Welcome to episode 35 of our podcast, The Executive Edge with Caterina. She runs a business called www.theleaderpath.com and has written a book called ‘Hold Successful Meetings’. Her book has already sold out on Amazon.
It is testimony to the value of the book that people have purchased it so quickly. It is also a topic many of us can relate to. We have all been to a meeting which has felt like a waste of our time or where we’ve been bored. Not all meetings are like this of course, but for many of us we feel we attend too many. Or, when back-to-back, we feel exhausted by the end of the day.
Caterina has developed a system and process in her book. Called the 4D meeting framework, she recognises that many of the errors we typically find in poorly run meetings are because they lack structure. The way to start is to have an objective to work towards. ‘Why are you meeting and what do you want to achieve?’ Although this may seem simple, it’s often overlooked in favour of sheer habit and requirement.
What are the other issues?
Many meetings also seem to take place with leaders who allow someone to talk too much. This is easily done when team members are extrovert, but it can work against quieter members. Sometimes people take too long to cover a topic or come to the point. This hijacks the time or attention of everyone there. Typical too, is a lack of inclusion, or no sense of how to end the meeting so that the outcomes are agreed.
We all know meetings are essential in business but getting them right pays off. Poor management of them results in poor outcomes. Often the chaos that ensues is the product of lack of structure. Meetings are not held for just one purpose either, so it can help to work out what you’re doing there. Do you want creative brainstorming, strategic alignment, or reviewing operational issues? They’re all different.