Just choose 3

A few years ago, I was in a meeting with Paul, a senior leader of a large financial company in Australia. Paul had asked me to work with him and his team and I was curious to know what had prompted him to want to work with me.  His answer was very simple. He took his mobile phone out of his pocket, opened his calendar, and showed me his week which had been booked full of meetings.

Then he asked me: ‘When am I supposed to do my job?’

According to research, leaders have on average more than 7 meetings per day. Moreover, when asked about the effectiveness of these meetings, 71% of leaders said that most of their meetings were unproductive and inefficient. So much time invested for so little return.

Bonjour, in this video, I want to make one simple suggestion that can have a real impact not only on your performance, but also on the performance of your team.

Let me be very clear. I am not saying that meetings are bad. However, it is certainly worth having a discussion with your team about how to make your meetings more effective. How do you do this? The answer is very simple.

Firstly, ask the team to make a list of all the things that frustrate them about meetings. You are not resolving anything yet. You are just making a list.

Then ask the team to choose the three biggest frustrations, the three things that if resolved would have the biggest impact.

Finally, get your team to turn each frustration into a simple meeting etiquette.

That’s it. No more complicated than this. Et voila, you have your meeting etiquettes backed up by everyone in the team.

I was working with Rachel and her team who is a leader from one of the largest IT companies in the world. It was a three-to-four-month journey where I challenged their work habits. During the journey we did the above process and chose three simple meeting etiquettes.

A few weeks later when I was debriefing their progress, Leah, one of the team members, shared something which really struck me. She was quite emotional about it: “Cyril, I have seen the impact of those 3 simple rules are having on this team. It has made our meetings so much more effective. The reason why I am still frustrated is because I am part of another team, and I can now see that their meetings are so ineffective. I have suggested to the leader to adopt a similar approach, but he doesn’t want to address it.’

Let me ask you this, is it worth your team investing 30 minutes of their time in discussing how to have more effective meetings?

30 minutes is all you need to choose three rules that can make a huge difference to your meetings.

This is this week’s Work Smarter: Live Better tip. Hope you have a lovely day.

A bientôt,

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