How to Get Candid Feedback in Your Next Meeting
Facilitating dialogue in the workplace is not always easy. It can be difficult to get employees to speak honestly and candidly. A recent blog post by Adriano Pianesi highlighted some great ways to get your meeting participants to feel comfortable enough to express themselves.
Principles for hosting honest conversations
- Create a comfortable meeting space. A comfortable meeting space is one that evokes a feeling of intimacy and informality.
- Ensure that the meeting is about something your attendees care about. When meetings are focused on items attendees care about, they begin to think together. They are less distracted and less likely to spin off in different directions.
- Encourage curiosity. Tell attendees that learning together is the goal of the meeting. Ask them to be curious and listen for differences, surprises, and challenges.
How do you do it?
- Stay away from conference rooms. Be creative with your venue. Arrange seats differently rather than in rows. Have individuals sit in small groups.
- Ask questions that do not need immediate action steps. Ask questions that invite inquiry or discovery.
- Do not monopolize the discussion but join in. The facilitator should act as a peer. That way, everyone learns together.
- Encourage attendees to move around. Allow everyone to meet everyone else. Encourage them to have fun.
- At the end of the meeting, encourage attendees to share a common theme. What kind of theme arose across the conversations?
- Be mindful of time. Do not allow the meeting to go over the scheduled end time.