3 Key Questions That Boost Team Confidence in Meetings

Lora Haines Headshot
By: Lora Haines
Workshop, Webinar, and Coaching Extraordinaire

One of my favorite parts of training is witnessing the trust that develops between attendee and facilitator during a workshop. It’s in those moments when you can sense that a space has been created for participants to delve deeply into their concerns. Whether it’s a private chat that starts with the question, “between you and me,” an audience member staying behind during a break for a one-on-one conversation, or sharing a personal query during the Q&A session, these interactions signify that the time spent together was truly valuable to them. Participants are not only engaged with the content, but also leave feeling heard and equipped with tools to improve their work. Having facilitated workshops for 15 years – with the last 8 being at JB – I’ve observed a unique trend emerging in 2024…

When working with leaders in our management sessions, there’s almost always someone who says,

In contrast, during our workshops for individual contributors, a different trend is surfacing. Participants frequently ask,

And these questions don’t just come from new hires. Mid-career professionals often voice similar concerns such as,

These questions are present across every industry and every workshop medium (virtual or in-person). One thing is clear: Everyone is hoping for more assertive, impactful, and confident meeting participants.

1.   Are Meeting Expectations Clear? Should participants expect to turn on their cameras for virtual meetings? Should they be allowed to multitask during in-person meetings? Who is expected to take notes, and what is needed as a follow-up? This question addresses the WHAT of the meeting.

2.   Does Each Attendee Have a Purpose? You made the effort to invite your team member to the meeting. Do you have insights to share why their presence is needed and what they can contribute during the call? If you can’t come up with anything, can the meeting be removed from their calendar? Make sure each call attendee knows the WHY behind the invite.

3.   Is There Space to Share? Sometimes we might be so overwhelmed that we don’t create opportunities for team members to speak up. Have you ever taken over a meeting? How can you listen more and give others an opportunity to share their point of view? Thinking through this helps put the WE into the meeting.

The reality is that your team is more than likely eager to contribute and might need more guidance on what that looks like in practice. These three questions can help shift your current meeting culture and create a more empowered, engaged team. If you’ve had these conversations and there is still someone on your team lacking the confidence to speak up in meetings, we recommend a course like The Art of Presence to help set them up for success.