by Myles Chadwick
I love a good meeting. I love listening to new ideas, sharing my own, and collaborating to create a plan of action. I walk into meetings with a “C’mon gang, lets save the world!” attitude, but this was definitely not always the case. There was a time when I would get a sinking feeling if I had a meeting scheduled with any group of coworkers that held differing priorities and communication styles. Meetings would last twice as long as they should have or end with too many unanswered questions, though sometimes it was both. Years ago, I remember watching one of my peers grow so frustrated over the course of a two-hour meeting that he was close to tears because he kept having to repeat himself for those people who were texting or emailing the first time he said things. Over time, “meeting” had become a bad word in my book, and I would avoid them at all costs!
As It turns out, I was not the only one who had begun to fear meetings, and thankfully, a few years back, our CEO, Amy Mills, returned from a Zingtrain workshop with a new idea about what meetings could look like. The very next week, at the beginning of a team meeting, she handed each of us a sheet of paper:
Download the 10 Rules for Better Meetings as a PDF here.
Since adopting the 10 Rules, most of our team members have stopped bringing phones or laptops to meetings at all, because we know that the meeting will not start until they are put away. When someone gets hung up over-explaining how something went wrong, one of us will gently remind that person to “…keep it 80/20”. We know that we need to keep our energy up, mentally prepare, and stay on topic. And here is the irony: now that we love our meetings, we have half as many of them to enjoy! It turns out that when you follow these rules, meetings are more productive, shorter, and needed less frequently! Try adopting these at your next couple of meetings – roll them out with optimism and excitement (it’s not a punishment).
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