Save the Drama for Effective Meetings!

How many times have you sat in a meeting thinking, “this is such a waste of time”? Chances are, you’re not alone. Many people sitting around the conference table probably feel the same way. Bad meetings can create disengagement and fuel team dysfunction, frustration and even lead to passive-aggressive power playing and posturing – oh sign me up – no thanks!  So, how do you right the ship and go from bad, useless meetings to effective meetings that are productive?

Effective Meetings

Boring…Snoring!

It doesn’t matter what type of business you’re in, meetings are essential to team alignment and productivity, they’re a cog in the wheel that keeps a business going. Meetings keep teams alert, informed and connected, so you have to have them. The key is to make them interesting, relevant and effective and not boring-snoring!

Mine for Conflict, Yep – Add a Little Drama!

Texting, checking email, spinning pencils, faces in hands, and doodling are all signs that you’re in a snoring meeting. To mix it up, add a little drama to your meetings. This drama can come in the form of productive conflict. We are not encouraging an MMA Fight – but a healthy productive debate is invigorating and stimulating! I love how Patrick Lencioni in his book DEATH by Meeting, talks about The Hook. If you lose people in the first 10 minutes of your meeting you’re through – the key is to give them a reason to engage and to care! Talk about the most controversial and important issues at the beginning of the meeting – this will get people engaged and alert during the meeting. Tackling a controversial issue can spark a good conversation and keep team members involved throughout the meeting.

Create Context and Purpose and Structure – Go 4 it!

An effective meeting needs to have context and purpose. You can’t just meet to meet, that’s for the watercooler. So often useless meetings cover everything under the sun and jump from topic to topic, and nothing ever gets solved.  Leaders must make sure that every meeting has a purpose and that everyone attending the meeting is clear on that purpose. To have effective meetings, it takes more meetings. Not necessarily more time in meetings, but more meetings with a clear purpose. Here’s a tip from Pat Lencioni; leaders should actually schedule 4 Meetings – The Daily Check-in, Weekly Tactical, Monthly Strategic, and Quarterly Off-site review.

The DEATH by Meeting Format – 4 Effective Meetings

The Daily Check-in: This effective meeting should be short and sweet, no more than 5-10 minutes each day – I like to refer to them as Huddles.  In fact, attendees shouldn’t even sit for this meeting. Keep it strictly administrative; members should run through schedules and activities.

Weekly Tactical: This effective meeting is a discussion about the week. It should 45-90 minutes and should be a review of weekly activities, metrics, and resolve any obstacles or issues. This is my very favorite meeting – I call this one the Getter-Dun Tactical – where we get traction as a team – organizational momentum is actually palpable!

Monthly Strategic: This effective meeting will be roughly 2- 4 hours each month. It will be a more in-depth discussion on strategy and analysis. Brainstorming and decisions on critical issues will take place during this meeting. Really critical for keeping the train on the rails headed toward the station, creating clarity and alignment around where we are headed!

Quarterly Off-Site Review: Each quarter schedule 1 or 2 days away from the office. This will be a meeting that discusses industry trends, competitive landscape, strategy, personnel and team development – aimed at keeping us relevant and our fingers on the pulse of our business topography.

You can learn more about these effective meeting strategies in the book, DEATH by Meeting by Patrick Lencioni.  MDR uses a variety of resources and development programs to bring drama and momentum to your meeting structure – contact us to schedule your complimentary consultation and put a stop to Snoring-Boring meetings.

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Maximize People Performance with Everything DiSC

Leadership GOAL: To bring out the best in my team, maximizing individual and collective success – which leads to maximizing organizational success.

What is your leadership style?

MANAGEMENT PROFILE BRING OUT THE BEST IN EACH EMPLOYEE. The Everything DiSC Management Profile uses a research-validated learning model to create a highly personalized learner experience. The profile is management-specific with in-depth information, including tips, strategies, and action plans to help managers become more effective.
EVERYTHING DiSC MANAGEMENT PROFILE FOCUSES ON: • Your DiSC Management Style • Directing and Delegating • Motivating • Developing Others • Working with Your Manager Participants learn about their strengths and challenges as managers and how to adapt to meet the needs of the people they manage—making them more effective managers by Wiley Uses Adaptive Testing for a more interactive & Precise Measurement.

Maximizing Team Engagement

As a leader, one of the critical priorities you should have is to maximize team engagement. Focusing on asking versus telling, is a sure-fire way to ignite engagement at the individual and team level. To help individuals and teams grow and thrive, you must provide an environment that inspires collaboration, and evokes passionate contribution toward collective outcomes.

