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The Secret to Effective Meetings… and Great Execution
May 09,2019 [ by Larry Chao ] 1784 Read and 0 Comment

Here is what a great meeting looks like:

1. Candor – People are open, honest and respectful about what is happening and the issues at hand.
They face reality head-on, without having to side-step the truth.

2. Relaxed – Sure business issues are serious, but people do not take each other seriously. There is
no posturing, no grandstanding. People are relaxed and can laugh at themselves.

3. Clear next steps – People are eager to define next steps together. So decisions are made and next
steps mean the same thing to everyone.

When you have productive meetings like this, people leave feeling energized and confident. There is momentum and follow through. Great execution is the natural consequence. So how do you create this atmosphere? Well it begins at the top. The leader sets the tone. If the work culture is stiff, bureaucratic and formal, then people will behave accordingly to try and be perfect.

But we all know no one is perfect and when mistakes happen - which they inevitably do, the blame game starts and everyone is tries to protect their turf. Trust vanishes and meetings become 90% political and 10% productive, which is very demoralizing. I think most of us have experienced this phenomenon!

The leader's main role is to strengthen relationships and build trust between people, so that they feel non-threatened and less defensive when they make mistakes. This feeling will offset the natural tendencies for individuals and large groups of people working in performance-driven organizations to compete and clash.

You can restructure, re-engineer and replace people all you want. But if people do not know, respect, and trust each other, then it will be impossible to have effective meetings and drive performance.

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