by Rachel Harris
There are many key aspects in convening with purpose and productivity. To ensure your organization's meetings are highly effective for attendees, Heartland presents a list of 10 key Principles of Convening. Many of our clients use these 10 Principles to further their convening skills. One of our recent clients - a team leader in a regional engineering agency - often finds himself in interdepartmental team meetings led by people of varying abilities.
He has taken the Art of Convening training and understands there are always opportunities to take advantage of employing the Principles of Convening in meetings. In his role, he travels from building to building meeting with different teams. He also understands the Principles of Convening are great equalizers in meetings within his role.
Wanting to ensure his time is effective, he envisioned an opportunity for convening principles to be posted and referred to in meetings. Upon hearing his request, Heartland collaborated with the Organizational Development department to install the Principles of Convening Poster in conference rooms. Once added, the interdepartmental teams' ability to collaborate increased. Here at Heartland, we have created a list of 10 key principles to advance and improve the practice and art of convening.
Listen: Respect everyone’s voice; hear their contribution and refrain from fixing, problem-solving, advice-giving.
Speak from your own experience: Speak from the “I”, your personal experience creates trust.
Slow down the conversation: Allow pauses between speakers to create space for collective genius and innovation to emerge.
Speak with sincerity and brevity: Speak your truth and make each word count.
Suspend certainty: Ask yourself, “What don’t you know?” Look for the surprises.
Allow space for difference: Seek to understand, welcome the divergent and convergent views.
Explore new ways of thinking and being: Look for and expect surprises.
Presume positive intent: Be aware of your judgments.
Each person has a role to play: Know that everyone is needed and each person has come to contribute the outcome.
Any engagement can be transformed through essential conversations: Intention to speak and act authentically from a common vision can transform any meeting Heartland's 10 Principles of Convening.
Following Heartland's 10 Principles of Convening will allow for your organization to conduct proactive meetings more successfully and thoroughly. These principles will encourage clarification, engagement, and open-mindedness within your convening. If you have meetings with people of varying skill level who seek to collaborate effectively and are occasionally challenged in doing so, consider adding the Principles of Convening your conference room. Contact Heartland today to maximize your collaboration, leadership or convening capacities. Follow us on our LinkedIn page to receive weekly updates on our blog and convening skills! Contact us at 612.920.3029 for your next consultation on the Art of Convening.