How to Seize the Biggest Missed Opportunity in Meetings

The higher you go in an organization, the more time you spend in meetings. Meetings are untapped opportunities to build culture.

Live your values in meetings.

treat people in the conference room the way you want them to treat each other in the hall.png

Treat people – in the conference room – the way you want them to treat each other in the hall. The way we treat each other, while we do the work, is the most important thing about us.


Suppose you value relationships. What happens in your meetings that would convince an outsider you value relationships?


Suppose you value empowerment. Lead meetings that make others feel powerful.

Empowerment is giving power not taking it.

Power of empowerment:

Most of the articles about power I read are about gaining it, not giving it. Frustration, disengagement, and helplessness go up when power goes down. 

Boldness and results rely on feeling powerful.

Walk into your next meeting asking yourself, “How will I make others feel powerful?” 

Power agenda items:

  1. What behaviors/practices produced success?
  2. What behaviors/practices should we stop?
  3. What behaviors/practices make us better?
  4. How will we know we’re improving?
  5. How will we honor success?

The power shift:

Begin with “we” – move to “I”.

People tend to talk about themselves when things go well and others when things go wrong. Shift from “we/us” to “you” in the list above, . For example.

“What behaviors make us better,” becomes, “What behaviors will make you better?” Listen for responses that begin with “I”.

Weakness hides behind “we”.

Meetings that make people feel powerful begin with “we”, but always include “I/me”.

Culture building:

Lead meetings in ways that align with organizational values and priorities. Suppose you value engagement, how will you engage the people around the table?

Meetings are culture building opportunities for leaders who spend most of their time in meetings.

How might meetings be used as culture building opportunities?