Meetings Don’t Have to Be Horrible

Text - Leadership Tip: are you plagued with boring, ineffective meetings? Image - cartoon face yawning Text - Meet more and mine for conflict Image - two people facing each other in argument, one holding a sign with the word "yes!" and the other holding a sign with the word "no!"

Dreading that upcoming meeting?

In his book Death by Meeting, Patrick Lencioni shares that the answer to terrible meetings isn’t to have less of them. He suggests we should be having more and proposes:

⭐ Daily Check-Ins – a quick 5 minutes with the team to discuss the upcoming day.
⭐ Weekly Tacticals – 45 to 90 minutes to discuss weekly activities and metrics and proactively resolve barriers for the week ahead. Discussion topics are selected during the meeting, not before.
⭐ Monthly Strategics – 2 to 4 hours to step back and look at the bigger picture, identify and plan for critical issues that will affect long-term success. Ad-hoc strategies can also be added, as needed.
⭐ Quarterly Off-Site Reviews – 1 to 2 days to review strategy, key personnel, team development, industry trends, and competitive landscape.

Lencioni notes that by having more meetings and keeping tactical and strategy topics separate, we gain clarity and have more productive meetings.

But the frequency and focus of the meetings won’t stop them from being boring. For that, we need to invite conflict, challenge each other’s ideas and have some healthy debate. Not only does it make the meeting more exciting, it helps us come to better decisions. For healthy conflict, we need a high level of trust, assertive behaviour, and good facilitation.

Are you worried about adding more meetings to your already full week? Consider all the time spent writing emails, making phone calls, and having impromptu meetings to respond to weekly issues. The daily check-ins and weekly tacticals minimize these reactive actions, freeing up time and, perhaps more importantly, reducing our stress.    

Looking to improve your meetings? What’s one thing you could start doing to create success?