenge, throws down the gauntlet and responds, “well, I’m facing a fire hose of data.”  (top that sucker!).

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Entry filed under: feed my pet brain.

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