Note: This post is an excerpt from Chapter 8 in Where the Action Is: the Meetings That Make or Break Your Organization, available now on Amazon.com.
Participation propels perceived meeting quality. We call it participation when we are attending a meeting—as in, "I had a chance to participate." Meeting leaders often use the term engagement to describe the same thing.
The Spectrum of Meeting Engagement
Engagement is about getting the individual into the meeting, about breaking through the noise and fog of whatever may be going on for each person so they can focus their will on the collective goals. Meeting engagement is observable behavior; you can see whether or not someone engages in a meeting. This engagement falls across a spectrum of behavior that looks something like this.
At the bottom end of the spectrum, you have the Disruptive behavior— things like:
- Arriving late or not at all, or leaving early
- Side conversations
- Excessive negativity and personal attacks