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Never Run a Boring Meeting Again!

I’m going to make a guess that you are a really busy person … so thank you for taking the time to read this article, you must really want to improve your meetings!

My life evolves around awakening possibility in leaders; so I am privileged with working with many leaders of organisations around the world. I always challenge them to get their strategy on a page. The same for their leaders, managers, change leaders and project managers.   There is enormous value in taking the complex and making it simple. 

I challenge them because it is really easy to forget who the strategy, operating plan, change plan or project plan is for … they get caught up in the intellectual challenge and the business of driving for results … they forget to ask the most important question … what do I want people to do after they have seen, heard and experienced the strategy or plan?  The same goes for meetings!

So I have challenged myself for all you busy people out there to create a meeting guide on one page… and get you focused on making your meetings rock!

Here are my learning's from crafting and delivering many thousands of workshops, meetings and trainings in many different cultures and settings over my 30+ year career!

Start with some questions

Silhouette of hand raised against sunset

  • When planning a meeting the starting point has to be the question, “What is the purpose of the meeting?”
  • Second question is ... “What do I want people to do after the meeting?”
  • Third question is … ”How do I want them to feel?”
  • Fourth question is ... “How am I going to inspire action?”

Sell your meeting before it begins

Man and woman sat at table looking at phone

  • Always have a purpose to a meeting that is aligned to organisation goals and values – and communicate the alignment.
  • Sell the purpose of the meeting before people get there - they should want to be there and arrive curious, excited, and valued.
  • Invite individuals personally to meetings and sell the value of them being there and why they need to be there
  • When working out who should be there ask 2 questions, will they add value or receive value?… if no don’t invite them.
  • Create the right environment for the purpose and type of meeting – use different processes and different environments for different meetings.

Set an agenda

Checklist with boxes ticked with pink highlighter

  • Write the agenda topics as questions to get people in the right frame and to get them thinking about solutions.
  • Use Sticky Steps planning to craft your agenda - in order to … I must …
  • When developing an agenda you must develop ‘the what’ AND ‘the how’ – use the best tools and techniques to tackle each item.
  • Never have Any Other Business - find out individual hopes and fears before the meeting or right at the start. And kill the risk!

Manage meetings that aren't boring!

Women laughing with two coworkers in coffee shop

  • It may seem a little obvious, but make sure your meeting is planned, prepared and conducted. Cancelling last minute or being late will damage the effectiveness of future meetings.
  • Handle any negativity at the start to give you time to raise desire and motivation so people leave on a high.
  • Remember that there are never difficult people at meetings … you have or are using the wrong process.
  • Never ask, “Do you understand?”  Check for clarity and challenge people to verbalise what they are going to do.
  • Use technology that is appropriate to the type of meeting and the topic(s) you're covering.
  • Actions should be worked on immediately. Writing up actions days later is poor discipline. You want action now. Hold people accountable.
  • Never ask, “Do you understand?” Check for clarity and challenge people to verbalise what they are going to do.
  • Make it fun, have a laugh, keep active, use nature, use music, keep it interactive, use visual facilitation, make it creative, inspire action.
  • Always look for ways to improve your meetings … review and learn every time. 
  • Make your Meetings ROCK!

Every success,

Graham

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About the author

Graham Wilson

Graham Wilson

I enjoy and specialise in teaching leadership skills, how to create winning strategies, how to build high performance cultures. Outcomes and results are the most important measures for me!