Avoiding Meeting Madness

3 Steps To Avoiding Meeting Madness

How do you feel when you know you are about to participate in a regularly occurring business meeting? We’ve gotten feedback from thousands of people, and too many of you have negative feelings about attending most meetings.

Meetings are supposed to create value for the organization and, if structured properly, meetings should leave you feeling better leaving the meeting than you did going into it.

Here are three of the concepts from our Winning With Accountability™ method to help you produce better results and also, improve your experience.

Each meeting should result in a quantitative positive value to the organization, as well as to you. What is being produced? What is being created? Are you making a decision? The high performing teams we work with leverage the following 3 P’s:

Purpose: Why are you having this meeting? Is it to make a decision? Is it intended to create understanding around a new initiative? Always know the “why” before starting the meeting.

Process: What will be the structure of your meeting? What are the key roles and who will play them? Be sure to design and publish an agenda in advance of the meeting.

Payoff: What is the value to be created by this meeting? Your organization should be able to perform, communicate, or think about something differently as a result of this meeting. Make sure everyone understands why the company should pay for this meeting? What are the values or returns to be created?

Start and end the meeting on time. This might sound easy, but it isn’t. Start the meeting on time, even if all the players are not present. What takes even more discipline is to end it on time. This means calling a stop to the meeting, even if you didn’t cover the complete agenda. This hurts the first few times you do it, but it creates a competitive advantage for your organization as you will rapidly mature your team’s ability to value and leverage your most important asset: This is a proven best practice to introduce more accountability into your meetings.

Leader speaks last. The higher you are on the organizational chart, the later you should contribute your thoughts, especially when brainstorming an idea. When we facilitate strategic planning sessions with our clients, we always invite the leader to speak last, allowing others to fully contribute their ideas. The leader never loses their authority to call a decision, but if speaking first, the leader might halt the flow of ideas and even worse, inhibit the participation of others.

So, while we have many other best practices for running successful meetings, what are you going to do with the ones we just gave you? We recommend that you watch this video with your team and start applying these concepts. For example, ask your team to discuss the 3 P’s. What is the purpose of this meeting? What process will we use to achieve that purpose? If we do well, what will be the payoff for the organization? If the team can’t identify the 3 P’s, you might consider canceling the meeting.

Start and end the meetings on time and, finally, as a leader, speak last when brainstorming.

Although it’s true that most meetings suck, you have the ability to begin improving your meetings today.

For more best practices on how to build a Winning With Accountability™ Culture in your organization, check out our Amazon Best-Selling book by author Henry Evans, “Winning With Accountability, the Secret Language of High Performing Organizations”.

Driving Business Results Through Accountability Reframing

Leading From Without

In celebration of our tenth year and with the global success of our best-selling book “Winning With Accountability, The Secret Language of High Performing Organizations” (now in its ninth printing) we are offering you some of our best insights and practices to create an Accountability Culture in your workplace.


Hi, I’m Henry Evans, founder of Dynamic Results and author of the best-selling business book “Winning with Accountability: The Secret Language of High Performing Organizations.” Today we’re talking about what we call, Leading From Without™.

A few days ago I was working with a $7 billion dollar client organization, specifically one of their senior leaders. He opened up to me and explained that after exceeding all targets set for them last year, as a reward, their global office had given them even more aggressive targets this year. His team didn’t see how they could hit these targets and they asked him to explain how they could. He told me that he didn’t have the answer, didn’t see the solution and didn’t know what to do.

I went in to this discussion armed with the information that he was very happy with the team he had and felt that he worked with smart and talented people.

Leaning on my emotional intelligence training, I asked him how he felt about being vulnerable? Could he tell them that while he was committed to hitting the targets, he didn’t have the answer either and wanted to hear their ideas about how working together? Could he simply ask them, “How can we do this?”

In short, that is exactly what he did. His team immediately switched from worrying about the problem to working on a solution. Our client lead with transparency, not arrogance. He lead with honesty and a request for help, rather than trying to “lead from the front” and have all the answers.

We feel that relationships are built and strengthened in moments of vulnerability like this example. We prove that when we admit to our team that we don’t see the way – while still demonstrating a commitment to finding a solution. Sometimes, you can be a leader by leading from without (having all the answers).

We encourage you to give this “leading from without” a try. This can work regardless of your position or title. If dealing with a boss who expects you to have all the answers, try saying something like “I feel confident you see how to do this, and right now, I don’t. Would you help me think it through?”

We are speaking more about leading from anywhere on the org chart in our upcoming book, “Step Up, Lead in Six Moments that Matter”. As always, we appreciate your time and attention. For additional ideas, follow me on twitter: @HenryJEvans

For more information on how to bring the method to your team or about any of the services we offer, contact Ede Ericson Cardell, Director of Operations at [email protected] or 214-742-1403 x 106.


