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How To Lead Meetings People Actually Want To Go To

Source | | H.V. MacArthur

We spend a lot of time in meetings. A lot. And let’s be honest, most meetings, to put it bluntly, suck. Some of the biggest complaints? Lack of agenda, lack of focus and a general lack of getting things done. Yet when I talk to people who lead meetings, they all swear they know how to do a good meeting. So is it really just a rogue set of meeting leaders who are bringing us all down? Or are we just not as good as we think we are?

Because we are expected to get so much done through meetings, much of our credibility gets built up — or broken down — while either leading or attending them. So how do you make sure you’re not part of the problem? You could anonymously poll your meeting attendees. Not a bad idea, except that employees also complain about having to take senseless surveys that don’t create real change. Another approach is to apply the PEEPS model to ensure your meetings don’t suck.

Purpose — have one. Before you even think about scheduling a meeting, be sure you know why it’s necessary. Consider what outcome would tell you this meeting was a good use of time. Is it to make a group decision, get buy-in from others, build clarity around a complex topic, brainstorm ideas and solutions, build trust among team members? Figure out what the main outcomes should be and ensure those drive the who, what, when, and how of the meeting.

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