How to Stop Meetings From Turning Into Venting Sessions

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How to Stop Meetings From Turning Into Venting Sessions by Mind Map: How to Stop Meetings From Turning Into Venting Sessions

1. Unify the Room

1.1. Create a shared purpose and structure

1.2. Before diving into the meeting content, lay out the agenda. Be clear about what topics you’ll cover, and in what time frame.

1.3. Introduce the discussion by offering a clear, future-focused objective

1.4. Don’t focus on why a project is behind or failed (unless the meeting is specifically designed to be a post-mortem or de-brief)

1.5. Share a mission, vision, or purpose that they can get excited about and set your sights on an inspiring goal ahead.

2. Set Ground Rules

2.1. No interrupting or cross-talk

2.2. Critique ideas, not people

2.3. No distractions — phones and computers away

2.4. Do not offer opinions without supporting evidence

2.5. If you are confused, ask for clarification

2.6. Don’t generalize; speak from your own experiences

3. Defuse Defensiveness

3.1. In general, people vent because they want to be heard.

3.2. Show you genuinely care about your team’s challenges and concerns. Devote time during the meeting to hearing them out.

3.3. Validate and empathize with phrases like, “I understand why that must be challenging”

3.4. Don't linger on problems for too long, because you risk feeding into negativity and pettiness.

4. Partner in Problem-Solving

4.1. Shift into solutions mode.

4.2. Don't tell your team exactly what to do

4.3. Coaching people to find their own solutions is significantly more effective.

4.4. Invite others into the planning process.

4.5. Don’t end the meeting until you have firm commitments in place. Get agreements for what each person will do and by when.