Want to know more about creating accountable cultures? Take our free assessment and buy the book here. http://www.dynamicresults.com/book/

As always, we welcome your comments. Like us on Facebook to share your experiences or email us at [email protected].

Driving Business Results Through Accountability Reframing

Driving Results through our Accountability Method – Reframing

In celebration of our tenth year and with the global success of our best-selling book “Winning With Accountability, The Secret Language of High Performing Organizations” (now in its eighth printing) we are offering you some of our best insights and practices to create an Accountability Culture in your workplace.


Hi, I’m Henry Evans, founder of Dynamic Results and author of “Winning with Accountability: The Secret Language of High Performing Organizations.” We’ve been talking to you about how you can drive better business results through our accountability method, and today we want to focus on one aspect of that, how you can reframe your thought cycle when you’re going to a meeting. You know a lot of meetings – they suck, I’m of the belief, after observing thousands of meetings in my career, sometimes we are the reason why. Sometimes, I am the reason why. Let’s look at how my attitude might impact a meeting.

Let’s say I’m going into a meeting, and I’ve got a bad attitude about it because it hasn’t been a productive meeting in the past, I haven’t enjoyed it, or maybe I don’t like one of the people in the meeting. Maybe one of the people in the meeting doesn’t like me. Whatever the motivation is, whatever the reason is, I’m going into this meeting in a state of mind that indicates that I’m not going to show up at my personal best. Wherever you are on the organizational chart, this might be relevant for you. I’m going into this meeting and my first thought is, “I hate this weekly meeting.” We call this a negative thought cycle, I want you to follow this. I’m thinking, I hate this meeting: what mood is that going to place me in? I’m going to be cranky, irritable, and upset. If I’m in that cranky, irritable, upset mood, my behavior’s going to be impacted. I’m going to have limited participation, I’m probably going to be a little withdrawn—I may even make a bunch of negative comments, which has me leaving that meeting feeling like I was victimized, like I was dragged into a bad meeting. I feel really powerless. Then I’m going into that meeting next week feeling even worse. I’m not thinking, “I hate this weekly meeting,” now I’m thinking, “I really hate it; it did really suck last week,” and I may be ignoring my own contribution to that. Stacy Colino wrote that, “emotions are like germs—they’re contagious.” If I’m going into this meeting in a state of hatred that might be impacting the other people in the meeting, and it might make the meeting worse.

Let’s look at that same meeting that I hate, but I’m going to tweak my thinking just a little. We’re going to call this a positive thought cycle. I’m now going into the meeting; instead of thinking that I hate it, saying, “I’m going to make a contribution in today’s meeting.” That changes my mood. If I’m going in with that intention, I’m now a little curious, I’m calmer, and I‘m more open-minded, so the way I behave is different. I fully participate; I’m more thoughtful, I’m more relational, and I add some value. I probably receive a little more value, too, and I leave feeling confident. What does that confidence do next week? I’m not going into that meeting now thinking that I might make a contribution; I’m going in thinking that I will make one.

We want you to switch these negative thought cycles to positive ones, whether you’re talking about a meeting you don’t like, or a person that you don’t enjoy interacting with. Instead of thinking, “This person fails me all the time and I don’t like them,” you might go into an interaction with them thinking, “I’m going to make a contribution to this person and help them improve.” These little tweaks in thinking are what we observe our highest performing clients doing on a regular basis. They are driving results through accountability, out-performing their industries with this kind of behavior. We appreciate you taking a few minutes to hear this concept of switching negative thought cycles to positive thought cycles. Our certified facilitators are always ready to come into your organization and help you drive better business results through our accountability method using emotional intelligence. Thank you.

As always, we welcome your comments. Like us on Facebook to share your experiences or email us at [email protected].

For more information on how to bring the method to your team or about any of the services we offer, contact Ede Ericson Cardell at [email protected] or 214-742-1403 x 106.

Find this article useful? If so, you might enjoy our book.

competitive advantage

Accountability as a Competitive Advantage: Driving Results through our Accountability Method

In celebration of our tenth year and with the global success of our best-selling book “Winning With Accountability, The Secret Language of High Performing Organizations” (now in its eighth printing) we are offering you some of our best insights and practices to create an Accountability Culture in your workplace.


Hi, I’m Henry Evans, founder of Dynamic Results and author of “Winning with Accountability: The Secret Language of High Performing Organizations.” Last month, I talked to you about the importance of creating clear visual expectations—a cornerstone of our accountability method—and making sure you get reflection back from people, so that you’re more focused on what they heard than on what you said.

