Speaking of Meetings … How To Stop “Brain Drift”

You’re running a meeting. You are sharing  information that could be helpful to other members of your team. Well … at the very least, you’re keeping everyone in the loop. No one can say your leadership is not transparent. You are a communicator, right?

As you look around the room, to your horror, you realize you are Charlie Brown’s teacher “Mwa mwa mwa-ma mwa-ma mwa mwa mwa” . No one cares. No one is listening. You have become part of the “Drift Factor” .

How did this happen?? You are trying to do the right thing, but the results are all wrong!

“Brain Drift” is one a list of factors that destroy team productivity. Imagine each employee’s mind is an ocean of information about work, home, hobbies and interests. You hope they stay in the work zone throughout their day. The reality? They don’t. People work to live. They don’t live to work.

You can’t eliminate the Drift Factor. You can only make it easier for your team to stay anchored in your harbour. ~ authentic Carol Carterism #19

Have you watched your team “float away” during a meeting?

Maybe it wasn’t you. There are many Drift Catalysts that can pop up in a meeting:

  • The team member who HAS to have “input” at every meeting to be seen and heard. (Watch entire team roll eyes and shift in chairs)
  • The tangent-thinker who takes the discussion in a completely unproductive direction. (See team check watches, shuffle papers and look longingly at door)
  • The interrupter who has to point out the folly of each new idea … before you are asking for input and discussion. (See all credibility for you and your idea die. Bye-bye buy-in)

Suddenly your team’s minds are full of shopping lists, dinner menus and random trivia. The cost of the “Drift Factor” is more than lost productivity, it’s lost faith in meetings themselves, and the leadership and direction of your company.

How do you reduce Drift?

Here’s an innovative way GUARANTEED to make a quick and effective change. It won’t be popular at first, but it will improve everyone’s quality of delivery almost overnight!

Video tape each meeting.

That’s right! And YES, you CAN do that! Here are some of the benefits of taping meetings:

  • Word-for-word record of what was discussed
  • Note who was paying attention
  • Have documented proof of the need to improve certain speaking habits and see actual improvements made over time.

Your offending speaker (sometimes that’s you) has no idea how bad his/her “Driftability Level” really is. If you have footage (especially if it includes other peoples’ reactions), you can let that poor, unsuspecting Drift Catalyst see and hear exactly what other people have to endure, then offer a few digestible tips for improvement, sandwiched between ANY good points you can find. You will be shocked and amazed at the difference in your very next meeting.

Here’s an example of “digestible”.

In the above video, this poor manager needs help! You can’t over-load him with all the changes he needs to make, so pick one or two that will create the greatest results.

  1. I would tell him to write out his presentations, review them and remove any cliche “jargon” and words with four or more syllables. Jargon and long words are like an “off” switch to listeners brains.
  2. I would ask him to imagine, before he writes his presentation, what he wants his team to feel, think or do differently at the end of that meeting. Starting with a clear intention, will help him focus on what is in the listeners’ minds instead of his own.

If you want more targeted tips to improve the quality and results of your meetings, contact me (Carol Carter) through the form below, or call me direct (Yes! I answer my own phone. I am a real person.) at 778-668-8805.

Contact Us


About Carol Carter

Carol is a team transformer. She cuts through the craziness and chaos of TODAY's workplace and helps leaders love their jobs again. Her live workshops and her online course "Transform Your Leadership" help people get "on track" and create REAL change that lasts, both professionally AND personally.
This entry was posted in Training that Works for Today's Workplaces and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.