What if you had a magic spell to keep a meeting going? What if you could just say some words and then a meeting can be resolved? In a way, you can! It’s not magic, but these effective meeting words have a psychological impact to bring your discussions to a meaningful end.
What Words Should You Use?
First off, here are some words that were found to have an impact by MIT research. Surprisingly, “yeah” was found to be persuasive.
Forbes also wrote an article about the study, and they point out that “start” is a psychologically strong term. Using this word implies speed and signals that it’s time to, well, start.
How to Interject
Sometimes a meeting is just going in circles or even entirely off the rails. When that happens, try some of these phrases from Harvard Business Review. For example, when you want to gently suggest a new direction, you can use the phrase, “Did anyone mention…?” And if you want to kindly disagree, you can say something like, “Just playing devil’s advocate for a moment, but…”
Inform – Excite – Empower – Involve
This concept from Leadership Strategies suggests you explain who this meeting is valuable to the meeting participants right at the beginning. If everyone is engaged, then the meeting can be more efficient.
Based on What?
Don’t accept an idea just because it’s suggested in a meeting. Ask “Based on what?” for everything that comes your way, including your own ideas. Asking this to others will get straight to the point – how is the idea worthwhile? And, if you ask it to yourself before suggesting something, you can provide data that backs up your idea and helps others decide more easily. Check out business coach Joe Girard’s page for more information.
Win Office Friends and Influence Co-Workers with Effective Meeting Words!
Finally, a popular strategy is to follow the guidance of the classic self-help book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” It’s even out there for free on Google Books, so there’s no excuse to not read it.