A Vital Factor for Effective Communication

Insight, by definition, is a property of the mind that incorporates numerous related capacities like the abilities to reason, arrange, take care of issues, think uniquely, comprehend thoughts, utilize dialect, and learn. It incorporates the ability to appreciate, examine, and respond to a circumstance. It is the accumulation of our capacities to act and respond.

Howard Gardner, an American psychologist postulated the theory of multiple intelligences. He categorized intelligence on the basis of the different faculties of intellect. He observed that while some exhibit good linguistic skills, others fail to grasp language; while some excel at mathematics and logic, others are proficient in sports. He came up with this concept of the types of core intelligences which were named linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily kinesthetic, and musical. The other forms of core intelligences deal with a person’s ability to understand the feelings of others and one’s ability to know oneself. They were called interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligences respectively.

What is Interpersonal Intelligence?

We are a part of society. Hence along with our abilities to lead life as an individual, it is also important to be able to live and grow as a part of a group. It is important to enhance our social abilities so as to live in society. This includes the abilities to interact with others, understand them, and interpret their behavior. Interpersonal intelligence is something we all need to have but it becomes a vital factor for people in occupations that require interaction with people. Those who have to deal with people as a part of their profession need to have interpersonal intelligence. These include medical practitioners, people in the sales or marketing fields, and teachers.

Interpersonal intelligence relates to interacting with the people around. It is about the understanding of their thoughts and feelings and the ability to respond to them. People with interpersonal intelligence typically fall in the group of extroverts. They are sensitive to the moods and sentiments of others. They possess the ability to cooperate with people around them and are good team players. They can work in a group with ease and efficiency and can understand the temperaments of the others in the group.

Interpersonal Intelligence and Effective Communication

An understanding of others that characterizes interpersonal intelligence, is a vital factor for effective communication. For effective communication to be possible, the parties involved in it should understand each other’s views. To communicate effectively with another person, it is important to know his/her opinions about a subject and put oneself in that person’s shoes so as to understand the reason behind his/her views. As these abilities constitute what is known as interpersonal intelligence, it is a vital factor for effective communication. People who possess it can easily communicate with others.

Understanding

Those who possess an understanding of the moods and emotions of other people can empathize with them. They learn by working with others and take interest in discussions. Thus, people with an interpersonal intelligence make effective communicators.

Expression

Interpersonal communication is defined as the one that occurs between two people who are interdependent and share a common past. Interpersonal skills are needed to interact in social situations. They include the abilities to effectively convey one’s feelings to another person and understand his or her take on the subject. These skills refer to the communicative abilities applied during social interaction. Interpersonal skills facilitate communication wherein conflicts are reduced, interactions become easy, people seem approachable, hassles minimize, and a healthy and productive environment is created.

The Art of Communication

Be it in the work sector or at home; be it a formal communication or a chat with friends, the art of communication underlies them all. It is the knack to effectively communicate which rules every relationship. A professional relationship is guided by effective communication and so is the interaction with family and friends. This underlines the importance of interpersonal intelligence.

Now that we are aware of the importance of interpersonal skills in our lives, let us see how to improve them. Interpersonal intelligence can be developed if one wishes to acquire it. It being a vital factor for effective communication, acquiring interpersonal skills is essential. Learn to be positive and appreciative. Pay attention to the people around you, be observant about their behavior, try to understand their views. Rather than being a complainer, learn to lighten situations with humor. Practice empathy; it is the key to reach out. Improve your interpersonal skills to be an effective communicator and join the camp of the ‘interpersonally intelligent’!

Look at Why You Should Have a Walking Meeting

I can explain to you straightaway why I concur with Steve Jobs when he says that strolling gatherings are better? New landscape, outside air, coordinate daylight, a reason for re-stimulating, and this went with a couple softening calories. I’m certain you are awed as well!

This new wave has taken corporates by storm. It is the concept of not working out after work, but while working. And the focus is directly on seated, indoor meetings, which are slowly becoming obsolete and are being taken over by walking meetings.

You may argue that it is not possible to use the whiteboard to chalk down notes, or jot down important points while you walk.

