Meetings. Every business has them… everyone seems to hate them, right? After all, they cost money and time but your people aren’t out making any money. Yet, they are necessary to run the business.
Do you just suck it up and deal with it by churning out one crappy meeting after another?
A lot of service business owners think so. In fact, during every Service Business Edge event I hold (and even back when they were called Warrior Fast Track Academy), people are stunned at the strategies I share about meetings and they frequently ask many follow-up questions.
It seems to me like everyone wants their meetings to get better but they don’t know how so they just keep doing the same old useless meetings over and over again.
Well, here’s the good news: you don’t have to put up with bad meetings anymore. Let me show you how to transform your meetings.
Use these 4 tips to make your meetings more effective, more efficient, and maybe even more fun!
Check out this video and be sure to read below to get some additional tips and tricks for better meetings.
Warrior Meeting Tip #1—Have An Agenda
Many service business owners hold meetings but don’t show up prepared with an agenda. When that happens, meetings actually take longer because you don’t get on track or stay on track (because nobody knows what the track is!).
Identify the agenda and, when appropriate, make sure that everyone knows what the agenda is before the meeting even starts. (Or, at the very latest, share the agenda at the beginning of the meeting if you’re not able to share it before).
An agenda is not just the list of topics that you want to cover; your agenda is ultimately your target for the meeting. If you crossed everything off your agenda, you achieve the target!
And if someone brings up anything that’s not on the agenda (and let’s face it, someone ALWAYS does!) as long as it’s not an emergency, simply point out that it’s not on the agenda and you will put it on the agenda for the next meeting.
Warrior Meeting Tip #2—Establish Guidelines
Set guidelines for a more productive meeting.
Depending on the meeting, this may need to be done before the meeting starts (such as: if you have a day-long meeting with your leaders) or it may need to be done at the beginning of the meeting (such as: if you have an all-company meeting).
Guidelines may include such things as:
- When breaks will occur
- How to communicate (Do you just speak up when you have a question? Will there be time later for questions so you should hold your questions? Etc. Will there be a discussion or is an information-only meeting?)
You may want to set other guidelines, too, including what people need to bring to the meeting or what they are expected to do after the meeting.
Warrior Meeting Tip #3—Set Boundaries
The bigger your meetings, the more likely you need to set boundaries. Everyone brings in their own perspectives and opinions, which can be valuable but can also be unproductive in the wrong setting.
When brainstorming with a business partner, you want frank and honest discussion with plenty of back-and-forth friendly debate. But at an all-company meeting when you are introducing a new idea or approach to how you want your company to operate, that is not the time for everyone to voice their opinion.
Boundaries ensure that the conversation remains constructive and respectful for everyone and ensures that discussion actually occurs without hurt feelings or some people being left out.
Warrior Meeting Tip #4—State Your Non-Negotiables
Non-negotiables are just what the name implies—elements that are not up for debate and will not be tolerated if they occur.
Non-negotiables are the aspects of your meetings that must or must not occur. For example: “We will not behave in this way at meetings.”
A non-negotiable might be: “We won’t berate, insult, or talk down to a fellow employee.” It simply won’t be tolerated in a meeting.
Want to take your business and life to the next level? You’ll love this: these 4 components for next-level meetings can apply elsewhere too: They can apply to one-on-one meetings with leaders or employees. They can apply to meetings with customers. They can apply to meetings with vendors. They can even apply to conversations that you have with a spouse, a child, or a friend.
Any time that you want to have a conversation or meeting with someone, these 4 components will help to make that interaction more valuable and more efficient.
Try it out! Practice it in your business and at home. You’ll see how powerful it can be.