Put some meetings on booster

Hi this is Cyril from Work Smarter, Live better. In this video, I want to share one simple advice to increase the speed of some of your meetings.

I was working recently with a group of leaders from a large bank in Australia and they were all complaining, saying “meetings are a nightmare. We have so many meetings: internals, externals. They’re too long. They’re not well-prepared. They are not effective”. By the way there’s actually an interesting survey done in 2014 published in Harvard Business School that says that managers and leaders rank more than half the meeting they have as ineffective or very ineffective.

I asked them a simple question: are they always different kind of meetings or do you have recurring meetings? And they said “No Cyril, a lot of our meetings are recurring, the same kind of meetings over and over again”. So I gave them one simple tip to increase the velocity of their meetings: “Create templates”. Genius? No, it’s not. But most people don’t do it.

What do I mean by this? I’ll give you my example. In my world I have three kinds of category of meetings. I have my “client meetings”. I have my “team meetings” and I have my “mentoring meetings”.

So I have three big categories of meetings: client / team / mentoring. Let’s take the first category, the client meetings. There’s a few different kinds of client meetings. One of the client meetings we have we call them “strategy meetings”. And our strategy meetings are 45 minutes meetings with potential clients really going in depth of some of the issues that they are facing to assess if we are right for them and make some recommendation.

For this, I have a nine square template. It starts with the introduction and a few words that I say, then the positioning, and so on, until I get to the conclusion / next steps. There are nine boxes. And so before I have any of these strategy meetings I open this template, write down the date and the name of the person. And during the meeting I’m just following my template. 

For my team meeting, another example: I have one-on-one with members of my team. And so we have a meeting that we call the big rock review meeting. Every week we review the progress of the big rocks. There is a big rock meeting template and we just follow the same logic.

The value for me is a few things. The first thing is it increased the speed of preparation. Preparation becomes super quick. I don’t have to think about the questions I’m going to ask. I can spend the time preparing on researching about this potential client. 

It makes the meeting much faster. You’ll be surprised the number of 15 minutes meetings I have, 20 minutes and 45 minutes meetings I have. It makes the meeting so much faster and so much better.

Simply create templates for your recurring meetings that you have. Rocket Science? No, but really worth it. 

This is this week’s Work Smarter: Live Better tip. Start with one or two meeting templates, don’t start too complex. Very simple templates that you create for your meetings. And a few questions that need to be asked. Start with that, you’ll improve it as you go but it will really increase the velocity of your meetings.

Hope you enjoy it. Until next time, you have a lovely day. Cheers!

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