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3 Tips for More Effective Meetings

By Susan Hall

In this video, Susan Hall shares three tips to ensure you lead more effective meetings with your clients and within your organization.

00:01 Over the years, I've heard many clients complain about enduring way too many unproductive meetings. It's a real source of contention.

In fact, recently, Bain and Company reported that the average manager spends 35% to 50% of their time in meetings, and what's really sad is there's been some additional research that shows that only 17% of executives feel like their meeting time is well spent.

When we work with our clients to manage their meetings and conduct them more effectively, we tailor it very specifically to their environment. However, here are my three favorite tips for conducting more effective meetings. Number one, send an agenda and any pre-reading in advance. It amazes me how many corporations don't send an agenda. For our counselor clients, have your PPP, your purpose process payoff. We even have some clients who have made it a cultural norm that if you don't include the agenda, they have the right to decline a meeting. Pre-reading makes sure that people have an opportunity to read it, review, come to the meeting with their best thinking in mind.

01:16 The second tip is don't get caught in that trap of back to back meetings. Why does every meeting have to be 60 minutes and go from 9 am to 10 am, 10 am to 11 am, 11 am to 12 pm. There's just no way we can physically be focused and productive with back to back meetings. Even if you're not physically changing rooms, if you're conducting virtual meetings, you still need a few minutes in between to switch gears.

In fact, at Strategic Enhancement Group, we do a simple little thing, when we have our staff meetings, the very first item on the agenda is one minute of silence. All that is, is taking one minute to decompress, let go of the crazy flight, let go of the meeting that you had just before that, and just clear your head. It's amazing how productive that can make that next meeting be.

02:08 The third tip then is called the Rule of Three. Why the Rule of Three? Well, there's been a lot of psychological research in terms of what we can actively hold in our brains at any given time, and our short term memory is really much more effective hanging on to chunks of information at a three or four max.

If you think about it, three key points are what we can hold and what we can remember and what we can take forward. So how that relates to our meetings is, focus on three priorities in your meetings, and that's it.

So three tips:

  1. Send an agenda and pre-reading in advance.
  2. Don't get caught in back to back meetings. Schedule 30 minute, 45 minute, even 50 minute meetings to give you time to go from one meeting to the next.
  3. Remember the Rule of Three and focus on three priorities.
Published: June 24, 2020

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Susan Hall

Vice President- Business Development & Performance Improvement

Susan brings over 20 years of experience working with global markets and organizations, helping them navigate through tough economic challenges while maintaining their margins. Since joining SEG in 1995, she has had the privilege of working with organizations that truly value the development of their employees and recognize the impact their people have on their bottom line results. Susan graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a double major in business management and speech communication. She has also completed course work toward her master's degree at Johns Hopkins University.

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