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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Better Meetings

I was volunteered to watch a client's repeating meeting. Depressing. It was scheduled for an hour, people arrived late to protect themselves or avoid discomfort, went for over 90 minutes.

What I learned:

Opinions don’t count. As satisfactory as airing an opinion is to the opinionator, it didn’t add value to the conversation. Higher status participants thinks organizational status confers intellectual brilliance. What works is relating an experience with a prospect or customer, something observed outside the building.

I was once told, “Dick, you’re not creative. Your idea of creativity is to ask ten people what they think.” Now I see that when prospects and customers tell you what they want, that is not your opinion, and it is the information needed.  

Stifle snap judgments. I saw three examples where the alphadog (manager, not worker) gave an explanation before understanding the situation. Needed a do over” each time. Full stop, reboot, repeat previous conversation. There were a lot of people sitting around watching.

Set a consistent agenda. This meeting wandered wherever the leader wanted to go. At the end, I couldn’t tell if he was satisfied or tired. Everyone else was just tired. You can either prototype the meeting format or get good information. I can’t do both at the same time.

End on time. If you can’t get it done in 50 minutes, you probably can’t get it done. Over time people learn based on what happens to them.

My solution? Why thank you for inquiring. *grin* Check out Sales Lab Status Meetings

What is your tip for better meetings?
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