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Chapter 4. “What if I Don’t Feel Like Co... > Motivating a Group to Concentrate on...

Motivating a Group to Concentrate on Uninteresting Tasks

Have you ever chaired a meeting in which the participants seemed more interested in their weekend plans than in the items on your agenda?

Use a modification of Tip 2 when you chair meetings or facilitate planning retreats to keep the group on task.

Instead of asking for suggestions and running the risk of being met with dreaded silence, divide the group into brainstorming teams of four to five people, assign a specific task (“What are three things we can do to help make every customer a repeat customer?” or “Suggest five new slogans for our new advertising campaign”) and then give them a short time (ten to fifteen minutes) to produce ideas.

They may initially grumble about your being a strict “taskmaster,” but they will likely jump right into the task, discuss it animatedly, and produce innovative answers.

Ask each group to select a spokesperson to “report back,” and appoint someone to record contributions on large poster paper so you have a visual record everyone can see (and take pride in).

By getting all meeting participants actively involved in discussing and solving problems, you can set up collective concentration on group issues—one hallmark of a good team.



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