Protocol Check – Prevent Getting Hijacked
Your organisation loves to run hierarchically stacked meetings? – You attend meetings at the project level, meetings at steering board level (grouping projects by business area), meetings at team level (grouping projects by members involved), meetings at manager level (all managers of the SW dev department) – and, if you are a manager you have to have to attend all meetings vertically. Since managers have to be informed – about anything – in all details. Right? – Right!
You think you don't have to worry because you are safe since each meeting level has its defined scope and categories of issues to be allowed to be raised only. – You only suppose you are safe. Realise, being safe is an illusion.
For two reasons.
Reason 1: If your managers are engineers – stop immediately to believe management meetings deal with management stuff. Engineers as managers plunge immediately into technical discussions on sub-project (i.e. task) level. They can't prevent this. It's in their genes. – I apologise to all engineers if I am wrong.
Reason 2: You can't prevent, that the constituted meeting boundaries are deliberately transgressed. – Imaging, at a wonderful, sunny Tuesday morning, all of a sudden, Peter (manager and project leader of project Δ) raises an issue in the management level meeting. Very fast all other participants realise that Peter's issue is a Δ-specific problem only. Even if the issue might be important and had to be discussed and solved, this meeting is the wrong place. Arthur, today's moderator of the managerial meeting, suggests: "Peter, let us find an appointment for a get-together everyone involved to solve this issue." – However, Peter doesn't stop to continue detailing his problems. Everyone in the room rolls her eyes.
Establish the levels of Core Commitments of the Core Protocols.
Use Core Protocols procedure Protocol Check to stop being hijacked. This procedure gets you elegantly back to the right level of commitment if someone digresses.
In our case, raise your hand/voice and say:
“Protocol Check. – Wrong meeting/wrong place. – Our current committment is: <x>-level issues only.
This level is violated now.
Pls, discuss this topic separately or offline.”