3 Things High Performers Hate About Meetings

The likelihood that you run productive meetings is roughly the same as a coin toss.* Keep in mind that the higher you go in organizational life, the more meetings you lead.

If you want people to respect your leadership, run meetings high performers love to attend.


3 things high performers hate about meetings:

#1. Drifters and passive observers:

Drifters drain teams.

When you tolerate low commitment and lack of follow-through you dishonor effort.

  1. Challenge every member who says, “I didn’t have time … .”
  2. Confront excuse-making.
  3. Honor responsible failure.
  4. Clarify commitments.
  5. Don’t invite persistent drifters to meetings.

4 tips for dealing with drifters and passive observers:

  1. End attendance by title. Establish a policy that only those directly involved in the agenda attend meetings. 
  2. Expect all attendees to participate in equal proportion to others. (On average.) If they aren’t going to participate, they shouldn’t be there.
  3. Invite people who think they ‘need to know’ to conference in. Don’t let them be seen or heard. Don’t allow them to guide after the fact. 
  4. Invite key front-line employees to meetings that impact their area.

#2. Negative focus:

Everyone needs to complain a little. No one needs to complain a lot.

Effective meetings begin when people turn toward the future.

My favorite question to ask after listening to problems, concerns, and complaints is, “Imagine if things were going perfectly, what would it look like?”

#3. Dominant chair:

The person running the meeting should speak less than everyone else in the meeting.

Create ways for people to interact with each other more than interacting with you. Make yourself dispensable to the conversation by creating an environment where people talk to each other.

You know you’ve gone wrong when people look to you rather than each other for solutions.

What one thing might move meetings from boring to effective?

*1,000 person survey.

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