A Chairpersons Guide To Keep Meetings On Track

Meetings are the greatest waste of time ever invented by man. How often have you sat in on a meeting, wondering why you were even there? Have you ever walked out after the meeting was over – having not accomplished anything? We aren’t born knowing how to run a successful virtual or in-person meeting, and unless you have been a member of a social club like Rotary, Kinsmen or the Lions Club, you most likely never learned how. Meetings can be productive if you don’t allow anyone to sabotage them. It takes a strong chairperson to keep meetings on track.

Worth Remembering … “All the real work is done by those low on the food chain. Everyone else just has meetings.” – Mick Herron.

Here are some suggestions on how to keep your meetings on track:

  1. Decide what type of meeting you’re going to have. Is it for sharing information or a group discussion to devise a solution to a problem? Does your meeting require a vote to reach a consensus?
  2. Successful meetings take planning. Have an agenda, who is talking on what subject and for how long. Keep your meetings 90 minutes or less. Anything longer than that, everyone will be asleep, and you’ll accomplish nothing.
  3. Distribute the agenda a week before the meeting to those attending so that everyone knows what is being discussed.
  4. Be sure to begin and end on time.
  5. Get everyone involved by having open discussions and healthy debates, and don’t allow anyone to take over the conversation. Make sure everyone gets an opportunity to express their opinion.
  6. If it’s not on the agenda – don’t allow anyone to introduce a new item.
  7. Does it require a minute taker to record all the items discussed during the meeting and the outcome of each item? If not, you should take notes for follow-up.
  8. Sum up the meeting. What was accomplished – what agenda times are still outstanding?
  9. Who should get a copy of the minutes if minutes were taken?

In the words of Dave Berry, an American author and humorist – “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 one word would be – meetings!”. Feel free to add to this list – but above all – keep your meetings on track.

Copyright (c) 2022. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. Brian works with people who want to develop soft skills to communicate and interact more effectively and discover how to get the best out of themselves and others. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization, visit https://briansmithpld.com or email him at – brian@briansmithpld.com

The Secret to a Successful 2022 is Between Your Ears

Think it, act it, and eventually, through patience and hard work, it will become you. The secret to a successful 2022 is between your ears. Just thinking about it isn’t good enough. You have to apply yourself. That’s the difference between successful and not-so-successful people. Successful people continually work at it. Successful people get up off the couch and get after it. Successful people have a game plan and hit the ground running.

Worth Remembering …”Success is never accidental.”

What would you rather be doing with your life than what you are doing right now? If you wanted to take your passion and turn it into a profitable business, what kind of business would that be? What does your ideal career look like? If you aspire to be promoted and take on a leadership role in your organization, would role would that be? Life – your life – is a planned event. Wishing and hope won’t make it so.

Worth Remembering … “A goal without a plan is just wishful thinking.”

Good habits = good results. We are adults and we can develop new habits. What new habits will you need to develop to start your own small business? Will you need to be a better planner and manage your time more efficiently? What new habits will you need to develop to get promoted and take on that leadership role in your organization? Will you need to learn how to communicate and interact more effectively, build collaborative teams, resolve conflict or motivate others to perform at their personal best?

Worth Remembering … “You are the boss of you.”

Once you’ve made up your mind and decided on what you want to do and how to go about getting it, through patience and hard work, everything will eventually fall into place. Your success is never a given. The secret is to focus all of your energy on building the new you. It’s time you got after it. The secret to a successful 2022 is between your ears.

On a Personal Note: Thank you for being part of my 2021. I’m here to help. I want 2022 to be your best year yet. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions looking for answers about the challenges you’re facing starting your small business, managing and leading others, or getting that promotion. You can contact me directly at: brian@briansmithpld.com

Copyright (c) 2022. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you or your organization, visit: https://briansmithpld.com.

Wishing and Hoping Won’t Make It So But Setting SMART Targets Will

Wishing and hoping won’t make it so but setting smart targets will. As Covey would say – “Miracles are great, but they are so hard to come by. You never know when one will come along.” To accomplish what you want to achieve, no matter how big or small, it’s a planned event. You can’t wish and hope to lose weight, get that promotion or start your small business, but you can put a plan together to achieve your goal and end up where you want to be.

Worth Remembering … “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” – Yogi Berra

Don’t generalize. Set a SMART target.

S – Specific: You must name it to claim it. What steps will you have to take to achieve your goal? What objectives need to be accomplished to reach your target?

M – Measurable: If you don’t measure it, how do you know you are headed in the right direction? Your plan should include trackable benchmarks. What gets measured gets done.

A – Attainable: You must believe it’s doable, or you won’t be motivated enough to put in the effort to accomplish your goal. Have you been honest with yourself? Do you believe the goal you’ve set for yourself is achievable?

R – Relevant: Why is this goal important to you? What are the tangible benefits you’ll receive if you reach your goal? Knowing what it will do for you will help you keep your eye on the prize.

T – Time Based: How much time have you given yourself to accomplish your goal? Having a deadline helps to keep you moving forward. Having a deadline creates a sense of urgency and gets you up and off the couch.

Worth Remembering … “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” – Scottish Proverb

That proverb suggests that if wishing could make things happen, then we’d all have everything we wanted. Wishing and hoping won’t make it so but setting a SMART target will. A goal is a dream with a deadline. If you genuinely believe that you have all the tools you’ll need to accomplish your goals – then the only thing getting in your way is you. Put your plan together and work your plan.

Copyright (c) 2021. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you or your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com

Creating High-Performance Work Teams

Creating high-performance work teams is more than just throwing people together and expecting them to perform as a cohesive unit. Work teams can create a synergy that results in a level of performance far greater than any one person, but to accomplish that, you need a game plan. Together, everyone achieves more if you can get everyone on the same page, committed to accomplishing the same goal. The most popular team-building model taught in business school is a four-stage model first introduced by Phycologist Bruce Tuckman in 1965. Tuckman believed that these stages are necessary for a team to grow, overcome challenges, solve problems, and deliver results.

Worth Remembering … “Teams are now the primary force of organizations. They are worth cultivating at their core. Their core is the mind of each team member.” – Nancy Kline

Forming: Forming is the getting acquainted stage in which team members meet each other, form initial impressions, and try to get a sense of what it will be like to work together and be part of a team. You can help this process by planning social get-togethers outside of the workplace or having a company-organized meet and greet so team members can begin to build those all-important relationships.

Storming: Conflicts and disagreements are inevitable as team members start to work together. Different personalities and work styles will clash. That’s why soft skills, the ability to communicate and interact more effectively with others, is critical to team success. Hire people who like to be around people and who want to be part of a team.

Norming: Norms shape team behaviour by establishing and imposing group standards. This is when the real work begins. Never allow standards to slide. First, team members need to know what is expected of them. Next, they need to understand what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour. Finally, they must be willing to do what ever it takes to be a good team player. Then, you need to step up and call out those who are not meeting those norms.

Performing: This is the final stage of creating a high-performance team. People do what you inspect, not what you expect. You need to get out of your office and manage the team by walking around. You must monitor their performance to ensure team goals are met.

Worth Remembering ... “It is not the individual but the team that is the instrument of sustained and enduring success in management.” – Anthony Jay.

The next time you’re charged with creating a high-performance team, try Tuckman’s four-stage model. If that doesn’t work, you can always use Tuckman’s fifth stage – adjourning. Adjourning was added to his model in 1977. I think it’s for project teams that have accomplished their objective, then disbanded. I’m not looking to break the team up if the team concept is working.

Copyright (c) 2021. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find our more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com