At Tignum we are all about high performance. Seems like every time we work with a client the topic of meetings and what a waste of time they are comes up. We have brain stormed this topic many times and Seth’s list is a great one (see his full article here) .
A great question that once came up was, Why are meetings scheduled for 1 hour? The answer, we decided, was because that’s how the calendars are broken up in our outlook. The suggestion was to make all meetings 45 minutes. This would create a sense of urgency and more important leave 15 minutes to debrief from one meeting and prepare for the next. This brings up a short list of things that we at Tignum would definitely add to Seth’s great list to make meetings more productive.
1. Show up ready – this means not only preparing your content but preparing yourself.
This means doing some mental rehearsal, setting some intentions for outcomes, getting yourself into the right state, dialing in your focus, and mentally preparing for all the what ifs. It means doing some movement to energize yourself and to turn on your right brain so you can be innovative and not just another in the box participant. It also means feeding your brain with a high performance snack filled with protein, B vitamins, complex carbohydrates and omega-3 essential fats. This will prevent brain fog, improve your concentration, keep your blood glucose steady, avoid mood swings and make your brain fire on all cylinders (a minimal requirement for any high output meeting).
2. Be a high performer in the meeting.
This means starting by sitting with good posture at all times. If you don’t think this matters just sit for 60 seconds slouched over like you usually do and see how you feel, how you think and how you concentrate. It means staying hydrated by drinking water instead of sugary drinks or coffee. The brain is made up of 80% water and if you want it to function properly you have to keep it hydrated. It also means keeping the right Mindset by reframing negative non-productive statements, challenging bullshit stories that are full of drama and feed hysteria, and creating solutions rather than excuses.
3. Set up a meeting culture of high performance by managing the team mindset, providing high performance snacks, and energizing the group with movement.
This means planning and setting expectations, which Seth definitely touched on. But to expand it a little, fill the room with water for everyone, provide high performance snacks not sugar filled partially hydrogenated sleeping pills (doughnuts and cookies). Get the group up moving every chance you can – do walking meetings, take frequent breaks (water helps with this), or just have everyone stretch and do a posture check. This also means challenging the team mindset by keeping each other accountable to stay focused, creative, optimistic and solution oriented.
We could go on forever on this but then it would be just like your last meeting.
By Scott Peltin
Founder & Chief Performance Officer