These may be valid points, but I’m sure you carry your mobile with you all the time. And, if the point made is really important, then use the stylus and write in short, or type it and save it as a draft. But using smartphones too much is also not recommended. The best way would be to carry a small diary and write the points.

The point made above should not deter anyone from conducting walking meetings, because the advantages are way more beneficial than the drawbacks.
» Walking outside the workplace energizes people and makes them active while the different environment encourages new ideas and creativity.

» Walking while talking to each other not only enhances a positive working spirit, but also lowers hierarchical work distinctions due to which people feel more at ease.
» Walking helps in burning calories and stimulating the flow of oxygen around the body. It perks up brain function and also increases problem-solving capability.

» This type of meeting allows employees to work without interruptions and helps maintain confidentiality.

» Walking meetings can save office resources and make the workplace energy-efficient; as the participants are out, their computers can be shut down.
Let’s take a look at some tips to remember before, while, and after conducting a walking meeting.

Before the Meeting

If you have decided to schedule a walking meeting for the first time, inform all the members who will be attending the meeting beforehand. I’m sure everyone is aware of this point, but this time you have to inform them that it will be a walking meeting and not a seated one, and be ready to get a few raised brows and eager inquiries.

You have to chalk out the complete plan in advance. Keep the group small. Only invite those who are really concerned with the topic of the meeting. If you invite a large group, then all of them might not be able to listen to each other or the speaker.

If a large group is inevitable, then a strong leader and some assistants will be required. If some stops or presentations are required, then be ready even for those, but keep a plan for them too. You simply can’t afford to waste everybody’s time due to poor planning.

The route of the meeting should be mapped and informed to all those who are attending. Think of internal roads that are quieter; don’t take routes that are very busy. One more thing to remember, when selecting routes is to choose routes that are flat and have an even surface, without too many inclines, declines, potholes or rough patches. This ensures that the attendees don’t tire themselves too much while walking.

If you think you need references, take a print of all that may be required beforehand, and also ask the participants to come prepared. It may not be necessary to carry your file or a bunch of papers while walking. Just go through your topic and know what to say. It is preferred that you walk without any object in your hand that may distract your conversation.

Time your meeting. Just because you’ve stepped out of your office doesn’t mean you are going to stroll endlessly. You should inform everyone about the time you intend to start and when you plan to finish. Give a brief prologue and start the brainstorming session.

Normally, in sit-down meetings, the initial 10-15 minutes are spent just reiterating why the meeting is scheduled and discussing background information. Taking into consideration the per hour rate of each employee in that boardroom, it may cost the company to waste 15 minutes of each employee’s time.

Ask the attendees to set their office phone on voicemail before they attend the meeting, so that if any important issue comes up while the employee is not at his/her desk, it would be taken up as soon as he/she returns from the meeting.

You can go the extra mile to make the participants’ walk a pleasant one by informing them to wear appropriate footwear. A lady in high-heels or pencil heels may not be able to cope up with the speed of her male colleagues. If rain is anticipated, carrying an umbrella would help.

During the Meeting
Pace your walk at a speed that is comfortable for everyone in the group. Do not walk very fast or very slow even if you normally do. Keep yourself with the group. No matter if you are the speaker or not, try to be with the group, not ahead or behind.

Make sure your voice can be heard by everyone, without having to strain too much. If the group consists of 4-5 people, and you are going to be the person who will be speaking more often than others, then it would be better to keep yourself in the center of the group.

You should also bear in mind that every person in the group should be involved in the talk, and also make sure that you talk to everyone. It should not happen that you just end up speaking to the person next to you, and the others also do the same. Remember, you are in a meeting and walking as a group.

Jotting down the points, while on the move, can be assigned to someone from the group. If all the people hold similar designations, then assigning a person to write points may not be a feasible option. In that case, if possible, the conductor of the meeting can jot down the points. It will help make the meeting a success.

After the Meeting
After you come back, recap the points without much delay. You will be able to recall points in a much better way if you do it quickly after the meeting. Elaborate the points and send the meeting minutes to all the participants.

