I love meetings

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Great things happen in meetings. We get things done as a result of meetings. We can use meetings for leadership development. Hmm, stay tuned.

Why do we hate meetings?

Why do people keep writing about hating meetings? People come to your meetings prepared and conditioned to hate them.

There are many bad meetings on our schedules. Leading a great meeting is an art that should be developed. And, like most art, leading a meeting is not taught in school.

One client told me that he cuts his grass during the weekly status update meeting. He mutes the phone, goes out and cuts the grass, comes back and nobody notices. Can you imagine? Yes, I’m sure you can.

Have you said I hate meetings?

Stop it. How?

Prepare yourself for a huge breakthrough that will come as a result of your next meeting. Every once in a while it will be a Eureka! moment with a light bulb going off. Most times though it takes hard work. It’s amazing though how much is missed when you aren’t prepared to accept a breakthrough. Our attitude about meetings can prevent innovation. Change your attitude going in and seek out the value.

A couple of meeting mindsets I don’t see written about everywhere:

  • Don’t do work in the meeting. Prepare to do the work. Report on the work. However, do the work before or after the meeting. If someone hasn’t done the work, stop. Don’t talk about what they would have or should have done. Stop the meeting. Have them go do the work. Then reconvene. When this becomes the norm, people show up prepared. This provides an opportunity for training and coaching. Use it.
  • Leave each meeting with momentum that comes from WE. See our article – Andiamo!
  • It’s easy to just arbitrarily cancel meetings. Be careful. Why was the meeting originally created? Is there a better way. Figure it out or you create a communication vacuum.

Development Opportunity

Here’s an important question that can be telling. What do you do when a meeting request comes in for a new initiative and you are already booked, say with a standing team status meeting?

A lot of people would simply decline the meeting request. After all, you’re already booked. OK, listen for the wrong answer buzzer. A couple things will happen: first, you will miss the meeting and be behind on the initiative; or second, you will delay the initiative by a week or two of back and forth meeting time selections.

This scenario provides a development opportunity. How about if you cover both meetings?

You can go to the new initiative meeting and have one of your team members facilitate the weekly status meeting. This is an opportunity to spread the task of running your recurring meeting within the team.

Or, you can send a representative to the new initiative meeting which shows one of your team members more of the organization.

In either approach your prep and debrief discussions with your designee is an opportunity to teach and help that leader grow.

Something to think about.

To do this week: Look at your calendar. Which meetings need work? Create a strategy to improve each one.

So much of our business happens in a meeting. Investing in making them effective is well worth it.

Let me know how it’s going. Click the “comments” box below to participate in an on-going discussion via LinkedIn.

Jim Canterucci

I don't know everything. But I want to. The focus of our firm, Transition Management Advisors, is to develop leadership capabilities to create a championship culture, generate innovation, and successfully lead the resulting changes.

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On April 4, 2017
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