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a blog by Chris Barrow

Honest meetings

How many meetings do you schedule, attend, hold or perhaps even choose not to bother with? How many of those meetings…

  1. meet the objective?

  2. are driven?

  3. are effective?

  4. are challenging

  5. worth you time and attention?

It’s actually very rare that any given meeting will achieve more than one or two of the above. It’s difficult to create the appropriate environment where meetings flow, follow an agenda, where objective decisions are made, where participants are honest, passionate and accountable. In the 21st Century, success is achieving many much smaller results day in day out; a combination of results being delivered by you, your people, your team and your suppliers. In a successful organisation there is no room, time or money for meetings that do not deliver on every single occasion. There are plenty of textbooks, articles and self-help wizards that can guide you on most of the above. However, very few discuss the fundamental need to create an environment where your team can be 100% honest. Dan Rockwell has a great blog where he defines meetings apart from honesty as:

  1. Driven by personal agenda

  2. Scripted frustration

  3. Fake affirmations of weak leadership

To paraphrase Dan; great organisations have great meetings.

  1. Honest participation is facilitated by an honest leader – always point out elephants in the room

  2. Honour honesty – never punish, always reward

  3. Success depends on an chairman who drives, keeps focus on the action points and constantly searches for a decisions

  4. Clarify the problem in detail before discussing a solution

  5. Forgot perfect solutions – focus on imperfect next steps

  6. Assign accountability and deadlines

  7. Start where you ended

Next time you schedule, attend or hold a meeting – ask yourself how ‘honest’ the participants are going to be. If they are not – perhaps you should consider not bothering…

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