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Dealing with Meetings

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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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

Broadcasted to: 

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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:

 

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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US Daily Review of "Dealing with Meetings You Can't Stand"

Here is the full review as published in the USDailyreview.com

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If you want to make everyone on your team at work feel like you’ve gotten absolutely nowhere, just hold a meeting. Meetings have a knack for bringing out the worst in us, from disengagement to irritation to that post-mortem eyeroll at the watercooler. Yet we can’t stop having them — and shouldn’t we have them? Dr. Rick Brinkman’s new book, Dealing with Meetings You Can’t Stand: Meet Less and Do More proves there’s a far better and more productive way to hold meetings, and it lays out a proven approach in a highly entertaining style.

Brinkman is an expert at “conscious communicating” with a roster of previous books, including Dealing with People You Can’t Stand. His new book is filled with similarly clever illustrations and charts, witty phrases, first-person tales, and it’s both a great read and an effective method. First of all, the next time you plan a meeting, don’t even think of it as a meeting. Instead, think of a meeting as a plane flight — and that you’re responsible for everyone having a safe, pleasant, on-time journey. All those people sitting around the table or in those little thumbnail images on your remote meeting app are your passengers. And you can take this analogy as far as you want it to, since Brinkman enthusiastically covers all the angles: metaphorical hijacking, too much baggage, unpleasant passengers, confusing directions, headwinds, and the consequences of landing too late for people to make their next“flights.”

Back up a moment, because rather than spoil the fun — and it is a fun read, and very refreshingly so —  let’s just talk about the why we have to have meetings in the first place. The reality is, we don’t, according to Brinkman. Most of us don’t ask if we should even be having a meeting, since we’ve come to believe that meetings are a part of the day like rain is a part of weather. But Brinkman insists we do ask why. we’re calling that meeting. If it’s to present information, he asserts, don’t do it. Meetings are not the time to present the new 25 page instruction manual or corporate identity report. They’re the time to talk about it. And there are just way too many pointless meetings being held, he says.

There’s a key difference between information and interaction, in other words. If you’re holding the meeting to get everyone discussing and strategizing about that document, terrific. First, send the materials out well ahead of time, and make it clear you expect it to be reviewed and understood before people walk in the door. This may well ring a bell with some readers, and it should: Brinkman is a master at illuminating just why common sense should prevail and doesn’t when it comes to gathering us all together. He also explains the immense importance of a well-thought-out agenda, which should include every single item to be covered, realistic time allotments for each one, the purpose of discussing them, and also what is expected of the people talking about them.

The bottom line is control: of time, of discussion, and mostly, of people. If you want to control the meeting, you have to frame it clearly, set expectations, and have tools in place to help rein in the variables, such as that “what exactly are we talking about here” confusion that makes everyone shift a little farther back in their seats. Brinkman provides savvy and subtle ways to control those disruptive personalities that tend to hijack the goings-on. We’ve all been there to listen to the ramblings of a Know It All or a Think They Know It All — as the author labels them. We’ve all heaved a sigh when someone starts seizing control of the discussion because they don’t have faith in the ability of the facilitator — a bullying personality type Brinkman calls a Tank. Those naysaying headshakers who frown endlessly at every single idea? They’re judges, notes Brinkman.

As guidebooks go, this is a good one to set prominently in your office and refer to frequently. It’s meant to provide you with better techniques that you can improve on with time. The more you craft a workable agenda, the better you’ll get at it, for instance. And the more people see you able to defuse the disruptions, the less disruptive they become. Master the tools in this book and use them to run your next meeting, and you’ll feel a remarkable transformation take place: people may actually ask you when the next meeting is. But if you’re not the one in charge, don’t despair. Brinkman provides a script for making tactful yet convincing suggestions for trying a better method. In this book, he’s thought of everything.

Learn more about Dr. Rick Brinkman at drrickbrinkman.com

US Daily Review Loves "Dealing with Meetings"

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Quotes from the article: "it lays out a proven approach in a highly entertaining style."

"His new book is filled with clever illustrations and charts, witty phrases, first-person tales, and it’s both a great read and an effective method. First of all, the next time you plan a meeting, don’t even think of it as a meeting. Instead, think of a meeting as a plane flight — and that you’re responsible for everyone having a safe, pleasant, on-time journey."

"But if you’re not the one in charge, don’t despair. Brinkman provides a script for making tactful yet convincing suggestions for trying a better method. In this book, he’s thought of everything."

"As guidebooks go, this is a good one to set prominently in your office and refer to frequently. It’s meant to provide you with better techniques that you can improve on with time."

" and it is a fun read, and very refreshingly so —  "

 

8 Essential Ground Rules to Keep Conference Calls on Track

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Here is an article I wrote for Businessingmag.com

Business meetings are often derailed by poor preparation, bad behavior or dismal time management. Add in the unique pitfalls associated with today’s virtual meetings, and the hazards are compounded. Meeting via conference call is even more likely to run aground with the possibilities of inattention, talking over one another and an inability to read body language.

Keeping conference call meeting participants focused and on track takes a special set of ground rules. Incorporate these essential components to ensure more productive conference call meetings.

Read more at here  ...

How to Prevent Difficult People at Meetings, Dr. Rick on FNN the Feline News Network

In this 3 minute 30 second interview Dr. Rick Brinkman, explains how the Meeting Jet process in his book prevents difficult behaviors like, whining, negativity, know-it-alls, passive people and more from even occurring in the first place. 

Interviewed by his two cats Neelix and Leela.

Dealing with Meetings You Can't Stand, Meet Less and Do More published by McGraw-Hill 2017