After you conduct your first or second walking meeting, you can ask for feedback or improvements that can be implemented in the next walking meeting.
People feel much more invigorated in natural surroundings, and it also helps to get their creative juices flowing. I’m sure the company would benefit from that one mind-blowing idea which came from a walking meeting, and was not surfacing in that dreaded boardroom meeting.

Tips to Make Your Meetings Highly Productive

We’ve all been to workshops which were directed well, and we’ve been to some that were not exactly there and made us rest throughout the day. To know how to make assemble gatherings profitable, there are a few tips a man leading the meeting can take after. Take in the secrets to lead an all around oiled, non-chaotic and proficient meeting.

If you’ve been a victim of long hours of torture, or tried to coordinate a meeting in which everyone looked at their smartphones instead of you, then you know you are going wrong somewhere. Official meet-ups are supposed to be goal-oriented and productive, not boredom-inducing kids’ birthday parties.

The current trend these days is to ditch meetings altogether and use E-mail to discuss and arrive at a consensus. According to statistical data, around 11 million meetings are held daily in America. The average cost of useless meetings per year is $37 billion and increasing. A lot of people get frustrated with non-productive team meetings that waste precious work time (31 hours per month to be precise), and so the only solution they logically arrive at is to scrap all meetings altogether.

This never helps, because meetings, when well-conducted, are hotbeds of growth and opportunity for the organization. They provide a platform to communicate with other core members of the organization, and for brainstorming solutions. Top well-oiled organizations function only because they have regular, short, and productive meetings. Intel Corporation, one of the biggest technological innovators and manufacturers in the game, takes its meetings very seriously. Every new employee is required to take the mandatory course on how to conduct an effective and efficient meet. The course was taught for several years by former Intel CEO and current senior advisor, Andrew Grove.

Take a look at some of the guidelines followed by top organizations in the world…

Keep it Short

The more time you allot to a task, the less you do it better. Most meetings become long affairs which lose their points of focus and end up rambling all over the place. To avoid this, try and limit the time spent to 15 minutes. Keep a timer, if necessary. Review after 15 minutes whether you need a bit more time to finish the itinerary, and adjust the time by increments of 15 minutes as needed. The need to finish sooner will give added impetus to stick to main points of the discussion.

The reason for the 15 minute limit advocated for meetings is because the average human attention span to digest new information is 15 to 18 minutes, after which physical exhaustion sets in due to the extra oxygen and glucose needed to understand and absorb new information. The impatience generated during long meetings will be avoided altogether, and the participants in the meeting will feel more relieved and stay refreshed if they know that they will leave the meeting soon enough.

Reward the Punctual Ones

It is necessary that the meeting start on time in order for it to end on time. If it doesn’t, the rest of the day is delayed for other parties that might want to use the room for another meeting. If the conference is set at 2 PM, take strict action against the ones coming in later than 2, for example, by not allowing them inside. The ones that are early could be rewarded for their punctuality with refreshments before the meeting commences. Nip tardiness in the bud by setting an example.

Do the Planning

A day or so before the ‘big event’, make sure to create a list of the topics and decide the objectives and aims of the upcoming do beforehand. This is done to ensure that the dialog does not go off-topic and out of hand with respect to time which is unacceptable.

Send Invites to the Party

The party, ahem, meeting, is going to go badly if the attendees do not come well-prepared for it. Send the itinerary you’ve prepared to other people who are to attend, and specify if the meeting is regarding issuing information, assigning work, performance reviews, or brainstorming. Thus, you ensure that everyone that comes (including you) is well-prepared for the discussion and has had time to consider solutions. Do not spring unexpected topics into the discussion.

Plan According to Employee/Member Availability

If you plan a meeting, know that you are taking away time from employees. Time which they could have utilized for finishing deadlines or pending work. Several people never turn up because they have other more urgent work, and would prefer doing it because you cannot conduct an interesting meeting. Conduct a meeting when everyone is present, and available, to reduce wasted time.

Cut the Gabbing

Small talk, digression and rambling eat up a lot of time and make employees lose focus. The agenda is lost and employees walk out dissatisfied and clueless. It would not encourage anyone to come again. As someone presiding over the proceedings, it is your job to ensure that speakers do not change topics, and if they do so, it is not wrong to politely tell them to reserve the small talk for water-cooler meetings.

