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When the head hondo is always at the front of the room doing the talking:
- Information is flowing only one way, and from one person with one perspective.
- Knowledge base from the other attendees (can't really call them participants if they are just sitting there) isn't flowing upward.
- Cross-functional synergies aren't being identified because although attendees are sitting next to one another they aren't interacting.
- Relationships aren't being built.
- Ideas aren't being generated.
- Feedback from the field isn't being shared, meaning that decisions might wind up being made with an inaccurate or outdated set of information.
- When relationship building is the goal, all participants need to have an opportunity to build their portion of the relationship. It's a mutual process that one person can't presume. Listening is a prerequisite to understanding, and understanding (at least to some degree) is a prerequisite to relationship. They don't care what you know unless they know that you care. This doesn't have to be mushy - respect, empathy, and demonstrated trust help to build your emotional bank account with them. Remember that relationship building is a Quadrant 2 activity - you have to make room for it now because it will help everyone later.
- When you believe (or know) that the participants have input to share you have to make room for it. They might need only a few minutes, but you may come upon a situation where an individual really needs to unload. You can't rush this, especially if the situation has big implications associated with it.
- When you are trying to ascertain a direction rather than implement based upon a previously established direction you need to provide time for divergent thinking before you work to jell the group, converging on selected ideas. If you rush to a conclusion without providing adequate processing time you might wind up with a result that doesn't have enough buy-in to overcome obstacles that might crop up during implementation.