Can a Meeting Feel Energizing? YES!
By : Ken Paskins -
In a February article on the Harvard Business Review, Ron Carucci asserted that a meeting can often,“take on two destructive pathologies: they become meetings as a source of power or meetings as a bottleneck.”
Are your meetings going in the wrong direction?
When is your next meeting? Are you looking forward to it? If you aren’t, I guarantee you neither is anybody else. And if nobody is looking forward to the meeting, then you are on the path to one of those two destructive pathologies.
Most of us can agree that there is nothing worse than stopping whatever you’re doing to go to a meeting that doesn’t truly engage you. So…what to do?!
Before your next meeting, take some time to ask yourself a few key questions. Make it your goal to be excited to go the meeting, to find yourself fully present and engaged and optimistic about the outcomes.
Important Questions To Consider That Will Energize Your Meeting
- Who is going to the meeting?
- What is the purpose of the meeting?
- How do you envision leaving the meeting?
Who Is Going
This is key. To quote the same article mentioned above, “The composition of a meeting should be defined by its charter, and only those who have something specific to contribute — expertise, authority over resources, responsibility to execute — should be included. Anyone else who has a stake in the meeting outcome should be informed. For example, if a meeting charter has significant implications for finance, one person from finance can attend and keep their colleagues informed.”
Seems like a no-brainer, but it means really looking at your list of attendees and then consider from whom you’re most excited to hear and who you’re just including to make that person/team feel included.
If you’re not looking forward to what will amount to little more than a low-level status update, neither is anybody else. On the other hand, if you know that a junior sales manager has come up with a brilliant new strategy that yielded unprecedented results, be sure to give him/her the floor for a significant portion of the meeting.
What Is The Purpose
To reiterate, your goal is to make this a meeting you look forward to. A meeting meant to update the team won’t get anybody particularly excited to stop working to hear what most of the team already knows. Design a new purpose that energizes you when you think about it.
I recommend going back to your Rocks. Review where you left off on each Rock and ask yourself what needs to happen next and why. Remember, Rocks are the three to seven specific strategic initiatives that you have identified as priorities. They are KEY to growing your business and realizing your long-term vision.
Leaving The Meeting
What do you hope to FEEL when you’re leaving the meeting? All too often, teams can leave meetings feeling drained, possibly intimidated, feeling even less in control of their small corner of the world. What might it be like if everybody felt empowered and energized?
Take a moment to visualize in quantifiable, measurable terms how you’ll feel at the end of the meeting. Can you see your team leaving the table excited about actionable, attainable goals? What would have to have happened for that vision to become a reality? Are you leaving the meeting with less work but more optimism? Less to do but a lot more to think about? Will you have freed up enough mental energy to map out your longer-term goals?
Write it down!
Whatever you want to see and feel by the end of the meeting, write it down…and then go back and review the Who and the Rocks again. Are you on track to a great meeting? Are you looking forward to it now? If so, so is everybody else. I guarantee it.
Do you have any other ideas for energizing your next meeting? We love to hear the great ideas generated in this community. OR are there trouble spots that you aren’t sure how to address? Maybe there are people in the meetings that chronically derail your purpose. Maybe you’re just accustomed to having the usual status-update meetings that don’t necessarily hurt the meeting agenda, but neither do they lift the meeting to new levels of engagement. If so, we can help. We’re happy to provide free consults on these matters. Email us and let’s make your next meeting energizing.