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Discover How to Get Participation In Meetings

Do you get frustrated when people just sit in your meetings, never participating or offering ideas?

You've gone to so much trouble to prepare and conduct the meetings and they don't say a thing. Aren't they interested?

What's happening is a very natural human dynamic. Once you understand the dynamic, it's easy to recognize and control.

You're going to learn how to solve this problem forever.

Why Is This Happening?
Your people probably see your meetings as presentations.

You're presenting. They're listening and absorbing.

If they're going to ask a question or make a comment, they may be concerned about making a fool of themselves and whether the information is relevant to others.

The easy choice is just to keep quiet.

The Office

We know our people have great ideas and can really make things happen when they get focused.

We as Management are "walking the talk" in terms of getting everyone together to communicate, fix problems, and get organized. But our efforts seem to be wasted because no one says anything in the meetings.

It can be very frustrating.

What To Do About This?
The way to get participation is to ask questions.


If you ask a specific person a specific question, they'll almost always respond.

Try it.

You'll see how powerful this is.

A Supervisor holding a Gainsharing Meeting at one of our clients tried this technique with immediate results.

In the Gainsharing Meeting with the employees the Supervisor, who was the presenter for the meeting, asked "What do you do to make sure the job traveler paperwork matches the parts it refers to?"

No one said anything.

He then asked, "Jane, what do you do to make sure the paperwork matches." Jane launched into a terrific summary of her "routine" to make sure everything was in order with a given job before she begins her work.

What she had to say was impressive.

It seemed that the others were now thinking of the things they do to make sure the paperwork is always correct and silently hoping that the leader would call on them so they could get in on this conversation. It turned the whole vibe of the meeting around.

Ask Me

I'm sure others learned from what she had to say. Yet a moment before, (when no one responded to the question), it seemed as though no one had anything to say about avoiding this problem.

Brain Structure
Our brains are "designed" to respond to questions. Ask a question and a listener's brain begins to assemble a response/answer. It's innate. Hardwired.

This isn't enough to get participation in a meeting though.You must address the question to a specific person. This makes it clear that you're expecting a response from them.

Your Homework

  1. If you're not getting participation in your meetings ask yourself "Am I asking questions?"

  2. If you are asking questions and they're still not responding, take it to the next level by asking a specific person.

If people are not participating and offering ideas in your meetings, it may be because you're not asking any questions. You may be the cause of the problem that you're so frustrated about!

Now you understand the dynamics behind getting people to "speak up" in meetings.

You'll be more confident as a presenter because you know how to drive participation when it's needed.

Whenever you’re ready . . . here are six ways we can help you:

1. Gainsharing Executive Briefing DVD
This free DVD gives a quick primer on Gainsharing and it's “must have” features. It was created by a television producer and includes on-site interviews with actual Gainsharing users. Click here to request your free copy.

2. Gainsharing BluePrint
Answers the question “How could this be applied in my Company?” Outlines both the formula and “Boots on the Ground” connection fundamentals required for an effective Gainsharing system. Click here to request more info.

3. “40 Minutes to a 5 to 15% Productivity Improvement” Webinar
Learn how to motivate employees and give them “skin in the game” to drive results. Click here for direct access.

4. Invite me to speak for your group or trade organization
I would be pleased to serve your trade organization or other groups as a speaker. Click here to email me about your opportunity.

5. In-person, on-site presentation at your company
Let’s put a presentation together for your Management Team and others. It’s an ideal way to explore how Gainsharing applies to your specific circumstances without the cost or inconvenience of travel for your people. Click here to email me to discuss customizing the presentation for your Company.

6. Webinar for your company
We can also develop a custom webinar presentation for your company. This makes it easy to get a quick overview using technology to maximize convenience. Click here to email me to request more info.

You can also send your questions to or call 317-371-1021.

About the Author:

Dr. Charles (Chuck) DeBettignies is an author, speaker, seminar leader, Gainsharing expert, and founder of Gainsharing Inc.

His company implements Gainsharing processes to motivate employees to pursue great performance with a performance-based pay reward system that leads to an improved bottom-line at the same time.

Many companies say it's the single best thing they ever implemented for both their company and employees.

Gainsharing Inc. specializes in Gainsharing Systems, and offers design, implementation, and assistance to drive impressive, lasting success.

Gainsharing Inc.
P.O. Box 501548
Indianapolis, IN 46250

© 1997-2017 Gainsharing Inc. All rights reserved.

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