Effective meetings How can a leader promote participation and interaction in the meeting?

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Issuing an agenda in good time to allow people to consider points and responses encourages interaction. Too often I find myself in a meeting with a non-specific or non-existent agenda which gives little opportunity to develop ideas and to move issues forward.

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In my opinion the answer is.."wait time."  As a strong leader, I often find myself asking questions and then giving the answer before the audience even has a chance to think.  This eventually shuts down discussion, because the attendees know they don't have to participate, because the leader will eventually do all the talking.

In a recent inservice, our presenter told us to wait a minimum of 8 seconds before talking after asking a question.  I have been doing that...and it is amazing how many people pipe up at that magical 8 second point.

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