Five Ways to Make Meetings Productive, Efficient and a Win for Everyone

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Dr. Rick Brinkman reveals helpful tips to maximize time and work productivity. 

C-suite executives spend 40% of their workweek in meetings, according to The Wall Street JournalHarvard Business Review found that 15 percent of an organization’s total collective time is spent in meetings. Just how much of that time is effective depends largely on how the meeting is run — but top managers and CEOs don’t get there by wasting their company’s time. They use strategies that maximize productivity, minimize frustration, and end with people motivated and happy. And that approach can increase people’s productive work time by a full 20 percent.

Continue reading here on the McGraw-Hill Blog

How to Discuss Contentious Issues in Meetings and Come to Quick Agreement

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 If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.

—Henry Ford

 

As we have explored in a previous post on how to Prevent Polarization at Meetings, we want the group to get to Holographic Thinking, which means they see all the important factors from everyone’s point of view.   Accomplishing that requires three things. First; everyone must be focused on the same topic and use the same process at the same time. Second, we must hear from everyone and therefore have a speaking order which can be either voluntary or circular. And third we must do flight recording, which simply means summarizing what people say in bullet points visually on a flip chart or projected PowerPoint slide to allow us to see all the factors at once. 

 

In this blog post we will examine how to analyze potentially contentious issues without falling into a polarization trap. READ THE REST AT MCGRAW-HILL BUSINESS BLOG

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How to Avoid Conflict and Polarization at Meetings

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With all the conflict and political polarization in the world it’s easy to feel helpless. Our politicians and one-sided media keep a drumbeat for their own gain to keep us polarized. Ironically when James Madison designed the constitution it was to create a structure where people could disagree but have an intelligent discussion and remain friends. In the election to the first congress Madison’s close friend James Monroe ran against him but even then Madison maintained his friendship in public and private with Monroe.

 

The good news is you’re not helpless because peace begins with us and especially our relationships with the people and meetings we can’t stand. This article will show you how discuss touchy subjects, avoid conflict and integrate points of view in the meeting context as outlined in my book; Dealing with Meetings You Can’t Stand, Meet Less and Do More.

READ THE REST AT THE MCGRAW-HILL BLOG

What Difficult Behavior Type is Donald Trump and What to Do About It at Meetings

As the co-author of the McGraw-Hill book, "Dealing with People You Can't Stand" and the author of the new McGraw-Hill book, "Dealing with Meetings You Can't Stand, Meet Less and Do More", I am constantly being asked, "What behavior types does Trump fall into?"  Those would be a combination of two. One is the "Think-They-Know-it-All" which is very ego driven. Out of this behavior there is constant one-upsmanship. If you were sick, they were sicker, if you had a big inauguration, they had a bigger one.  The other behavior is the Tank (bully).  To make matters more difficult, he has significant positional power. 

In this article I will explore how you deal with this trinity in a boss and how the Meeting Jet process can control it. 

https://www.business2community.com/communications/5-steps-to-defuse-the-bully-in-the-room-and-have-a-successful-meeting-02073377

Dealing with Meetings is Now in Japanese!

I'm pleased to say my McGraw-Hill book: Dealing with Meetings You Can't Stand, Meet Less and Do More has been released in Japanese. And because my process is called the "Meeting Jet Process", they gave the guy on the cover a jet pack.  haha. :-)

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Who is the Most Difficult Family Members to Live With?

Study claims women are the most DIFFICULT family members to live with (but they're also the ones we depend on most)

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  • Researchers find that wives, sisters and mothers tend to 'nag' their kin the most
  • Female family members are disproportionately thought of as 'difficult' because they're more likely to be emotionally invested in people's personal lives
  • Study participants ranked friends as the least difficult people in their lives

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and Bar-Ilan University in Israel have discovered an inconvenient truth about our female family members. 

Wives, sisters and mothers are more likely to be the most difficult people in our lives, according to a survey of 1,100 respondents who described more than 12,000 relationships.  

Women may be guilty of doing the lion's share of whining, nagging and controlling in relationships, but the study noted that it's for a good reason.  

Female family members were most often labeled as difficult because they're usually emotionally invested in relatives' lives.



Read more here, recommeded: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5300019/Study-Mothers-wives-difficult-people-live-with.html#ixzz5BuflVDmy 
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Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5300019/Study-Mothers-wives-difficult-people-live-with.html#ixzz5BufDfdo6 

In the Smithsonian Lon Safko, Meeting Guru Dr. Rick Brinkman and Gig Economies Brian Ludwick

The School for Startups Radio Interviews Meeting Guru Dr. Rick Brinkman

Listen to the Interview here

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INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY INTERVIEWS DR. RICK ON MEETINGS

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HOW TO WORK FEWER HOURS AND GET MORE DONE: CONTOL MEETINGS

Rick Brinkman, author of "Dealing with Meetings You Can't Stand: Meet Less and Do More," quotes author and columnist Dave Barry:

"If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be 'meetings.' "

A 2015 Harris Poll survey found that the No. 1 obstacle to getting work done is having to attend meetings. A study by the Wharton Center for Applied Research showed senior and middle managers felt 44% of their meetings were unproductive.

