Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Seven Mistakes I Made (Make) in Leading Meetings

I've had them and you have too. Those meetings that seem to go nowhere. The one for which you punted important study time, time with family, or watching a great football game.

Sometimes it was a novice leader who was unprepared. Sometimes it was my fault. Early on, I simply didn't understand some dynamics about meetings. No one told me. I had to gradually discover by trial and error, and also by reading books from leaders who were much better at meetings than I am. 

So I'm sharing my mistakes with you in the hope that maybe you won't make these same mistakes. Learn from me. In lieu of writing "Book for Dummies about Meetings," here are seven big ones I've made and still make sometimes.

1. Not having a clear purpose for the meeting, rehearsal. (Is this to brainstorm, update, or debrief? Is it tactical? Is it to learn the choir song for Sunday or to work on heart issues?) 

2. Not being clear on who’s leading the meeting. Who is the facilitator? Who’s driving the bus?

3. Wrong people in the room or at the table. Does the content impact or speak to the people in the room? Keep in mind how “beavers” (task-oriented people) may be frustrated with creative meetings. 

4. Forgetting the impact of environmental factors.
a.    Room temp
b.    Sound level
c.    Too crowded, too empty
d.    Lighting
            e.    Bad time of day 
    5. Poor use of time (start late, longer than expected) 
    6. Not thinking about the first 5 minutes and the last 5 minutes.
a. State the purpose (People don’t know what you’re thinking.)
b. End with vision and clarity. “Start by getting attention. End with a bang.”

7. No personal touch or acknowledging the unique circumstances of people.(Did you encourage anyone? Did you say 'thank you'? Did you say, "I know it was extra sacrifice for you to attend, Joe. I appreciate it!")

    There you have it! Here's to more great meetings!

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