Leadership Lessons from INBOUND: Meetings Suck

Posted by Andi Cook on Jan 16, 2017 3:00:00 PM

Ain’t that the truth?! But Cameron Herold tells us that they don’t have to suck. We just need to get better at Defining-Leadership-Lessons.jpgrunning them. I was super jazzed about attending this session. Who doesn’t want to make their meetings more effective. After Cameron’s inspiring talk I’ve started using some of his keys for successful meetings and it seems to be working. #MeetingsDontHaveToSuck

  • Have a clear meeting purpose written in one sentence. Include it in the meeting invite.
  • Have a clear agenda with a maximum of 3 outcomes. List in what order you are covering the agenda items and for how long. Use the total minutes to book the meeting length.
  • If you’re not 5 minutes early you’re late. Start exactly on time and stop 5 minutes early so that everyone has time to get to the next meeting.
  • Be mindful of invitees. If someone doesn’t get a chance to speak then why are they invited.
  • Have a moderator, time keeper and a parking lot for ideas without time to cover but want to discuss later
  • Use the ratio we have – 2 ears and 1 mouth – listen twice as much as you speak
  • There are three types of agenda items:
    • Info share – top down, bottom up, lateral, one-person sharing
    • Creative discussion – idea generation, everyone contributing
    • Consensus decision – discuss, debate, decide, get consensus. Debate stays in the room
  • Don’t delegate tasks. Ask who has got tasks. Identify who is doing what by when. Not when it will be finished but when they are doing it.
  • Written word breeds misinterpretation. If your email is longer than 5 sentences nobody is reading it. Have more face to face meetings.

Those are just the basics.  He encourages each of us to uphold the “no agenda, no attenda” stance. Do not attend a meeting if there is not a clear meeting agenda.

He suggests that the CEO’s job is to speak last. Their job is to grow people. Not to always have their ideas heard. He advises that you can’t hold people accountable. You have to instead hire accountable people.

Cameron suggests that there are several daily, weekly, monthly meetings that should be held. They are pointed and strategic. Each with a clear and concise agenda. He also encourages quarterly and annual retreats which include specific goals, skill development, team building and personality profiling exercises. The ultimate outcome is improved team work as a result of a better understanding of one another.

You can order his book “Meetings Suck” on amazon or from his blog. Thanks for the meeting makeover Cameron. You rock!

Topics: Leadership