Meeting has begun. But the question is “How do you lead a meeting effectively?” This is the 79th video that I’ve recorded on how to make virtual and in-person engagement and connection really easy. A lot of my videos go really in depth into different ways to lead meetings effectively, to promote engagement, to have more fun both online and off. In this video,  I’m going to do hyper-speed much shorter less tutorial style. I’m just going to give you a list of 5 things that i think are really really useful to lead a meeting effectively.  

Blog Note: The following is an adapted and edited transcript of one of our daily YouTube tutorials. We know sometimes it is easier to scroll through written content which is why we are publishing here. Because of that, there may be typos or phrases that seem out of context. You’ll definitely be able to get the main idea. To get the full context, visit our YouTube channel hereAnd if you want to watch the video on this topic specifically, you can scroll down to the bottom of this post to access it as well. 

At the end of this video and in links in the description, we’ll link other videos that go deeper into the tutorial style. But right now, I just want to dump 5 of the easiest to implement but most impactful strategies to lead meetings really effectively. I’m Chad Littlefield. I get to do this for a living for some of the top universities and organizations on the planet. And I’m going to share these ideas with you for zero dollars and zero cents. Here we go.  

Begin With The End in Mind

Number 1, taking a leaf out of Stephen Covey’s book, Begin With The End in Mind. If you start meeting and you’re not sure where you’re going or what you want at the end, it’s really hard to have an effective meeting at all. 

Meet for Purpose Not for Time

Number 2, taking a leaf out of priya parker’s book The Art of Gathering. Meet for purpose not for time. Most of your meetings are probably on your calendars for 60 minutes, 30 minutes, 20 minutes, 80 minutes. Probably not 80 minutes. The point is we typically meet for time and then we maybe add in purpose some of the time. The easiest way to meet for purpose not for time is to right in the beginning, state your intention for your outcome focus intention for what you  want to happen in that meeting and or perhaps invite everybody else to just go around real  quick and share their intention. Doing that makes the purpose of the meeting abundantly  clear and salient to everybody. And if you don’t do that, you run the risk of meeting for time  and wasting time. And we live in a culture where everybody has too much to do and too little time.  Please don’t do that.

Connection Before Content

 Number 3, there’s a huge part of what I do. It’s to create connection before content. I’ve created a whole toolkit on how to do it there’s a free version link below. But when you create connection before content you turn on people’s brains, neurologically, people are more awake and alive  when they’re connected with other human beings. There’s actually a whole bunch of research that has found that when we’re going on a run, we run faster when we run in front of other people. When you connect before content, you actually increase that social accountability a little bit. One really good way to set the foundation for connection before content even if you’re online but definitely if you’re in person is to shut your laptops. The amount of meetings that begin with people’s laptops up and this big glow on their face is painful to me. Because that says, “Let’s meet only for content and completely forget about humanity.” And that’s a recipe for being exhausted and burnt out at the end of the day or the end of the year. If you’re online, you can’t really shut your laptop but you can invite people to all turn their video off and take a full minute to just get really present to arrive into the meeting. Just because they clicked the link to get into the meeting doesn’t mean they’re actually present. Everybody’s coming from a totally different context and environment. Shutting down all email, texts, notifications, etc, turning video off and inviting people to just do nothing for 30 seconds has an amazing way of making everybody present to allow connection before content to  actually happen.

Script in Contribution Not Just Consumption

Number 4, script in contribution not just consumption. Most meetings are designed report out style where people just share, share, share, share. And everybody else is just passively listening to information that may or may not be relevant really. And so, script in contribution, meaning script and times for everybody to contribute simultaneously. If only one person is sharing at a time, that’s fine. Obviously, you need to do that in a meeting. But it’s really useful to have moments and breaks where people all type something into the chat or all hold something  up to their camera or all bring something to me or all write something down or all turn to  their partner and share something, right? Script in contribution not just consumption. 

Close with Intention and End on Time

Number 5,  close with intention and end on time. Alexa, set a timer for 15 minutes. -15 minutes starting now -Oh, there’s multiple Alexas all setting timers. This is terrifying. It’s my first time in the studio so I didn’t know that Alexa lived in the back too. I am such a time optimist. I always think we can do way more than we actually can in a 30 minute or 60- minute meeting. Often times, if I’m leading a meeting, I actually set a timer on… I’ve got a google home, not an Alexa. -You can say things like… -Alexa, stop Stop it, Alexa. Don’t do it.  

The reason that I have artificial intelligence set a timer for me is because I know that I will run  overtime and I actually set a timer always for 5 minutes before the official end time of a meeting because that gives me 5 minutes to close really intentionally rather than rushing up  to the last second that we had and then trying to schedule the next meeting in the last…  It’s like that’s really high stress. Set a timer for five minutes before the meeting ends  and do something to close really intentionally. Right here or here, I never really remember.  There are videos that have several different closing exercises and I walk you through exactly  how to lead them. Feel free to pick one of those up and end your next meeting with it so  your meeting sucks a little bit less. We meet way too carelessly and I hope now after watching this  video, the intention meter on all of your meetings  went up just a little bit. 

Have an awesome day.


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