Limit Allotted Speaking Time

Before starting the proceedings, decide how much time is allotted to speakers and make it known to them. They will stick to their original point to get it across as quickly as possible. Once the time is up, the next speaker will speak. Each person should get an equal amount of time. Complainers should not be entertained if the type of meeting does not allow it.

Don’t Shoot Down Ideas at the Outset

This applies mainly to brainstorming, where ideas tend to get rejected at the outset before the meeting has even picked off. With all ideas exhausted, no one volunteers any more for fear of being shot down. Teach yourself and the participants that a better tactic would be to list all ideas provided by the employees, and then discuss them one by one before eliminating them. This ensures all ideas get analyzed equally in order to select the best one of the lot.

Avoid Mudslinging

Do not even allow the meeting to reach anywhere near this point. The longer it lasts, the less easily people can get back to work. The more that happens, the angrier people will get, leading to irrational and unprofessional behavior. Hold separate meetings to address complaints between private parties.

Bring Less People to the Party

Only the people directly concerned with the meeting must attend. It makes no sense to call every single person, because attending a meeting where they are not required can lead to them missing out on their own work. Trust in-charges to convey important points to their subordinates or colleagues. Unless the occasion calls for it, the entire staff being present is never of any use.

No Gadgets

It has been observed that writing increases retention of ideas as well as facts, whereas typing on a gadget makes the typist concentrate on typing the correct words, rather than concentrate on ideas enunciated. Create a place where people can safely leave their gadgets and retrieve them after the proceedings are over. Even when it comes to making presentations, completely relying on them makes the “communication and discussion” part of the meeting redundant.

Give Breaks for Longer Meetings

Meetings that last longer than half or one hour, taking breaks is essential to refresh the participants. This helps prevent loss of concentration and retain interest in the proceedings. Moreover, breaks help people digest and mull over information that they have just taken in. This ensures the next session is going to be well-thought over.

Spectators not Invited

Those who attend a meeting must contribute to it, either by carrying out a responsibility, or by asking questions. By doing so you ensure that people who have been assigned work are going to take it seriously and follow through with carrying the points decided at the meeting. This tactic also prevents confusion, as everyone knows his or her own task and is accountable for it.

Stand Up/Walk and Talk

CEOs these days prefer to conduct meetings while standing or walking. No chairs are given to anyone present. This is not a torture tactic, but from an evolutionary perspective, things get done faster standing. The body gets tired, and mental processes work faster to avoid this fatigue. Standing up also feels more important, whereas sitting makes people comfortable enough to become lax. Sometimes, nature is said to stimulate creativity.

Use Meeting Tools for Large Organizations

In very large organizations with several people in-charge of different sectors, using conference software and apps is common practice. Distance is no bar. The stress of calling and managing a large number of people is reduced. Web conferences are also better for impromptu discussion because they reduce the possibility of travel and can be played back. A web conference automatically reduces the topics to what is needed to be discussed.

Reschedule if Information is not Available

If, during the proceedings, you find that sufficient information regarding the issue is not available or is not being presented clearly, adjourn the meeting to a later time to avoid misinformation being created and spread, which will ultimately come back to bite you. There is also the assurance that you are not wasting anyone’s time with pointless speculation.

Ask for Feedback and Follow up with Attendees

At the end of each conference, make sure you get feedback from everyone. After a few days, ask them to follow up with you later with whatever tasks they were allotted to do. This confirms what transpired to them during the time they spent with you. Feedback enables you to learn where you go wrong in conducting meetings that produce zero results.

Avoid Too Many Meetings

The crux of the matter is to avoid too much conferencing. Make sure you are calling people for the most urgent and important reasons. The less get-togethers you call, the more your people get time to do what they originally were hired to do. Meetings cost a pretty penny to organizations, and the less frequently you call them, the more important they will be to all involved, and the more seriously they will be taken.

