Why do team meetings at a dental office have to suck?
Turns out that this book is actually really good to help you take your meetings from meetings suck to like meetings are beneficial, good, knowing what their purpose is, knowing what their value is, how to run, create, organize, and execute a meeting, so that you’re getting your money’s worth, basically, you’re getting your value out of these things. So part one of Meetings Suck by Cameron Herold begins now. So meetings suck because of us. They don’t have to suck, but most do. They have the potential to drive alignment, to give direction, and to generate any energy, focus, and creativity, and to inspire your people, but attention dwindles. People are resentful and distracted, and their time is wasted. No wonder meetings suck. It’s because we suck at running meetings. Are meetings really necessary?
The quick answer is, of course, is yes. They are expensive, so let’s get the most out of them if we have to do these things. First of all, an agenda. This is key to understand the flow, to stay on topic, and to save time. Everyone in meetings has a responsibility to speak up and must be heard, regardless of rank. Rank does not matter in a meeting, sort of. Types of meetings. There are yearly and quarterly retreats, which are essential for leadership teams, and they happen off-site and need to be free of distractions. There are quarterly board of advisor meetings where you discuss the vision over the next three years. There are monthly financial meetings where you do profit and loss reviews and discuss how to make more money and cut costs. Number four, there are Weekly Action Review or WAR meetings. These are 90-minute meetings, and each business area holds it for its team. Everyone is informed, discusses problems, and is held accountable, and builds, unify, raise, and helps prevent divisions within your organization.
Number five, weekly strategic meetings, or biweekly. The leadership team discusses opportunities, six to 12 months out. This keeps everyone thinking in a strategic mindset. Number six, weekly goal setting and review meeting. This is a one-on-one between the leaders and their direct reports. This is perhaps the most consequential meeting that you will hold and have. Number seven, daily huddles and adrenaline meetings. They’re seven to 10 minutes long, typically good news. You post and discuss key metrics. Each business area updates everyone on top three items for the quarter incoming week. You share potential hazards or frustrations, and someone volunteers to solve these, and for companies under 20 people, each person reads the top three priorities for the day. Number eight, or the eighth kind of meeting that’s out there, ad hoc debriefing meetings. These are informal meetings to debrief on important events. CEOs, managers, and employees. These are the three different levels of employees that may or may not attend at these different meetings. First of all, we need a hierarchy review, so people, time, and money are resources that a business has to deploy.
If you go to a meeting and you add or take away value, then the above has not been wasted. If you go to a meeting and you neither add or take away value, then you’ve wasted time. You’ve wasted resources. You’ve wasted money. You’ve wasted people’s time and people’s resources, so you want to treat meetings like a job interview. You want to be prepared and be on time, obviously. So as a CEO, you want to talk less and listen more. This is an information-gathering session for you. You don’t want to just hear yourself talk, hear your own opinions. You’re gathering other opinions, other ideas, and other insights. The next chapter discusses introverts versus extroverts.
They discuss four different personality types. Dominant, and expressive, and analytical, and an amiable, and we should have a primary and a secondary personality trait, and understanding the different personality traits will help us, or you, manage and engage everyone that’s at the meeting. A dominant personality is, you’re extrovert, you’re assertive, you’re verbose, forceful, strong, type A and driven personalities. Your expressive type is your extroverts. They’re animated. They talk with their hands and think out loud. They are excitable, emotional, and eager to jump in to speak. Analyticals think through their answers before they speak and tend to be introverts. They like to avoid conflict and say things like, “Well, and whatever, and that’s fine.” They have the hardest time of being heard out of the four different personality types, so dominant and expressive tend to overrun analyticals and amiables in meetings.
We need leaders to allow our analyticals and allow our amiables to be heard, so every box of the organization chart, you need to select the number of people you need to get the job done, but no more for these meetings. Everyone is expected to contribute and add value and to do their job right. You want to include front-line team members or staff who should add and receive value. This concludes part one of Meetings Suck by Cameron Herold, and stay tuned for next time, where we’ll go through part two.