Most executives spend significant time within their companies in large-group meetings – reviewing business metrics, managing talent, problem-solving and discussing strategic issues. Many times, less experienced subordinates are making the presentations and there’s real pressure to bring the right information and solutions to the table and deliver it well. It can be exciting and energizing to engage with senior leaders and be a part of the bigger organizational decision-making process. However, so often these situations become negative and demotivating to those who are presenting.
Senior-level people quickly grasp information and understand where the conversation and conclusions are going even though the presenter may just have started. What normally transpires is 1) polite suffering through an ineffective presentation, or 2) explicit impatience with the person and process or 3) just taking over the presentation and moving it along. Sound familiar?
It’s important that executives understand how much large-group meetings shape culture and people. The best of companies make it crystal clear what their expectations are about these processes, clarifying ahead of time the format expected, the type of materials that need to be prepared and the level of presentation preparation necessary to do a good job. Managers know that they will be evaluated on how well they’ve coached their staff to perform in these settings. Those attending are engaged and exhibit that they are listening or there are consequences for their behaviors. There’s serious debate and significant outcomes.
Don’t under-lead this part of your organization. Determine the best meeting process and structure for what you have to accomplish.