Revise the Points Decided During the Meeting

The minutes must be recalled at the end of the session. This is done to clarify and avoid confusion as to the final action and also to refresh the memory of those present. The plan of future action that has been drawn up must be presented once more in brief, and each person’s role must be recounted by himself to encourage participation and understanding.

Ways to Run an Effective Stand-up Meeting

unduhan-12Stand-up gatherings, otherwise called scrum gatherings, are a day by day held gatherings where a work group accumulates to give a notice on the advance of the work done ordinary, talk about the objective for the day, and any obstacles that they are confronting in completing it. Here are a couple of pointers to help you run your phenomenal meeting adequately.

When you are working in a team, it is very important that all the team members are synchronized towards achieving a common goal. Running a stand-up meeting daily is a tool to achieve that. When conducted effectively, it helps the team stay aligned to set targets, provides visibility, catches loopholes and obstacles early, and also helps evaluate the overall status of a project. In a nutshell, it is important for better overall communication and performance. Yet, it is seen that many times, these stand-up meetings go wrong, and instead of being productive, they become a total waste of time. Many things can go wrong – the meeting stretching over its stipulated time, team members getting distracted, trailing off the topic, etc.

In order to run an effective and rewarding stand-up meeting, you should stick to certain rules. In this Buzzle article, we have listed some tips that will help you run your stand-up meeting effectively.

Fix a Time

Ideally, the stand-up meeting should be held at a fixed time everyday. This will help all the team members to get into a routine and plan their own work accordingly. Having it daily also helps in continuously assessing the overall status of a project.

Remove Distractions

Gadgets available today have acquired an important place in our lives, but, more often than not, they also act as a distraction. Make a rule for not allowing any gadgets while the meeting is on. Without any distractions, the time allocated for the meeting can be utilized in an effective manner.

Keep Standing

As the name suggests, these meetings are to be conducted standing. When a team starts with a stand-up meeting, they generally follow the rule of standing in the beginning. As time passes by, some members may try to sit or go somewhere. One should understand that to keep standing is not just a formality, but an important factor of a stand-up meeting, so as to make it effective. It helps keep a check on the time. The logic is simple, nobody wants to stand for an hour and talk. To make is easy, hold the meeting in a room where there are no chairs.

Don’t Wait

It is expected that everybody arrives on time for the stand-up meeting. If somebody doesn’t turn up on time, there is not point in wasting the time of everybody else by waiting for them. Instead, the meeting should start at its scheduled time, and the others can join later. If late coming becomes a regular thing, the defaulters should be taken to task.

Define the Meeting Agenda

It is very important to have a predefined agenda for a stand-up meeting. In order to get the status of each team member, make every one answer these three basic questions.

√ What work they have done since the last meeting?
√ What is their job-target for today?
√ Is there any major issue in achieving the target today?

Once you have this information, you will know where everyone stands, and it will help you to evaluate the status of the project more objectively.

Keep it Short

Keeping it short and concise is another key factor for an effective stand-up meeting. If the meeting runs over an hour, then surely it is not a stand-up meeting. People will lose interest and that itself makes it pointless to have a stand-up meeting in the first place. Stipulate 3 – 5 minutes to every individual to put their points across. By defining your meeting agenda, you can achieve that. Also, it is important that all team members prepare for the meeting in advance.

Make it More Visual

Instead of just ranting off the status of the tasks, it is more effective to use a physical status board like a large whiteboard or a wall. You can make a chart with rows for tasks to be done, tasks in progress, and task not started yet.
Not for Problem Solving
One of the mistakes a facilitator of stand-up makes is to solve the problems of team members then and there, in the meeting. Stand-ups should only be about having a status update, and not problem solving. It is not worthwhile to waste everybody’s time on an individual’s problem. Instead, schedule a separate meeting for problem-solving with the individual in question. If you start discussing problems in stand-up meetings, then it is bound to stretch over its stipulated time.

Focus on the Team

Although a facilitator or a scrum master is running the meeting, the focus should not be on him. While speaking, the team members should address the team and not the facilitator. This is an important factor for effective communication among team members.
These small steps will ensure that your stand-up meetings are productive and rewarding. It may take a bit of time to establish a sound stand-up process, but once it is in place, the rewards it reaps are very beneficial.