Leadership Mints Guy Here’s an idea to help you conduct more productive meetings.
Do your meetings snap, crackle and POP with collaborative thinking and unbridled enthusiasm?
Are you smirking right now at the notion of every meeting you attend ACTUALLY being worth your time and attention? Then, come with me ye Meeting Martyr.
Let’s leave Yawn City behind.
Let’s journey together to Meeting Magic Land: A Meeting Land where participants stay alert and engaged, where meetings POP with more than an agenda, with a Purpose, an Outcome and a Premise (POP for short.)
Most meeting planners do an adequate job of defining the purpose of the meeting with a traditional agenda. But only the most effective leaders in my experience cogently capture the premise of a meeting for its participants.
And the premise is what makes the meeting POP.
POP Quiz on the Meeting
Think of the Premise of your meeting as a bridge, a bridge between the personal values of each meeting participant and goals of the organization as expressed through the meeting’s purpose and desired outcome.
If the Premise is correct, the Purpose and Outcomes will be more readily achieved.
The Premise is the framework for the meeting to take place in the first place. The Premise is based on three criteria:
(1) Each invited participant has a vested interest in the outcome of the meeting.
(2) Each invited participant brings a unique value or perspective that is congruent with the values or perspectives of the organization.
(3) Each invited participant can make a difference in the meeting that will impact them personally and professionally.
Before calling a meeting, I would create and distribute a POP quiz on the Purpose/Outcome/Premise like this:
Purpose: To trim the budget by 10%
Outcome: A priority list of programs.
Premise: With a more defined priority list of programs, we will be able to focus our efforts more effectively on more productive, more profitable programs that will benefit the entire company.
Conduct Meetings Beyond an Agenda
This premise presupposes a benefit of being more focused and thereby making participants’ lives less stressed. But I have found way too many a meeting agenda addresses only the purpose: to trim the budget.
And that purpose would frighten some whose programs would be cut. But with a well-defined outcome and premise, even the budget axe may not be as feared.
With that POP well -defined –the Purpose, Outcome and Premise–I find it more viable to create the snap that gets everyone’s attention based on their self interest. Here’s my three-step approach to conducting effective meetings:
(1) Instead of opening the meeting with the perfunctory Statement of Purpose : “We are here to cut our budget by 10%”, I would first cite the meeting’s Premise:
“We are here to ease the stress in all our lives and help our company be even more profitable so that we continue to get those salary increases that we all deserve….etc.”
(2) Then I’d cite the desired Outcome ( prioritize projects). (3) And only after citing the Premise and the Outcome, I would cite the Purpose (to cut the budget.)
I have found this premise-first concept –followed by desired outcomes–snaps attendees to attention more so than the usual purpose-first meeting opener. And with that snap of attention comes the crackle of new ideas that pop your meeting to life.
But the most effective leaders I’ve met also know that it isn’t enough to simply POP the top of the agenda to create an effective meeting.
They know the importance of also topping their planned meeting with the proverbial milk of collaboration– the same kind of milk that turns a dry cereal (ie meeting) into a symphony of synergy.
With a snap, crackle & POP!
Plan your meetings with a Premise to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.
You might also like these previous Leadership Mints on Productivity:
Crossing your Finish Line in Style
Find the Silver Lining in your Mistakes
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