We want to tell you that we have clients that are out-performing their industries in a big way. We have clients that are market leaders in over twenty-eight segments right now. One of the reasons our clients out-perform their competitors and have a competitive advantage is because of the language that they use. I’m going to give you a few ways that different functions in your company can leverage some of the language that we talked about last month to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Let’s talk about your sales team first: What if your sales team saw our video last month and they were going into meetings focused on creating crystal clear clarity and then visual expectations with all of your clients, and getting reflection back from those clients before they write an order? What we mean is, imagine that they never assumed that they understood what the client wanted, and they were constantly reflecting what they heard in their own words in a paraphrased way to get that kind of clarity—and more importantly, to build that kind of confidence in their client’s mind before they wrote an order. They lead the rest of your organization in delivering expectations to your clients, we think these clear expectations go a long way in that capacity. This very simple practice is overlooked by many sales teams.

Your company doesn’t just run on sales. Let’s look at your back end—let’s look at I.T. What if when your I.T. pros have your employees coming to them with these ambiguous requests like, “Hey, can you make my computer work better so I can multitask?” Your I.T. people started to either paraphrase back what they think the person really meant, they might say something like, “What I hear you saying is that you really need to see a split-screen effect on your laptop, and you want to see your training video on one side and you want to be able to make notes in a Word document on the other side.” By creating this reflection, by paraphrasing, they’re either affirming the understanding or they’re clarifying it. They start to bring better service to your team by simply tweaking their language when these requests and commitments are being made.

In executive meetings (and that’s where I spend most of my time, working with the leaders)—if you want to drive results through accountability, you need to change the way you speak when you’re making and requesting your commitments. What if executive meetings sounded less like this, “Let’s get our employees more engaged,” and sounded more like this, “I suggest that we need a 5% drop in attrition by September thirtieth, and the we raise our engagement survey by an average score of 2%.”

Clarity takes time. We know you’re busy—we’re suggesting that if you take a few extra moments to set clearer expectations before the work is done, it saves you a lot of time in the long run. When I was a process consultant, I used to hear in companies, particularly in manufacturing, justify all of these terrible manufacturing practices. They were basically saying to me that they didn’t have time to manufacture something right the first time, but they always had time to redo it or, in other words, to do it twice. That just doesn’t make sense.

We are always focused on giving you ways to focus your communications so you have increased accountability and increased efficiency in your interactions. Our certified facilitators are always ready to bring our accountability method in to your company for training purposes, and I look forward to seeing you next month. Thank you.

As always, we welcome your comments. Like us on Facebook to share your experiences or email us at [email protected].

For more information on how to bring the method to your team or about any of the services we offer, contact Ede Ericson Cardell, at [email protected] or 214-742-1403 x 106.

Find this article useful? If so, you might enjoy our book.

crystal clear

Driving Results through our Accountability Method™ and Crystal Clear Expectations

In celebration of our tenth year and with the global success of our best-selling book “Winning With Accountability, The Secret Language of High Performing Organizations” (now in its eighth printing) we are offering you some of our best insights and practices to create an Accountability Culture in your workplace.


Hi, I’m Henry Evans, founder of Dynamic Results and author of the best-selling business book “Winning with Accountability: The Secret Language of High Performing Organizations.” Today we’re talking to you about driving results through our accountability method, and specifically on the cornerstone “how do you create clarity around the outcomes before the work is done?” We released a four-year study last year that had some pretty alarming results for those of us in the workforce. For example, only 9% of people are crystal clear about the results that they’re trying to create, and only 6% report that the projects they’ve given are delivered exactly as they wanted them done. Why is this? We’re spending all of this time in meetings and on email trying to create clearer expectations, and we constantly astound each other through our miscommunications.

Our accountability method is in use by hundreds of companies all over the world and business schools in the US, Europe, and Asia. We found some very common mistakes, regardless of what companies do, and the common thread that connects them all is that they employ people. People get their work done and experience their outcomes through the quality of their communication. So the first suggestion we have is that you get visual association created for every outcome. Don’t just tell me to get you a report—tell me you want a four-page PowerPoint deck that has a graphic meant to illustrate all the data, and no more than six words per slide, or tell me you want a twelve-point one page Microsoft Xcel spreadsheet. Something that helps us both create that visual association. Don’t tell me to do just a better job; tell me what a better job looks like and how you are going to measure it.

Now, when you’ve gotten your clear expectation established (and we say a lot more about this in the book, but you’re getting the gist of it now), get reflection. People come from different countries, they come from parents, and they come from different places of understanding. So, what you said isn’t going to drive the action on your team; what people heard will. You need to have them reflect back to you what they’ve heard. In short, our method proves that when you state and request your commitments with a visual association, and you get reflection, you’re going to get better outcomes.

