The most likely source of this issue is a lack of trust – an unwillingness to say it like it is. See Patrick Lencioni talk about trust in this short video. Building trust takes time, so you should get started on that issue if you have it.
There is something you can do in the short term however to improve the results of your leadership meetings.
Its simple. Identify the root cause of the problem before you start discussing it. Most discussions start too quickly and people end up discussing symptoms, not causes.
A sure sign you need to do this in your management meetings is if many of your peers (or you) start the problem statement by prefacing what they are about to say by offering a bunch of excuses. You have heard it many times I am sure. Something like,- “I know our revenue numbers aren’t what they should be but the economy is really bad right now and there is nothing we can do about that right?”
A simple aid to make sure that you are working on the root cause is to ask the person who is identifying the issue to say it in one sentence and make it hurt.
Make it hurt? Yes. If these are real issues which are hindering the success of your company, then it does hurt, doesn’t it?
A better start to the sales discussion above is,- “Joan, as our sales chief, I want to know what you are doing to address the fact that more then half the sales team hasn’t achieved their quota in both of the last two quarters.”
For motivation to get started on this issue, download Gino Wickman’s free eBook, Decide!, here.