The same gestures that are expected in one culture could be seen as offensive in others.
Understanding the nuances of our cultural differences is an imperative for any leader seeking to expand beyond a local shop, or even those who just want to instill real diversity in their ranks. Since meetings are the place where these cultural differences are exposed, we take a look at intercultural competence from a meeting leader’s perspective. However, these ideals can apply to all interactions you might have with colleagues from different backgrounds, both in and out of meetings.
In episode #059 of the Meeting Leadership Podcast, we provide a few cautionary examples of ways culture can affect every interaction, as well as keynote speech excerpt that nails home some key points about how to approach intercultural interactions. By the end of the episode, you’ll be armed with an intercultural approach that improves your ability to reach people from all parts of the world.
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00:00 – Show Opening
Are you a professional who wants to become a more effective leader? Then get ready for daily tips from the coach with the experience and inspiration to help you succeed in any leadership situation. You’re listening to the Meeting Leadership Podcast with Gordon Shepherd. Welcome to another episode of the Meeting Leadership Podcast.
00:27 – Start Here – Podcast content starts here!
My name is Gordon Shepherd and I want to say thank you so much for being here because if you’re here, you understand that to be a great leader, you have to run great meetings and if you want to have a great meeting, you have to be a great leader and you’re choosing this podcast to get practical tips to build your leadership skills, and you’re also wanting to get the strategies that you need to make your meetings highly productive and highly profitable. Thank you so much for being here.
00:57 – 9 people questions to answer before you book a meeting room
Today we’re going to tackle an area of preparation that every meeting leader can take advantage of because today you’re going to get nine people questions to answer before you book a meeting room. Of course, not everybody is a wedding planner, right? Where they’re really aware of all the dynamics for all the in-laws, and then they are able to set up the wedding reception room in the exact right way, but for meeting leaders, if you can get into that kind of wedding planner mindset and use these questions and make sure that you answer them before your meeting, there’s a good chance your meeting is going to run a lot more smoothly.
01:32 – Question #1 – How many people are coming?
Let me jump right in with the first question, which is, how many people are coming? Now, so often, meeting leaders show up and they’ll be like, was Bob supposed to be here? Did we get a message from Sally? If you know this in advance, if you kind of know maybe who’s not going make it, then you’ll be able to optimize the time that you do have with the people who are actually in the room.
01:52 – Question #2 – Is there anything in the room that could be a distraction?
The second question that you’re going to want to answer before you book a meeting room is this, is there anything in the room that will distract us? Because you know when people arrive in a room and there’s like maybe some paper scattered around from the last people that were there or maybe there’s some coffee stains or the chairs are busted, you don’t want to be distracted by those types of things. The kind of things that you really could have taken care of if, hopefully, you get there at least 15 minutes to half an hour in advance, get those distractions right out of the way so you can have a much better meeting.
02:32 – Question #3 – Is everyone getting along?
Of course, the practical questions are pretty easy to deal with, but this next one, it’s a little bit tougher because it’s a little bit deeper because it is, is everybody getting along?
02:37 – Question #4 and #5 – Should some people sit apart from each other? Should some people be sat next to each other because they work well together?
Once you ask that question, then you also have to ask, should some people be seated apart from each other or should some people be seated beside each other because they are doing excellent work together?
These are absolutely critical questions for every meeting leader to answer before the meeting because if you get it right, if you can get the right people intersecting and they’re doing better work together, and if you can ease some of the tensions that might there on your team when you’re actually in a meeting, you know you’re going to get a lot more out of it.
03:02 – Question #6 – If the meeting leader sits at the front, what message does that send to the group?
This next question, well, it is really important to answer for every meeting leader, and it’s this, if the meeting leader sits at the front, what message does that send to the group? If you’re the command and control type, you’ll sit at the front, you’ll make sure everybody puts all of their attention on you, or if you’re the one who pushes from behind, then what you’ll do is you’ll sit to the side and you’ll let a lot of people take turns in terms of running the meeting.
03:34 – Question #7 – Does someone know how to use the projector and the soundsystem?
It doesn’t matter to me which one you choose, it’s just that you want to be conscious of it before you book a meeting room. The last few people questions, well, they are pretty practical, so here we go. Does somebody know how to use the projector and the sound system? Does somebody need to be trained how to do this, or are they the ones who are going to be responsible for going to get the technician whenever there’s a problem?
03:49 – Question #8 – Who is taking care of lunch?
If you’re having a longer meeting, who is taking care of lunch? Is it going to be you? Is it somebody else? Is that person actually sensitive to all the different dietary needs of the people on your team?
04:00 – Question #9 – Who will be taking notes?
Finally, and maybe most importantly, you want to ask, who will be taking the notes, because you know if you pick the right person and they take the notes in the right way, that this will create a very high level of accountability, and when people follow up after the meeting, you’ll get a better meeting return on investment.Don’t worry if you didn’t get a chance to write those questions down because they’re all going to be available in the show notes for episode 59 and you can get those by going to MeetingLeadershipInc.com/59.
04:32 – 9 Questions recap?
And here’s a quick recap of the nine people questions to answer before you book a meeting room. Number one, how many people are coming? Number two, is there anything in the room that will distract us? Number three is everybody getting along?
Number four, should some people be seated apart from each other? Number five, should some people be seated beside each other because they are doing excellent work together? Number six, if the manager sits at the front, what message does that send to the group? Number seven, does somebody know how to use the projector and the sound system? Number eight, who is taking care of lunch? Number nine, who is going to be taking notes so that we can create a high level of accountability after the meeting?
If you’re the type of meeting leader who really sees the value in answering these types of questions before you book a meeting room, I need to make you aware of a few other episodes on the podcast that you can take advantage of. In episode 52, you’ll get 13 practical questions to answer before you book a meeting room. In episode 66, you’ll get four spatial questions to answer and in episode 70, you’ll get three inspiring questions to answer before you book a meeting room.
06:00 – Meeting Leadership Academy – https://meetingleadershipinc.com/academy
Of course, I’ll leave all the links to those episodes in the show notes for today’s episode, episode number 59. I also want to let you know that this episode of the Meeting Leadership Podcast is brought to you by the Meeting Leadership Academy. I am so proud of the work that I get to do with people like you through this Academy.
We’re doing great live training, and we have great online training options too and people are getting new leadership skills, they’re developing their ability to run highly productive meetings, and that’s all available by visiting MeetingLeadershipInc.com/Academy. As always, thank you so much for listening and we’ll see you tomorrow in the Meeting Leadership Podcast.
06:34 – Podcast Outro
Thanks for listening to the Meeting Leadership Podcast. Be sure to subscribe for more strategies to help you become an outstanding leader, and don’t forget to rate and review so we can bring you fresh content every day. We’ll see you tomorrow, right here on the Meeting Leadership Podcast.
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Links From This Episode
- MLP 052:13 Practical Questions To Answer Before You Book A Meeting – https://meetingleadershipinc.com/52)
- MLP 066: 4 Spatial Questions To Answer Before You Book A Meeting – https://meetingleadershipinc.com/66
- MLP 070: 3 Inspiring Questions To Answer Before You Book A Meeting – https://meetingleadershipinc.com/70
- Meeting Leadership Academy. – https://meetingleadershipinc.com/academy/
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