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Engage Employees at the Next CXO Q&A Session

October 30, 2014

Google CEO Larry PageNow is the Time and This is Too Easy. Turn Your Boring Q&A Session Around

A lot of Employee Q&As miss the mark. Instead of hearing comments like “well that was a waste” try something a little different and see if you hear more “wow, that was the best all-employee meeting we’ve ever had”.

Not all speakers are good at handling questions, not everyone participates, and not all questions are relevant. Luckily, there are ways to make these sessions better:

  • Have people vet questions in groups. Ask people to think of good, relevant questions in small groups. Then ask for some examples. Question collecting can be done interactively or the day before the meeting. Use index cards to collect the questions. Have a smaller subset of employees rank the questions with the top 10 selected for response.
  • Do an inverse Q&A. The speaker poses a question to the audience, letting people discuss it with their neighbors. Use index cards to collect summary responses to read to the entire group. Use HR and Finance to rank and select the best responses.
  • Ask for reactions, not just questions. Invite people to share observations.
  • Tell a final employee success story after the Q&A. Stop the Q&A session a few minutes before the end to share one final example. That way, even if it falls flat, you can still end your session with a bang instead of a fizzle.

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