Dr. Jason’s Speak Life™ Newsletter – Volume 7 Issue 10
Inside This Issue
• Conducting Productive Meetings
• Message from the President
• Consulting Focus: Providing Timely Feedback
• Industry Perspectives
Conducting Productive Meetings
Meetings are a necessary component of any business environment, but they can often be unproductive. Meetings are costly in time, which is a valuable resource in any organization. Many employees complain of spending too much time in meetings and too little time implementing the strategies discussed in those meetings. It often appears that the higher up one is in an organization, the more meetings he or she is required to attend. It is not unheard of for a leader’s daily agenda to be completely full of nothing but meetings. With so much time spent in meetings, it is important to make them as productive as possible.
Here are six steps your organization can take to conduct more productive meetings:
1. Have an established agenda. What is the purpose of this meeting? Are we meeting because we always meet on Mondays? The purpose of every meeting should be clear and spelled out at the beginning. This helps keep things on track.
2. Consider having stand-up meetings. When people are seated and relaxed, meetings tend to drag on for longer periods of time. If the attendees are standing, things tend to progress more quickly and less time is wasted.
3. Limit the time of meetings. Set a limit of 30 minutes for every meeting. This requires the facilitator to maximize the use of time and avoid unnecessary topics. Setting an actual timer that goes off in 30 minutes will signal the end of the meeting.
4. Limit the number of attendees. Too often people are invited to meetings who really do not need to attend. The information can easily be passed on to them after the meeting. Having them in the meeting only wastes their time. Make sure only the key players are included in the meeting invitations.
5. Have action plans before ending. What are the takeaways from this meeting? Each person’s task should be spelled out concisely so there can be accountability.
6. Take advantage of technology. So many technological advances make meeting more efficient. Whether it is video conferencing, messaging or presentation software, make use of these tools to increase the productive use of time during the session.
There are certainly benefits to having meetings, but we can be more efficient in the use of the time required to conduct them. When meetings are productive, attendees leave them energized and ready to accomplish the goals that have been set forth.
Message from the President
“…Your strength of will and determination will propel you onward to victory.”
The use of self-discipline seems to be declining in many environments. Many people are looking for an easy way out. Instant gratification is often the expectation today. However, almost anything worth having requires effort. Effort is not only required to attain most goals, but also to maintain them. This was certainly true for me as a professional football player in the NFL. Discipline is a continuous process. The sooner you develop the habit of self-discipline, the sooner it will become a part of who you are as a person.
Being disciplined will make you stand out from your competition. When others have given up on their dreams and have accepted the status quo, your strength of will and determination will propel you onward to victory. It can be easy to give up and quit, but it takes real discipline and focus to keep moving toward your goals, despite any obstacles. Never give up!
Consulting Focus: Providing Timely Feedback
The Ken Blanchard Companies polled 1,400 executives and found that failing to provide feedback is the most common mistake that leaders make. As a leader, you should not wait until an evaluation or performance review to inform team members of problems or positive performance. People respond well to immediate feedback. Much valuable time can be wasted if this information is delayed. If corrections are needed, they can be addressed very quickly before further damage can occur. If affirmation is given, this will provide immediate motivation for team members to continue positive behaviors.
The social media environment has conditioned a generation to instantaneous feedback. It is expected that information is given at the time it is most relevant. Waiting too late to tell an employee about bad behavior forces the hearer to rely on their memory, which is often faulty. The sooner the brain can process the information, the better. It can also be useful to use this same social media technology to offer feedback to members of your organization.
Many leaders incorporate daily stand-up meetings with their teams to provide direction and counsel. This technique has been shown to foster greater employee satisfaction and increased efficiency. Timely reviews allow the recipient to make the most of the information being given. It also helps to keep team members informed of their progress toward their goals. Employees who are unsure of their results and unable to gauge their performance typically have low motivation.
Timely feedback is a win-win for both the employee and the employer.
A good consultant has established his or her expertise, being considered an expert by the firm that hired them. Having the title of consultant is really meaningless without the established credibility. Organizations need to know that they are receiving guidance and direction from a person that knows the industry well, and has experience taking firms to the next level. The consultant you hire should come highly recommended with referrals from past or current clients that can attest to his or her success. Results are what establish credibility, not papers, articles or blogs. He or she must have a recognized track record of results. A good consultant exceeds expectations and delivers value to the client.