Fasten your seatbelts this one might sting a little.
I’m in love with my own voice. My melodious pearls of wisdom are golden drops of honey for the huddled, starving masses. My explanations are a cold-one to those poor, thirsty, low-level desert dwellers. Or at least I think so. I’ll admit it. I’m in love with my own voice! They say that’s the first step to recovery.
If you lead meetings and you love your own voice you’re driving everyone crazy! So listen up.
- Stop interrupting and stop adding your two cents after someone else speaks
- Good agenda items are outcomes NOT topics
- Your staff meetings are too long and you talk too much
- Most of the stuff you’re saying was covered in another meeting
- People don’t need the history to get the task done
- Use electronic media i.e. email, intranet, or facebook for everyday information
- Use meetings to explain and prepare for major changes or initiatives
- Add value to the attendees
- Everyone knows, “we’ll follow up later” is code for drop it and forget it
- If it’s not relevant to everyone, everyone shouldn’t be there
There’s more but I better stop with 10 before you die from apoplexy. If you’re wondering if you’re in love with your own voice, chances are YOU ARE! Admitting it is the first step to recovery.
Leaders reach higher by running effective meetings.
What ways could meetings within your organization be improved?
Thanks Molly… it’s flying off the shelves
As you know, I’m limiting my posts to 300 words or less. Every post leaves things unsaid, overstated, too narrowly or too broadly applied. Having said that, I’m delighted to post some comments on meetings from a leader who will remain annonymous. It’s kind of an op ed piece. I appreciate other feedback. Jump in…
#5 -My experience would challenge this observation regarding not needing history to get the job done. My counterpoint would be that very, very often decisions or directions will be challenged or received negatively because meeting participants do not know or understand the series of events or considerations taken into account to arrive at that decision/direction. The more fully meeting attendees understand the background, the better the buy-in and support.
#6 – More and more challenges are arising on this topic also. Too much email, too much electronic messaging, and not enough getting up out of the chair and going down two offices for a face-to-face (like this email J). There is a balance that most have not gotten comfortable with, but to totally embrace #6 as written is not a good way to go.
#10 is another tough one. As in many areas, “it depends”. It depends upon the organization and how narrowly focused the business model is. If you are focused on one or two areas (products, services, etc.), I agree. Challenges come in with organizations like ours where there are a wide variety of specialties and services, but staff are to represent all areas and be knowledgeable enough to network to the right person/organization. One can sit in a meeting and say “this topic is not relevant to me”, but may meet with a client the next day where that knowledge gained is relevant.
Great stuff… anyone else??
My #1 meeting rule: 1 hour or less. Forces one to prepare, regroup, and prepare again. Once this policy is known, everyone stays awake and gets the business done.
Great rule Dave. It’s simple and gets a lot done! Thanks for the tip
A meeting in my opinion must follow some steps:
1. clearing the purpose of the meeting
2. organized agenda
3. talking on the subjects, hearing opinions for different topics discussions
4. respect for each point of view, listening
6. future improvements
Thanks for adding your list of 6. I respect the time it takes to read a blog and then go the extra step of responding with a comment.
You have my best regards,
A practical thing that one can do at any meeting is to ask, “What have we agreed to do?” and in turn, “What are you personally going to do to help us achieve what we have all agreed to do?” Then listen for a SMART objective. Anyone is more likely to deliver what he or she hears themselves commit to aloud in front of their peers than to fulfill someone else’s draft of the minutes of a meeting long after the discussion. That commitment and delivery builds positive trust very quickly. Lead the way!
Great suggestion: Commit out loud in front of the team to SMART objectives.
Nicely said. You’ve added value to an important discussion.
Best to you,
How about how to interrupt the boss when they are in love with the sound of their own voice?
Or how about talking about 1 good thing that happened this week in your program or department?
How about a code for when people are getting off topic to draw everyone back?
Thanks for these tips,
Spot on! Here’s one: if anyone asks, ‘do we need to meet?’ the answer is no. Also, ‘standing meetings’ should be called ‘planned wasted time’. If we removed all of our standing meetings, we would have plenty of time for just-in-time meetings, and people would be available for them.
Thanks for your first comment on Leadership Freak.
You comment makes too much sense… 🙂
I like to publish the end times of meetings as well as start times…has the side effect of producing all those things that Dave mentioned above (prepare, etc…)
Good conversation Dan.
Dan, what do you mean “good agenda items are outcomes, not topics”?
One of – if not the – most annoying things I have had to endure in a meeting is leaders who insist on going over every detail of the previous meeting and seeking approval from others. Not only is it boring, it’s as pointless as the pencils I’ve broken while doodling. What’s worse, once the attention of the group is lost it’s difficult if not impossible to regain. Everything goes downhill from here making the entire event a white elephant. Whether or not you were at the last meeting, you should have received a copy of the minutes you can go over in your own time as needed. And in the event that somebody disagrees, one issue can be resolved quicker than going over every detail with a fine toothed comb.
Very funny article, Dan! If you want to make your meetings matter, try yaM at http://www.yamlabs.com.