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7 Strategies to Break Down Silos in Big Meetings

A phenomenon enhanced by the pandemic is the lack of collaboration among siloes, sort of “insular” departments or teams. It’s very common for representatives of different disciplines to continue to operate in their own compartments instead of contributing to a cohesive purpose and team.

To create a coordinated team from a collection of siloed individuals, you need to generate crosstalk, conversations among team members about each other’s areas of work.

Here are seven strategies to get people talking in your next cross-functional meeting:

1. Become comfortable being uncomfortable – allow yourself and others to feel some discomfort: people will soon realize the only wat out of the discomfort is to actually participate.

2. Set expectations in advance – inform participants in advance what type of interaction you’re expecting. When people know what’s expected of them, they are more likely to contribute fully.

3. Ensure participation – let people know it will be important to hear from everyone on key topics.

4. Ask the right questions to generate questions – it’s how you invite questions that results in quality responses!

5. Introduce response data – notice who is speaking, how much, in what order, and what they’re contributing. Simply mention some data points and notice how participants choose to respond.

6. Bridge intersections – deliberately bridging across departments increases the relevance of the discussion for a broader set of attendees. Their responses help shape a more robust solution that works across the organization.

7. Mix it up – create a variety of ways to gather input. Adding more avenues for people to interact draws out the best ideas from a broader spectrum of personality types and increases the novelty of interaction over the drone of daily meetings.

The purpose of a team is to divide the workload across its members and multiply the benefits of generative thinking across siloes. As managers, we reduce the pressure we put on ourselves by encouraging collaboration and communication between departments, starting with cross-talk in meetings.



[Complete article, “7 Strategies to Break Down Silos in Big Meetings”, available at]

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