Funny, isn’t it? For all the #BlackboardFridays that have discussed strategies used to help businesses add millions in revenue, the episode with the best feedback was when we discussed how to run better meetings (Episode 28 here).
Of course, that does make some sense – you may only review your strategy a few times per year, but being stuck in terrible meetings is an almost daily-occurance for some business owners!
The first step in the ‘Momentum Meeting Process’ [LINK TO EPISODE 28] is based on setting an Agenda that’s both comprehensive and achieves your desired results. Join us in this week’s episode as I explore ‘Agenda Setting’ in more detail, including the 4 most common mistakes that meeting chairs make.
Who is Jacob Aldridge, Business Coach?
“The smart and quirky advisor who gets sh!t done in business.” Back independent since 2019.
Since April 2006, I’ve been an international business advisor providing bespoke solutions for privately-owned businesses with 12-96 employees.
At this stage you have proven your business model, but you’re struggling to turn aspirations into day-to-day reality. You are still responsible for all 28 areas of your business, but you don’t have the time or budget to hire 28 different experts.
You need 1 person you can trust who can show you how everything in your business is connected, and which areas to prioritise first.
– Here’s a question I wasspecifically asked to address.And hey, if you’ve ever got any questionsthat you want answeredor specific pain points in your business,please do send me an email,send us through a requestand we’ll cover it in aBlackboard Fridays episode.This question was howto set better agendasfor the meetings thatI’m running with my team.Now, you may recognize thisdiagram here on the left.This is from episode 28, it’sthe momentum meeting process.It’s designed to helpyou run more efficient,more energized meetings toget much better outcomesas a result.And it starts up here with the agenda.I’ll also draw the analogyto the gratitude sales model,which has agenda as the very first step.Setting a clear agenda atthe outset of a meetingis the number one toolthat is going to create better meetingsand better outcomes for you.So how do you do it?Well, I like to think aboutdifferent agenda itemsacross a couple of thesedifferent either-or conversations.So for each agenda item,and you can have this listif you’re chairing ameeting to have a look,ask yourself is this item abig picture or a specific item.Is this a discussion that we need to haveor is this a decisionthat we need to make?Is this a thinking analyticaltask for the agendaor is this more of a feeling,people sharing how they feel about a topicor we need to talk about it in that space?And is this about askingthe group in the meetingwhat they think or feelor is this about telling them something?Get clear on those and evenstart grouping your agenda itemsinto some of those different categories.Where a lot of meetings go wrongis when they bounce around.We have this big feeling conversationbecause I ask a questionand then we jump intoa thinking one that’s quite analyticaland then back to a feeling.Or worse still, we don’t have claritybetween some of these distinctions.I’m running the meetingand I want a decision,but everyone else thinkswe’re just here to have a chatand have a nice discussion,so they go down that pathand I leave the meetingfeeling unsatisfied.If you’re not clear when somebodyputs an item on the agendaabout where it fits into those,ask the follow-up question.So where do I see meetings go wrongas a result of the agenda?Often, too much big pictureand too much discussion,not enough specific, not enough decision.It’s a nice chat, but nothingactually gets resolved.You end up having thosemeetings to plan meetingsto have another meeting becausenothing actually comes outof the meeting that you set.Get to specifics, ask a questionand I’ve even said in the pastthat having a question markagenda where every itemhas to end in a question,is a great way to make surethat you do get solutions and agreementswhen you’re going through the process.I also see meetings go badwhen you discuss things too early.The first one or twothings get on the agendaand then the conversation just flows.The most important topic in a meetingmay not be the first thingthat people think of.So make sure as the chair of that meetingthat you’re holding off.What else?What else do you wanna cover today?What else do you wanna cover today?What else do you wanna cover today?Let’s get the wholeagenda out before we startmoving into discussingsome of the specifics.You may not be able to covereverything, but at leastyou’ll cover the most important aspects.For recurring appointments,recurring meetings, it’s greatto have a fixed agenda,something that recursalong with the meeting.So this for instance might be a meetingwith your marketing team whereonce a month you sit downand talk about what you’re doingfrom a marketing strategy perspectiveand that’s going to touchon a lot of the same pointsmonth after month.You still wanna do the check-into see what else is there.But by having a recurringagenda, people come prepared.And even for non-recurringmeetings, having a teamcome prepared makes theactual meeting processso much more valuable and more efficient.Whether you’re sending out aspecific agenda or just a topicfor the meeting and runningthe agenda at the start,explaining to people what theycan expect from the meeting,what outcomes you’re looking foror the meeting host is looking forcan ensure that they come prepared.And frankly, if you’re runninga meeting just to tell,just to give information,that could probably be coveredin an email.Now, blaming meetingsfor loss of productivity,a joke I’ve used beforeis like blaming spoonsfor all of that icecream that makes me fat.They’re a great toolwhen they’re used well.And it comes back to the very beginning.Set clear agendas, geteverything out, categorize itto make the conversation more efficient.And for the love of God,get to some solutionsand agreements, confirmthe actions at the endand take your team out of the meetingknowing that they’vemoved the business forwardas a result.(light music
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