Brinkman: "As a manager, if you free your employees from meetings they don't need to attend and make the ones they do shorter, focused and more productive, conservatively it would be the equivalent of increasing your workforce by 25% without spending a penny."

Ask why. There is only one legitimate reason for a meeting, Brickman says, and that's so people can interact on a particular subject.

"If you're holding a meeting just to present information, you're wasting your time," he adds. Better to put that in a memo.

Create meeting schedules. Each meeting agenda item should include a title, time frame, process, and two essential items, purpose and focus, Brinkman says.

"Purpose is a two-sentence statement explaining why this item is so important," he continues. "Focus is what you want from the group regarding this item."

Brinkman adds: "The meeting must start on time whether or not everyone is there and end on time whether or not the agenda has been accomplished."

>>> READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Patricia Raskin Interviews Dr. Rick Brinkman on the Secret to Having Great Meetings

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Patricia interviews Dr. Rick Brinkman, best selling author and professional keynote speaker on Conscious Communication® expertise. He discusses his new book, Dealing With Meetings You Can't Stand, where he provides key insights into the human behaviors that lead to unsuccessful meetings, along with psychologically-based tactics for addressing them. Filled with helpful checklists and change-making strategies, Brinkman's book will turn the most boring conference room into a fast-moving model of efficiency, energy, and enthusiasm.

Here is a the audio recording of the 30 minute interview:

 

BizTalk Radio Interview on Dealing with Meetings

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 Dr. Rick Brinkman is interviewed by Frankie Boyer on BizTalk radio, a national show heard throughout the country on 35-40 stations on the Biztalk Network.

You can listen to Frankie’s popular Lifestyle Show everyday LIVE at 11 AM or repeated at 9PM on www.Biztalkradio.com, www.frankieboyer.com

Here is a link to the 10 minute interview where you will learn:

The 4 categories of problems at a meeting

The 4 things you can do to prevent ALL meeting problems

How to get the person in charge to try an experiment that will transform your meetings forever. 

Link to listen to the 10 minute interview

 

Master Meetings with These 5 Tips

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My article as published in B2C with 3 million unique visitors a month.

Business leaders always look for ways to boost engagement and productivity, but few of us would start with meetings. A 2015 Harris Poll found that going to meetings is the biggest obstacle to getting work done. Many of us see meeting as a necessary evil. For most C-suite executives, meetings devour 40% of our worktime: focusing on them even more is not exactly appealing.

But creating better meetings is a highly effective way to make your people happier, energized and more productive — without increasing their hours or salary. Here’s one simple but effective approach with an immense payoff: Don’t think of it as a meeting. Instead, think of being on an airplane flight, with the meeting participants as the passengers.

Confined in a small space together for a designated period of time, passengers are subject to possibly rough weather, unpleasant neighbors, a fatigued pilot, or worse. But we all have to fly. It’s a useful analogy since that’s what it feels like, most of the time, to be in a meeting. Imagine your people’s surprise when you can make the “flight” a whole lot more bearable in 5 practical steps:

  1. Question its necessity. Start planning the meeting by asking if it’s even necessary. As a leader, you sometimes challenge teams to justify the purpose behind an action. First identify the meeting’s purpose, then ask if it’s best served by a meeting, or there’s another way.
  1. Measure the cost. Meetings all have a cost. There’s the cost of what people are paid to sit in the meeting and there’s the price of all the work they’re not doing because they’re in a meeting. Knowing the cost, is the meeting worth it?
  1. Create an agenda.The meeting agenda is a flight plan, defining where you’re going and how long it should take. To keep the meeting on course, break the agenda into items that have 5 key points: titletimeframe, process, purpose and focus. Process could be “discussion, then Q&A.” “Purpose” should be two sentences arguing the item’s importance. “Focus” is the outcome you want from the group. Distribute the agenda in advance.
  1. Watch the clock. Even if people arrive late or you don’t hit every agenda item, end the meeting on time. It sends a powerful message: you respect everyone’s time. Designating a timekeeper can generate useful data on how accurate the agenda was, and help refine it for next time. Being released from a meeting as promised makes people far more willing to attend another one.
  2. Define the process.Without a clear meeting process, people resort to stress behaviors —talking out of turn, making snarky comments, or not contributing until the meeting is already over. Defuse them ahead of time with these three tools:

Control the air traffic. Use a whiteboard, projector, or computer and screen to keep everyone focused. Write the subject at hand in a “topic” box, the process for discussing it in the “process box,” and don’t let people deviate.

Establish a speaking order.Either make it voluntary with a show of hands, or make it circular, going around the room. When everyone knows they’ll get their turn to speak they become better listeners. Setting a time limit will prevent tangents and rambling.

Use a flight recorder. Visually recording everything people say cuts back on their need to repeat themselves to drive their point home. The visual collection of everyone’s ideas also enables the group to achieve holographic thinking — with a greater, more detailed understanding of the subject and higher-quality ideas and solutions.

