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Dear Dan: Should I Force the Foot-Dragger to Attend

Dear Dan,

I’d like to start a new process with my team where we meet once a month to share projects, accomplishment, challenges, etc.

The goal of the monthly meeting is to sustain or improve quality of our project work by offering feedback and suggestions. It’s also to help us build our connection to each other as we are not all located in the same physical location.

All but one person on my team is for the new process.

How do I invite/encourage the one person who rejects it? Or, do I allow them the option to not attend the meetings? Suggestions?

Thank you in advance.


Dear Wondering,

Meetings can be useless time sucks. I don’t blame anyone for being reluctant to attend another one.

Ask the foot-dragger to attend three meetings.

You might approach this like a pilot project:

  1. Goal #1: Strengthen the team.
  2. Goal #2: Tap into each other’s skill, experience, and wisdom so we can better serve each other and our customers.
  3. Pilot: Take three months to create a meeting that’s so useful, we can’t wait to attend.
  4. Feedback: At the end of each meeting, clarify the purpose of the meeting and ask:
    • What made this meeting worth attending?
    • What would make this meeting even more useful next time?


#1. Call every teammate and discuss which project they will bring to the meeting. Formulate a question they will ask the others.

#2. Set an expectation that suggestion-givers ask a “What” or “How” question BEFORE offering suggestions.

#3. Suggestions are explorations, not obligations.

#4. The response to receiving suggestions is thank you.

#5. The recipient of input can ask questions about implementation, but they can’t “yes-but.” (see #4)

#6. Be open to changing the frequency of the meeting, if it’s not an operational meeting.

#7. Focus on trust-building.



What suggestions do you have for Wondering?




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