So what do we want you to do? We want you to take a look at your calendar and look at an upcoming project on your calendar. And we want you to look at what kind of request might come to you, or what kind of request you’re going to have to make of others, and start to form this visual association around that request or commitment, so you can clearly communicate it and empower everybody to do a better job once they’re in the work. These steps, again, are outlined in our book in detail and our certified facilitators who are on the ground in the US, Europe and Asia, are always ready to come into your company and train you around these methods.

Next month, we’re going to talk about how you can drive results through our accountability method, and create a competitive advantage in the marketplace. I look forward to seeing you then. Thank you.

As always, we welcome your comments. Like us on Facebook to share your experiences or email us at [email protected].

For more information on how to bring the method to your team or about any of the services we offer, contact Ede Ericson Cardell at [email protected] or 214-742-1403 x 106.

Find this article useful? If so, you might enjoy our book.


Accountability BookWant to know more about creating accountable cultures? Take our free assessment and buy the book here. http://www.dynamicresults.com/book/

As always, we welcome your comments. Like us on Facebook to share your experiences or email us at [email protected].

reflection

Reflection: Creating Accountability with Emotional Intelligence

by Henry Evans – Managing Partner

Most miscommunications and relationship challenges are caused by a lack of clarity on the front end of your communications. In our book, “Winning With Accountability, The Secret Language of High Performing Organizations”, we address this common challenge.

Once we feel we have communicated an idea well, we often move on without any validation. In this video, we give you two ways to get reflection in an Emotionally Intelligent way and in a way which will increase the accountability of your interaction.

Here’s a transcription of the video above:

Hi, I’m Henry Evans. Founder and Managing Partner at Dynamic Results. Today I’m going to talk to you about one aspect of our accountability method called Reflection.

Our accountability method, based on our book “Winning with Accountability: The Secret Language of High Performing Organizations” is being embraced by multinational organizations and MBA schools worldwide. One aspect of it is the idea of reflection. Reflection is getting a comment back from someone you are trying to convey a message to about what they heard. We believe the effect of your communication is measured by the result of the people listening to you. It is not measured by your own self assessment. We also think they will act upon what they understood, rather than what you said.

There are two primary ways of getting reflection from people:

The first one we feel is a little demeaning, particularly to people who are smart and capable. The second we feel has a much greater basis on emotional intelligence. Let’s take a look at the first one.

The first would sound something like; “What did I just say?”. Do you feel a little insulted by that? I feel a little insulting when I ask that.

The second way, which we think would be much more emotionally intelligent, would be to be vulnerable.  It would leave it in the realm of possibility that I didn’t even convey my idea very clearly in the first place. That would sound like this, “You know, I know what I meant to say, but what did you hear?”

Vulnerability according to the table group, is a conduit to trust and trust is the foundation to all relationships. We like that way of checking in for reflection better than the first one.

An even better way of getting reflection would be to say, “You know we discussed a lot of things during this meeting, what are the action items that we’re taking away from this meeting? What are we going to do as a result of what we just said?” That’s another emotionally intelligent way of getting reflection back from people.

As always, we’re trying to give you quick, concise ways to improve your business, communications, and your business results.

Enjoy, and as always see how people like New York Times Best Selling Author, Marshall Goldsmith, have responded to the book by clicking here:

Dynamic Results Book Page

Stay close to us as this year as we will be rolling out new ways for you to access the method that is helping our clients outperform their competition.

For now, know that we have developed a simple method to help any individual build Accountability in to their culture in an emotionally intelligent way.

As always, we welcome your comments. Like us on Facebook to share your experiences or email us at [email protected].

For more information on how to bring the method to your team or about any of the services we offer, contact Ede Ericson Cardell at [email protected] or 214-742-1403 x 106.

Find this article useful? If so, you might enjoy our book.

Corporate Leadership Expert Henry Evans

Keynote Highlights: Accountability as a Competitive Advantage: Driving Results Without Being a Jerk


We have teamed up with BrightSite Group to promote Henry Evans, our Managing Partner and author of “Winning With Accountability, The Secret Language of High Performing Organizations” on the keynote circuit. Please click on the link above for our promotional video.

With the global success of our best-selling book “Winning With Accountability, The Secret Language of High Performing Organizations” (now with over 100,000 copies in print) we are changing the way teams all over the world are defining Accountability.

We have a team of certified trainers across the globe who are ready to bring the method to your teams. Our Director of Operations, Ede Ericson, is available to speak to you about Accountability or any of our Core Competencies. Please contact her anytime: [email protected] or 214-742-1403 x 106

Thank you again for your continued support of what we do!