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After leaving school it is EQ, not IQ that is the most critical factor in our success. The World Economic Forum has declared that emotional intelligence will be one of the Top-10 most required career skills by 2020.

Feb 12, 2019

Episode #29: Town Halls


The town hall meeting is used by governments and companies as an informal way to address issues in their own community or organization.  An executive report is given and then individuals and guests have an opportunity to ask questions, talk about the issues they find important and discuss potential solutions.


A town hall is a place for a conversation and meaningful discussion.  Authentic emotionally intelligent leaders are able to look at the challenges and opportunities they face without resistance, judgement or attachment to outcome.  They are able to inspire trust and higher levels of engagement by communicating with openness, truth and passion.


The following comments are from Master of Business Leadership alumnus Bill Wiersma.  He is the Canadian Regional Account Manager at Flexera Software.  Bill has been leading sales and engineering teams for over 25 years.


  • A town hall should not be used to publicly address performance issues in front of the whole organization. The team or individual already knows that they have not performed to the expected level and calling out this poor performance only serves to lessen the willingness to be open and engage in the discussion.


  • Even if the overall tone of the town hall is downbeat due to poor results and targets you must still celebrate the successes. This serves to bolster engagement.  It is also a good time to acknowledge exceptional performance.


  • The success or failure of a town hall is determined well before the actual event. For example, if ideas for some issue or opportunity were requested in a previous town hall they should be reported on in subsequent town halls.  If the ideas are seen as going into a "black hole" then further requests may well be ignored.


  • Consistency:
  • The overall agenda should be consistent from meeting to meeting.
  • The participants that speak should also be consistent.  For example, if Sales or HR speaks; they should always have some time. 
  • The frequency of the meeting should be constant. If they are quarterly; hold them every quarter.  Do not skip because it could foster negative rumors and uncertainty.


  • The best town halls in my opinion were ones lead by a department head rather than the CEO or President. The CEO still has his or her "state of the union" but they do not monopolize the agenda.  This gives others a chance to step up. 



Special guest is Bill Wiersma



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