The Most Valuable Part of a Meeting: What Happens Next

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“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.

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Transcript

we dive in once again to the most in-demand topic of blackboard Friday’s how to make the most of meetings in your business and for all the conversations we’ve had we’ve never really explored what I consider to be the most valuable part of your meeting now it’s not setting the agenda at the start it’s not the importance of the chair to manage the energy to get that momentum it’s not even the regular scheduling of the meetings the most important part of a meeting in business is what happens after because it’s only if that meeting impacts change a change in understanding or a change in behavior that the meeting can be said to have value and if you find yourself in your business with your team having the same old meetings and the same conversations going around and around then you’re not making decisions you’re not making change you may be making recommendations you may be having great ideas but after the meeting nothing’s getting done nobody’s being held accountable and as a result those meetings are wasting everybody’s time today gonna walk through a bit of a flowchart now this is linked to episode 71 where we talked about five different types of communication that happen in businesses and that happens in meetings as well and meetings often get held for the wrong reason the wrong type of communication so let’s have a look at where we start the very first question is this going to be one-way communication is this just me as the business owner or the team leader getting up and just talking at people that fYI kind of communication or maybe I just want to have a rant get something off of my spleen if that’s the case you don’t want a meeting that one-way communication is something that can be done much better by email if it’s brief if it’s something that can be communicated clearly without ambiguity and in only a few paragraphs or face-to-face with some of the key individuals that are involved or cascading through the business where you share that with team leaders who then share that face-to-face one-on-one with team one where communication is so much faster than getting everybody in for a meeting that goes on and on and on to justify the half hour or the full hour time slot that you’ve scheduled so okay it’s not one-way communication it is actually two-way conversation then the question is is the purpose of this mostly for you to gather data to gather information in other words is this the ask type of communication where you have a lot of questions that you want answered now that’s the case a meeting may still be the most effective way to achieve that you have to ask yourself who needs to be there if I’m going around different department heads for example and asking them for their input their updates do they all need to be there do they all need to be there for all of the meeting a great liberating decision that I brought to a lot of my clients over the years is the fact that somebody may be involved in a meeting but that doesn’t mean they have to be involved in the whole meeting they might be able to come in for 15 minutes or for half the meeting for the part that they’re required to be there and suddenly their time while present is more effective and their time in the day is a put to better use than sitting through a meeting where they don’t need to be there for part of the conversation while you’re asking a lot of questions of somebody else that isn’t relevant to them okay so it’s not one-way communication you’re not gathering data that means that you’re either looking to have a discussion or you’re looking to make a decision about something in your business now if it’s a discussion great this is where being a chair managing the energy making sure that everybody’s heard that we stick to tasks is very very important you do also need to be very very clear if you’re having a discussion about something that you want to change make sure everybody in that discussion knows who will ultimately make a decision to change are you having this discussion because you’re going to recommend or enforce a change or are you having a discussion so this group can come back at a later point and actually make a decision on that topic get that clear the discussion will be more effective and you want to keep having that discussion going around in circles lastly the most valuable meeting type is one where you’re making clear decisions of about that change that is going to come after if you’re having these meetings and hopefully you’re having them on a regular basis not discussing things that can be done in an email but actually diving deep on things that can change and making recommendations then what you need to walk out of that meeting with to make sure it has that momentum through the business is a clear and documented to-do list or action list who’s going to do what by when and noted documented the agreements that you’ve made in that meeting so that they’re there they’re written in paper you can’t have somebody say later I didn’t understand I didn’t realize alright for god this is this accountability perspective for these meetings get the to-do lists and those agreements documented get them communicated and shared through the business as soon as possible and then hold people accountable for too many businesses there is no culture of accountability it feels like a difficult conversation and then they wonder why their team don’t take responsibility and why things don’t change Oh change as fast as they want you can build a culture of accountability where your team or at least the right members of your team will step up and enjoy it how do you do that praise success in public when somebody follows through when somebody lives your culture your vision praise them in front of their peers if somebody’s letting you down call them on it but call them on it in private bring them in and if you’re having regular one-on-one meetings on a weekly or monthly basis that’s the perfect way to do it in a non-confrontational way but make sure they know that you’ve seen them not pulling their weight make practicing what we preach doing what we say we’re going to do holding our promises make that a documented and agreed behavior as part of the culture in your business get everybody aligned to the fact that that is right at the

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