My recommendation was the introduction of a simple question learned through a series of writing workshops I’d taken years ago titled, Write your Mind Alive with Proprioceptive Writing instructor Ann Bright. These classes have much less to do with perfecting your writing style as they are about digging deeper into your own thoughts to discover how you truly think and feel about...everything. The disruptive question that teases out the discussion is, “What do you mean by that?” This open ended gem causes a pause in “socially desirable” responses. What do I mean by that? Many, ok most, of us are preprogrammed to provide responses that we think others want to hear. In many cases we deliver that utterance with confidence that we’ve said the right thing at the right time and thus avoid putting ourselves out there, exposed to any form of depth, showing that we have a handle on things and others need not worry. See how that works; I just elaborated my true thoughts on this matter...you know, because you asked.
Facilitators of meetings have the responsibility of making sure people’s voices are heard. But they can also take that one giant step further by making sure their thoughts are heard. With the careful, well timed - never over-used - placement of “What do you mean by that?” your meetings will take on a refreshing new dimension of productivity.
There are many other means of creating meetings that you wish would never end. Feel free to connect with me to discuss. Mike@redpointmanagement.com
Connect with Ann Bright at The Proprioceptive Writing Center - thewayofwriting.org
Writing the Mind Alive, The Proprioceptive Method for Finding Your Authentic Voice, Metcalf and Simon, 2002.