Frustration kills enagement quickly — but feeling gratified and energized by a well-planned, well-led meeting builds it just as fast. Follow these five steps and you’ll see the difference for yourself. Instead of dreading meetings, your people will look forward to them, and colleagues may likely ask how you did it. We all prefer a smooth flight, after all.


Read more at https://www.business2community.com/leadership/master-meetings-5-tips-01965924#e52eFSuLaM1YT1Rs.99

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Dealing with Relatives: How to Prepare Yourself for Family Gatherings

Dealing with Relatives: How to Prepare Yourself for Family Gatherings

THE RULES OF NON-ENGAGEMENT WITH RELATIVES: How to Prepare for Family Gatherings

Adapted by Dr. Rick Brinkman from the book: Dealing with Relatives, Brinkman & Kirschner.

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Relatives have a unique relationship with you that is different for three reasons.

1. You did not choose them.  Yes, you choose your spouse, so he or she is not a relative. But what most people don't realize is the spouse comes along with bonus people! Feeling out of choice can easily lead to feeling like a victim.

2. Relatives are also hard to deal with because they tend to cross boundaries that no one else in your life would cross including a good friend.

3.  And relatives who are immediate family can be tough because they themselves are triggers to the past. Just as you can hear a song that suddenly takes you back in time, so it is that a family member can trigger old ways of relating or conflicts.

Therefore the first thing to remember when it comes to attending family events is you always have a choice:

1. Go and Suffer

2. Don’t Go (and possibly feel guilty)

3. Go with a different attitude

4. Go with a different attitude and behavior

I would suggest #4, a shift in attitude and behavior. Keep in mind your ability to make that shift will serve you in many more places than just this one event. Think of it like going to the gym and you are going to work out your communication and attitude muscles. 

To support you I suggest The Rules of Non-Engagement:  

1. Decide In Advance
Make a conscious choice about the kind of experience you’re going to have when you get there, before you arrive.

Liam says:

“I make a conscious choice to have a pleasant experience, no matter what. By reminding myself what I want from this experience, I have more control over my state of mind and the tone of any conversations we may have.”                

But it isn’t enough to make the choice not to have problems with a predictably argumentative relative.  You also want to make a conscious choice about what topics to steer clear of, and what you will do if those topics come up.

Carissa told us:

 “My mother-in-law has strong opinions about everything. If I responded to the troubling things she said, just for the sake of discussion, I was guaranteed an argument, and more likely an attack, which almost always led to a fight with my husband in the car on the way back home after visiting her! But I now realize that I have a say over what ultimately gets discussed, because I can avoid the problematic topics when they come up.  Now, on the way to her place, before I talk with her, I do a little talking with myself.  I tell myself exactly what I am willing to talk about and what I’m not willing to talk about no matter what, and I stick to it.”                                 

2. Plan for Sore Subjects

 Joseane:

"My husband’s former mother-in-law is a sore subject with my in-laws. Her name was Maggie.  Mention her name to either of them, and they spin off in anger.  To make matters worse my mother-in-law somehow, she finds a way to bring up Maggie’s name to me in every other conversation. We could be talking about food, travel, pets, children, whatever, and then for no obvious reason, she brings up the subject and starts reacting to it. Next thing I know, she’s telling the same story for the gazillionth  time about how inconsiderate she was, how mean she was, how absolutely awful she was.”

"I used to try and convince her that she should live and let live, but my efforts never worked.  Now when she starts talking angrily about Maggie, I just nod my head, wait till she’s done, and then change the subject to anything else!  I am purposely vague.  I just say ‘uh-huh.’  And if she asks me, ‘What do you think?, I know she isn’t really wanting my opinion, so I say ‘Well you know what's best for you.’  And the funny thing is when I do that she tells my husband, ‘I’m crazy about that girl.  She is so wise.’”

Joseane’s plan is simple.  She acts like she’s listening, and when she’s asked to take a position, she defers to the questioner for the answer.

This is also the way to deal with criticism from relatives. You can speak to their intent instead of getting caught up in the content of what they’re saying. If your relative says: “You should dress up more,” you can say, “Thank you for caring about my appearance.”

If your parent asks you, their adult child, whether you are brushing your teeth, you can reply, “Thanks for caring about my hygiene.”

By refusing to get caught up in the content of what they’ve said, you have time to breath, gather your wits, and create a cushion of non-engagement around yourself.

3.  Keep Your Perspective & Use Reminders

Garth told us: 

“Whenever we find ourselves obligated to attend some kind of family function, I’ve developed the habit of reminding myself that ‘all things will pass’.  I get a small red stick-on dot that I put on my watch to mark the time we’re leaving. It’s a perfect stealth reminder that helps me keep my perspective.”        

You should also partner with other family members who understand the difficulty of dealing with that special someone.  Develop a signal system, exit strategy, or other method of mutual support that can get you through the worst behavior without engaging with it.

By developing your options in advance, you support yourself and transform the stress of a family event into shared success.

I wish you good luck.

;-)

Dr. Rick