Yeah, we said it. We know it’s a loathsome buzzword, and we said it anyway.
Why? Because nothing else works quite as well as – well, that word – to describe what we want to describe. That word perfectly describes the ultimate goal of why businesses hold meetings.
What is synergy?
“The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.” – The American Heritage Dictionary
That’s why it’s a popular buzzword. We all want our meetings and interactions to achieve greater results than we could achieve alone. That’s the whole point of having meetings.
But are meetings truly synergistic?
Rarely. Instead, meetings are fraught with potential pitfalls. People have dragged through so many useless, discordant, and counterproductive meetings that they’ve learned to dread them.
In fact, people tend to believe they could be more productive working individually than working collectively in a meeting.
That’s the opposite of synergy.
And we need it! When synergy is present in an organization, incredible things can happen. Communication! Problem solving! Ideas! Action!
So where does synergy come from and how can we achieve it in our meetings?
Synergy is a grand concept composed of many small details, techniques and strategies that when combined together is extremely powerful. That’s why we wrote the first (to our knowledge) comprehensive set of ebooks about what’s involved in bringing synergy to your meetings and conference calls. Think of it as your own ultimate library of meeting guides to help you lead with greater purpose and confidence.
The Ultimate Library of Leadership Guides for Conducting Highly Productive Meetings
Fortunately, there are many simple ideas you can bring into your business to restore the real power of meetings, which we’ve laid out in the above, 5-volume library of leadership guides. (Click link or image to learn more about these free, downloadable guides.)
Each guide in the collection is designed to help you get back the synergy of the most common meetings types: brainstorming and collaboration meetings, client update meetings, executive team meetings, project management meetings, and staff meetings.
How do you get better ideas in Brainstorming and Collaboration meetings?
Our Brainstorming and Collaboration guide suggests setting up a wiki so participants can put ideas in as they have them (even at 3 in the morning), collaborate without losing information, and even vote on the best ideas. This gives you a head start on any face-to-face brainstorming and collaboration sessions. Having such a wiki can aid synergy, too, as ideas can gather momentum from participants building on other’s ideas.
What do you do if a Client Update Meeting becomes strained?
Conflict is not necessarily the enemy of synergy, but it has to be handled carefully. Our Client Update Meetings guide can help you understand the ways conflicts are commonly addressed. Is the client avoiding the issue? Is one party trying to accommodate the other? Or is there competition, with one party pushing its own agenda at the expense of the other? Being aware of the common reactions to conflict can help you mitigate them.
How do you manage multiple strong personalities in Executive Team Meetings?
Our Executive Team Meetings guide steps you through the essentials of Edward de Bono’s 6-hat method, assigning people to groups based on their role. For example, the blue hat is for the leader, responsible for collecting ideas and for the general presentation. White is for the analytical group, applying facts and data models to the issue. You give the black hat to the “devil’s advocate” crowd, of course, whose job is to break up the “groupthink” mindset.
How can Project Management Meetings be more harmonious?
Our Project Management Meetings guide suggests that picking your participants carefully can help you achieve harmony. Who really needs to attend to accomplish the narrow goals of the meeting? Would it be better to break the meeting up into several meetings with various groups to avoid potential discord? Who are the decision makers needed for each meeting? Picking the right people for the right outcomes will help you achieve your goals.
How do you keep things interesting, especially for that weekly staff meeting?
Our Staff Meetings guide suggests reminding participants of the “big picture” goals so they remember why it matters and adding variety with articles, videos, and alternative arrangements. Sometimes synergy can be achieved just by abandoning the conference table and PowerPoint slides!
The only way for a meeting to be worthwhile is for the combined effect to be greater than the sum of individual effects. These ideas are just a sample of the great advice we’ve found from expert sources on how to hold meetings that actually achieve something. Embrace the synergy! Download our Ultimate Library of Leadership Guides for Conducting Highly Productive Meetings today!