Meeting Rhythm

Meetings get a bad rap for being time-wasters. The problem is not with meetings. It’s with how they are held.

My little company is beginning to grow to the point where roles are beginning to establish. Goals are set for these roles, and each goal is dependent on another person’s execution.

Additionally, being an evolving startup requires constant tweaks to the plan. Sometimes these are major. Other times they are simple corrections. Either way everyone needs to stay in the loop.

We are intentional about the way we use meeting time. In our case, they increase efficiency because they cut down on impulsive interruptions.

There are 5 goals for our meetings.

Accountability

Everyone has a lot on their plate. We need to know we are executing. If one person’s role requires they make 70 + sales calls, they have to look their team members in the eye and let them know the outcome.

Informative

Sometimes events and circumstances change the way we approach our execution plan. We may learn something about our customers and their needs that are beneficial to the rest of the group. We may discover an obstacle that can be removed to increase our effectiveness.

Motivational

Delivering on the plan drives motivation. When sales is killing it, account management gets fired up. When we reach a new milestone on work order volume, it’s energizing to celebrate together. A win with someone else can be the fuel we need to get ourselves to the next level.

Aligning

We get bogged down with our to do lists and responsiblities. It’s important to be reminded how each of our roles fits into the big picture. This is especially helpful when it comes to the more mundane tasks because we are reminded about what is at stake.

Directional

Everyone needs to know the plan. Meetings make this possible. They are helpful for the long-term, short-term, and daily plans. Our meetings help set direction, especially since our direction is adjusted based on market feedback.

Establishing a Rhythm

We have a daily, weekly, montly, quarterly, and annual rhythm. I am going to daily meetings in this post.

Annual and quarterly meetings set the longer-term objectives while the monthly, weekly, and daily meetings are more task specific.

Morning Kick Off

  • How are you doing?
  • What are you going to accomplish today?
  • What are your biggest opportunities today?

Midday Check In

  • How are you doing?
  • Are you on pace to reach your goals?

Evening Wrap Up

  • How are you doing?
  • What did you accomplish today?
  • What was your biggest WIN?
  • What was your biggest challenge?
  • What is getting in the way?
  • What did you learn today?

A few final notes:

I always start with “How are you doing?” because it is important for us to set the tone that the person comes before the role.

There is a lot of joking around in our meetings. People like working with happy people.

I challenge my team to give me well thought out answers to questions about challenges and what was learned.

I am not exempt from these questions. Everyone holds everyone accountable.

I spend a lot of time asking why?

Meetings have a time limit to keep things on track.

I would encourage you to embrace meetings, create a meeting rhythm, know what you are trying to accomplish with your meetings, and stay consistent. And if you are the leader of the meeting, keep your mouth shut as much as possible. You and your team will get more out of meetings when you are the one dominating the conversation.