These interviewing tricks used by detectives will help you have more productive meetings.

No one really wants to have meetings.

As a manager or leader, sometimes they are necessary.

Arguably, a suspect interview is the least desirable of all the meetings for anyone and yet, these have also been some of my most effective.

Here’s how to have impossible discussions:

1. Planning and prep

Your meeting, so you have to drive it forward. Do the work that facilitates the discussion you want.

Everyone knows you're serious when everything is shared in advance.

2. Be crystal clear about what is being discussed and why

"At [date/time/location], X happened which caused Y. We think you may be responsible because [incriminating thing] was found. Anything you say is being recorded and may be used against you in court for the offence of Z"

No doubt about the purpose of the meeting.

3. Tackle other’s agendas before your own

Effective meetings and teams require everyone to have meaningful input.

Know your own agenda but keep it to yourself. Ask questions to understand everyone else's agenda first. Usually, all your questions get answered before you need to speak.

4. TED and 5WH questions to get to the point

Tell, Explain, Describe - open questions and active listening. Set the scene and understand the context.

Who, What, Where, When, Why and How - this will help you zero in on your actions and next steps.

5. Not everyone needs to agree

There's a myth that after a good meeting, everyone will agree on the best way forward.

Dont expect that to happen. Make sure everyone feels heard, valued, and understands the reasons for your decision.