Know Yourself

Like engagement, disengaged teams are your results as a leader, yep your mirror. Disengagement is expensive when it comes to impact on money, time, resources, stress, damaged reputation and client attrition, just to name a few –  and in the most extreme cases can even put you out of business overnight. So maximizing team engagement is not just a nice to have it is a need to have – the good news is, you can change it and influence a better outcome – it begins with you knowing yourself. Knowing what’s working, not working and what you need to do differently to maximize team engagement.

Know your People

Knowing your people is key, and leveraging their strengths, inviting weigh-in to elicit greater buy-in; connecting with your teams to understand their goals, ambitions, passions – what makes them feel valued and inspired.  These internal motivators a.k.a. their emotional currency are great accelerators to fostering higher levels of team engagement, then be sure to pay them in their preferred emotional currency – regularly.

Reaping the Benefits of Team Engagement

Engaged teams create engaged customers, healthy more productive, great places to work, greater profitability, fewer risks and more exciting possibilities for growth and success. Isn’t that the type of culture we all aspire to be a part of and as leaders we should foster?

It begins with you, learn more about Maximizing Engagement through Leadership Development today!

GREAT Leadership Elicits GREATNESS. What do you elicit?

I love this quote:

“The task of great leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it; for the greatness is already there!” -John Buchan

Leadership is not a rank, or title, anyone can be a leader – regardless of position. Each one of us has been touched by a leader, perhaps it was a community leader, coach, boss, parent; school teacher, spiritual advisor, athlete; celebrity, a hero or a friend.  I have been and continue to be inspired by several incredible leaders throughout my life, however, the first for me was my 5th grade teacher Mr. Jerry Linkhart; he stirred my emotions and captured my attention; I hung onto his every word – Mr. Linkhart was the first to elicit possibility in me.  Throughout my professional career, I have had the good fortune of working for and alongside some of the greatest leaders I have ever known, I credit them for having elicited the best out of me and having inspired me to help other leaders.  They didn’t make life easy for me, they challenged me to step-up, to think differently, embrace what was possible, especially when I was feeling it was impossible.  Over time they replaced the opposing voice inside of my head with, “you can do this, you got this, I believe in you”.  They expected more, not less and gave me tough feedback – with care.  Yes, with care, the art of feedback and coaching is doing it with care, knowing your players, your team, your partners, or clients and being able to deliver the right feedback, at the right time and in the right spirit.  One of my favorite speakers, Simon Sinek said it most accurately for me, “great leaders make us feel safe” and when it comes to effective feedback and coaching – when the people you coach feel safe, they listen and remain open – and it is in those moments that the greatest possibility of eliciting their true potential exists.

So here are some best practices:

  1. Build Trust make those you lead feel safe
  2. Once Trust has been established – engage in productive feedback
  3. Evoke greatness through open, honest and caring feedback
  4. Praise progress
  5. Repeat (Steps 2-4 often)

I love this truism and have used it often, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

Now go forth and elicit greatness!

Contact MDR to learn more about how The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team can help you start building trust, cohesion and eliciting greatness on your team today!

Building Success with a Cohesive Team

When you think about it, do you have a truly cohesive team? So often we all get stuck in a rut, where we go about our daily tasks and forget about what really makes a successful team. There are Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ (credit Patrick Lencioni); Trust, Conflict, Commitment, Accountability, Results – and their interplay is what really leads to the cohesiveness of any team.

When thinking of a pyramid, each behavior layers on a base for the next, building off each other toward the top, which is the goal for any business – results.

Trust

At the foundation of any relationship is TRUST. This trust goes beyond trusting your team to do their jobs. Members of any team or relationship should feel comfortable being transparent and honest with one another. Without this crucial layer, your team will crumble.

Conflict

When it comes to ideas, it does not pay to have a team that just says yes. The best ideas are forged from debate and conflict where everyone contributes their side and perspective. The idea will be stronger and you’ll be surprised that your relationship will also be stronger as a result of healthy and respectful debate.

Commitment

The entire team must commit to every decision. By trusting your team members, they’ll feel comfortable giving their opinion and debating their ideas and will commit to the conclusion. If every team member has a voice in a decision, you’ll have total commitment.

Accountability

A team that trusts each other will hold each other and themselves accountable to execute a plan of action that everyone on the team has committed too.

Results

The results are end-goal of the team. When all of the elements of a cohesive team are combined, it leads to winning results. When good results are achieved your team is more motivated to stick together, working toward continued success.

Building a genuinely cohesive team is not an easy task, but boy is it ever a worthwhile one. Everyone must be in line with these five behaviors to achieve successful, long-term relationships. Learn more about these behaviors and how you can apply them to your business here. Contact MDR, an Authorized partner for The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™, for more information.