Call them critical communication or crucial conversations or whatever you like but creating an effective meeting requires VitalTalks.  There are several key elements in these discussions that must occur:  Clarity, Persuasion, Engineering, Requests, Agreement, Declarations and Commitment.

VitalTalks, Clarity & Ineffective Meetings

We shape the outcomes we want by using language.  Doctors Lakoff  and Johnson in the book “The Metaphors We Live By” describe that we give meaning to our lives through language, through metaphor.  Nothing has any meaning except that we compare it to something else.  Language can blur the lines or clear things up.  “Are we good to go” is a question that could mean many different things to many different people.  It is not vital communication.

Effective meetings use language to clarify roles , responsibilities, timely actions to be taken and agreements we make with one another as part of a high performing team.  Richard Hawkes of GrowthRiver writes, “Requests, declarations, offers, commitments and refusals are all critical communication…  After a critical communication, big or small, the world shifts.  And, as a result, new possible futures emerge—or collapse.” 

Have you ever been in an ineffective meeting?  Everybody drops what they are doing to address an important topic.  People engage at various levels.  Ideas are knocked around and the best of them rise to the top …or not.  Then, “nothing to not very much” happens.  Why?  “Because no VitalTalks took place.”  There was no clear commitment made, no specific requests made-accepted-committed to.  No one embraced the issue with clarity of action combined with clarity of passion.  The effect on a team is de-energizing and people say things like “there’s no point in talking about it” because nothing will be done about it.

“Did We Just Have A Good Meeting?  I’m Not Sure.” (1): Leveraging Diverse Thinking & Behavioral Attributes