Are your meetings boring? Do your meetings result in everyone feeling more engaged after you are done? How many meetings does it take before you can make a key decision? Are your meetings mainly status updates? Are the meetings dominated by one or two leaders? Is the senior leader dictating to everyone else what they must do? How well aligned are everyone’s priorities? Do leaders hold each other accountable? Do all the leaders really say what they are thinking? Are everyone’s ideas heard? Do people leave feeling stressed? If your meetings fit those descriptions, they could be a lot more productive!
How to Measure If A Meeting is Successful
Most often leaders are concerned that there are too many meetings, or that meetings are too long, or with some other wrong measurement of effectiveness. I suggest changing the measurement system. For example, a good leading indicator that something important is being discussed is that there are different opinions —conflict — and that most of the people in the room are engaged in the discussion. Other indicators of good meetings are the number of critical decisions made, new actions developed, number of new ideas created and accepted, and increase in percentage of goals achieved. These are real indicators that your meetings are worthwhile. If you have a really good meeting, then everyone leaves feeling invested in the decisions that were made and aligned as a team! If you run your meeting well the participants should leave feeling stretched but not stressed.
Every Meeting Should Have Healthy Conflict
There should be good healthy conflict in every good meeting, and people should venture out of their comfort zones. Do not confuse this with stress. Your meeting should be an environment where everyone is stretched and doing their best thinking. When there is a lack of conflict or engaged dialog amongst the team, it is an indication you are not talking about anything that requires any real discussion, failing to emphasize the hard-to-achieve goals and key performance indicators, not holding people accountable, not talking about the “elephants in the room” or the real issues going on the in company. If you are not having this type of regular conflict, you have a problem with your “team”, and I recommend reading “Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni. The lack of conflict can be an indication that the foundation of a strong team — trust — is missing.
Failure to conduct effective meetings is robbing you of significant growth and profits. Call Howard Shore for a FREE consultation at (305) 722-7213 to see how a business coach can help you run a more effective organization.