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”.