5 Prompts to Kick Off Your Next Meeting with Courage

Written by:

The Be Courageous Team

In your next meeting prompt, set the right tone for maximum creativity and collaboration

We’ve all been to the worst meetings. The ones where people file into a conference room like in a scene from Joe Versus the Volcano, with fluorescent lights flickering, and people’s shoulders’ slumped. If on Zoom, people have their cameras off or they’re looking down at their phones. “Hmpf,” people greet each other, barely looking up from their coffees.

As a leader, you might be tempted to whack a ruler on the table like teachers might have done in the 80s. Or reschedule for a hopeful time in the future you may get more interaction and collaboration.

Your team isn’t trying to sabotage you (probably, here are some dangerous mindsets to watch for, though.) They may be healing from the crisis’ faced during the pandemic. Or they’re “safekeeping” and saving their mental energy for the right environment to share.

So what meeting prompts will get your team in the right mindspace for a productive time together?

Before your meeting, set an intention that your meeting’s climate will be king. Namely, how you will treat yourself and your ideas, and how you’ll treat other people and their ideas.

Your own energy is a powerful tool to rev up your team, but it’s not enough to “be the change you want to see.” You need also to intentionally facilitate the behavior you want to see.

In our experience facilitating thousands of meetings in the world’s smallest to largest conference rooms, here are the meeting prompts we’ve seen successful.

5 meeting prompts to kickstart a courageous meeting climate

Ask these questions right off the bat at your next meeting, and enjoy more collaboration, connection, and creativity!

Positive Prompt: “When you think of courage, who comes to mind and why?”

Why it works:

Answering this question gets people to reflect on why they’re inspired by someone, making them feel empowered which subconsciously taps into the attributes of their inspirational person, creating a courageous mindset.

Positive Prompt: “When was the last time you tried something new for the first time, and what was it?”

Why it works:

This prompt personalizes the room and can foster vulnerability which opens people up, especially if a leader shares first. It can also foster humor which stimulates creativity. And, you get to learn something cool about the people you’re working with.

Positive Prompt: “Describe a favorite childhood toy and why you loved it.”

Why it works:

This thinking taps into a person’s childhood self when imagination has reigned. When the restraints of adulthood, baggage and possible trauma were less likely a factor. It puts people in an “Anything is possible” mode. It also helps people anchor to a positive time in their life, which makes them feel more secure.

Positive Prompt: “Describe a bold food combination that you love and why.”

Why it works:

This prompt enables people to safely expand theirs and others’ thinking about what is possible in a tangible way. It warms up conversation and creativity. It helps people describe tastes, feelings and emotions which helps them connect with their inner selves.

Positive Prompt: “What’s the biggest thing on your mind right now? (Personal or professional.)”

Why it works:

This check-in invites people to share about what’s happening in their lives, before jumping into a packed meeting agenda. This sharing promotes open-ness and builds trust through getting to know each other as humans.

Starting your next meeting strong

These meeting prompts are powerful because as workers, we’re usually jumping from one activity to the next, without building in a transition between where we just were and what is coming next.

These prompts provide a reset state. They create a personal connection between teammates as well, fostering good climate and collaboration. Want to learn what prompts to avoid in your next meeting? Here are 5 terrible ways to start a meeting!

We love helping train leaders to become great facilitators. Call us!

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