Daniel Tardy: License To Sell

Kick the week off right

Posted in Business by elephanthunters on April 12, 2010

shoot for this:

not this:

The dreaded ‘M’ word

“Our meetings are held to discuss many problems which would never arise if we held fewer meetings”

Ashleigh Brilliant

Sadly, this is often true.  However, I propose that meetings themselves are not the culprit as much as the  lack of  purpose, leadership and effective communication IN the meetings.

Someone does it right

Here at The Lampo Group (more popularly known as Dave Ramsey’s company), we start every week with staff meeting on Monday morning.  In many organizations, staff meetings rank in popularity somewhere between root canals and waiting in line at the DMV.

Our staff meetings are actually pretty fun as far as meetings go, not to mention extremely valuable.

Dave’s philosophy on staff meeting is all about over communication.  He’ll often remind us, ‘We do these weekly meetings so the right hand knows what the left hand is doing’.  Around here, it’s kind of like the last minute pep talk in the locker room before everyone runs out on the field.

How’s it work?

Dave typically leads the meeting, and asks each department leader to stand and update the group on  key things going on.  Team leaders will share or call on someone on their team to share:

  • Victories, wins, high points, brags on team members
  • New team member introductions
  • Prayer requests, updates on things we’ve been praying for
  • Information to be aware of that might benefit the group i.e. upcoming media appearances
  • Drawings for hockey tickets, other  fun giveaways, awards and recognitions

Where to start?

Our EntreLeadership clients will often ask me how they should start implementing a staff meeting in their business.  Here’s a few tips to get started:

  1. Do it Monday morning: If your set up allows for a staff meeting at the beginning of the week, this is the best time to schedule it.  It sets the tone, and gets everyone’s mind engaged right out of the gate.  Make it mandatory for everyone to come.
  2. Keep it brief: We rarely go more than an hour.  If everything has been covered after just 20 minutes, we finish up and go to work.
  3. Make it fun: This is a great time to recognize your team and their accomplishments from the week before.  Catch people doing things right, then praise them in front of the team. This is a great way to define what winning looks like without having to ‘lecture’.
  4. Be personal: As a leader, you have a tremendous opportunity to share how you’re processing things that are going on in the company.  Maybe a certain area is struggling, and you read an encouraging quote or article that helped you see it in a new light.  Share this with the team – they appreciate seeing you humanity.  Just be sure that it’s not presented in a way that’s pessimistic.
  5. When in doubt, share. Don’t assume everyone on the team observes things that seem apparent to you.  You may feel like some of the concepts you’re sharing are elementary, but your team will appreciate being included.  Teach them to think like leaders.  Help them understand how the organization works.  Over time you will notice them taking on a greater sense of ownership in their work.

What works for you?

I’d love to hear some techniques and ideas for better staff meetings.  What’s working for you?  Please leave a comment with your favorite meeting tip.

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5 Responses

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  1. Ramona said, on April 12, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    I put our core values on the back of our meeting memos. That way if there is a dispute about something we can all refer to the company core values and decide the best course of action. Plus it is a great reminder of what we as a group stand for.

    • elephanthunters said, on April 12, 2010 at 3:33 pm

      Ramona,

      That’s a great idea. I love how it gives everyone some boundaries and defines the playing field. Seems like this would give each participant a lot of confidence to make their case. Thanks for sharing!

      • Ramona said, on April 13, 2010 at 5:28 am

        Plus it allows me to constantly remind everyone what I want the company to stand for without preaching to them. Any time you can remind your staff of the reason we are here is a good thing.

  2. Erika Waters said, on April 12, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    I like to go into meetings with an agenda to keep us on track and a list of desired outcomes that are a result of discussing the things on the agenda. These outcomes are stated at the beginning of the meeting. For example, if I need to discuss a new marketing campaign during a meeting or present a pitch, the outcome, or focus of the meeting is about getting feedback or approval to move forward. Sometimes the outcome would be to present an idea or start a conversation and schedule a time to continue. Whatever it is, having outcomes that result from your agenda is a great way to make sure your meetings stay on task and are also productive. Essentially, they act as a north star! There is NOTHING worse than going to a meeting that takes forever and feeling like you have nothing accomplished….

    • elephanthunters said, on April 12, 2010 at 3:37 pm

      Great thoughts. Having an agenda is a huge part of successful meetings. Have you read Patrick Lencioni’s ‘Death by Meeting’?

      It’s a great resource for taking meetings from ‘blah’ to ‘bam!’.

      One of his big concepts is the implementation and proper use of an agenda.

      Your comment inspired me to write this in my journal: An agenda let’s us keep score and determine if the meeting was a win when we are finished.


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