Mastering Meetings - The Definitive Guide to Amazing Meetings, Calls & Catch-Ups | Paul Banoub | Skillshare

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Mastering Meetings - The Definitive Guide to Amazing Meetings, Calls & Catch-Ups

teacher avatar Paul Banoub, Leadership, Coaching & Productivity ACE

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

18 Lessons (1h 22m)
    • 1. What To Expect From This Course

    • 2. About Your Lecturer

    • 3. Why Do We Need Meetings?

    • 4. The Hidden Costs Of Meetings

    • 5. Red, Amber & Green Meetings

    • 6. Scheduling - Do You Need A Meeting?

    • 7. Scheduling - Timing Considerations

    • 8. Scheduling - Meeting Invite Essential Contents

    • 9. Scheduling - Etiquette

    • 10. Scheduling - Considerations for Externals

    • 11. The Meeting As An Opportunity To Impress

    • 12. The Importance Of The Chairperson

    • 13. Chairing - Starting Your Meeting

    • 14. Chairing - Running Your Meeting

    • 15. Chairing - Building A Great Agenda

    • 16. After Meeting - Minutes & Follow-Ups

    • 17. Considerations As An Attendee

    • 18. Conclusion

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About This Class

In this class we'll take a deep dive into meetings, calls and catch-ups. This course will give you the skills to schedule, chair and contribute to productive, quality meetings that add value and help you get the job done. 

Poor quality meetings are a common complaint at many organisations. This course gives you the skills to not only master the role of an attendee, but also a chairperson and dives into the psychology of meetings and what you can do to build a reputation as an amazing meeting organiser at your organisation.

We'll explore subjects such as 

  • What meetings are and why you need them
  • The cost of meetings
  • Red, Amber & Green meetings
  • Picking the perfect time
  • Scheduling etiquette
  • The meeting as an opportunity to get noticed
  • Considerations for external attendees
  • The vital role of the chairperson
  • Building a great meeting agenda
  • Starting and navigating through the meeting itself
  • Minutes, follow-ups and actions
  • How to be a great meeting attendee
  • One to one meetings

I've been a people manager for over 20 years at some of the biggest companies in the world. I've worked for inspirational leaders, and tried to develop my own leadership skills to inspire and empower my teams. I've had thousands of meetings and have built my own successful system through trial and error as well as learning from incredible people. 

At the end of this course you'll have a clear picture of what makes a great meeting and you'll have the ammunition to be able to develop your own skills and boost your own chances of making it as a leader in your organisation. 

The course is fast paced, easy to consume, narrated with clear messages.

This is Productivity ACE - Let's get it done!

Meet Your Teacher

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Paul Banoub

Leadership, Coaching & Productivity ACE


Hello, I'm Paul - a technologist, people manager, blogger, YouTuber, public speaker & productivity enthusiast!

I have over 20 years experience as a people manager and leader at some of the world's biggest companies. I've led teams large and small. spoken at international conferences and delivered for high-pressure clients.

If you want to be more productive, a better leader, manager, coach & mentor then you're in the right place.

I'm dedicated to making work a great place to be by removing blockers, empowering people and creating a safe place for people to express themselves and innovate. 



We focus on these areas; 

Leadership, Coaching & Management

Using workplace psychology and emotional intelligence ... See full profile

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1. What To Expect From This Course: Hi, I'm Paul. I've been a people manager at some of the biggest companies in the world for over 20 years. I've led teams large and small, have been responsible for some seriously big deliveries, as well as supporting T01 IT systems for front and back office at massive banks have had thousands of meetings over the years. I've come to know what makes a good and about meeting. Many people cite too many meetings as one of their key frustrations. It comes up all the time on employee surveys, on employee satisfaction forms. Too many meetings, too many bad meetings, too much wasted time, too much lack of productivity. Meetings as seen as a real-time silk. And in general, people don't like them. I'm always shocked at how little guidance is given to employees about how to make the most of meetings seems that nobody's ever trend in the subject. How can people avoid the pitfalls that gotchas, the errors, the mistakes that make meetings such a time silicon so ineffective. I think that training in meetings should be something that every employee gets. It should be part of the fundamental training that every employee gets when they joined a new company. It's just assumed that we know how to do it. And while it may seem simple, there's actually quite a lot to it. As with many aspects of productivity, it seems we just left to get on with it to work it out by trial and error. Well, I don't think there's any need for the trial and any need for the error. We should be trained in everyday operational tasks that help you get the job done. Why don't we just get it right from the start? We should all be helping each other get trained in workplace psychology, operational techniques, and using the tool sets that were given. And that includes making the most of the meeting, running a good meeting isn't just a case of turning up. Meetings can cripple productivity or there can be serious productivity boosters when done well. And we all know the people in our organizations. You do it well and who don't do it so well. I'm sure there are some people in your organization that when you see a meeting request from them, well, your heart sinks just that little bit because you know, it's not going to be a good, good experience. And this video series, I'm going to talk about how you can muster meetings, how you can get the very best out of the meeting experience. How the meetings you run can be killer and really, really help productivity and talk about a number of different subjects. Here's some of them. Now, we're gonna talk about what a meeting is. When meetings are and are not needed, will go through some best practices in scheduling meetings. We're looking at how you create and follower and manage agendas. We'll also look at a very important role which is being an effective meeting chair, as well as an attendee that adds value. And we'll look at how you can take actions, record minutes, and take follow-ups. And then there'll be a bit of a bonus. Where are we going to explore the ins and outs of the one-to-one meeting, which is a special kind of meeting that needs a section all by itself, one-to-ones or a completely different scenario to group meetings. There's a lot of extra considerations that will help you get the best out of them, especially if you haven't one-to-ones with your manager or your direct reports in your team. So whether you're an experienced leader or someone that's just the up and coming in their career. This guide to mustering meetings, I'm really sure we'll provide you with amazing insight to really help you make the most of one of the most used collaboration features. You'll be able to run meetings that add value. You'll be able to run meetings that don't waste people's time. You'll be able to run meetings that matter. You also find some useful still for my youtube channel, search for productivity ace on YouTube and you'll find it or Checkout app productivity is on Twitter. So thanks very much for watching. 2. About Your Lecturer: So I'm Paul, I'm a technologist, People Manager, a YouTube, a blogger, speaker, and I'm a productivity enthusiast. I love getting things done. But more importantly, I like empowering people, helping people to grow, helping to grow the leaders of tomorrow. And I want to empower people to be the best that they can possibly be. I'm fascinated by workplace psychology, productivity tip, and how we can use our brains to make the work life so much easier. I've got over 20 years experience working at massive companies, some of the biggest investment banks in the world, leading large-scale IT systems and deliverables of managed teams, large and small of mileage globally diverse teams that are spread all over the world. Using follow the sun support 24-7 teams that need to support key tier-1 IT system. I know how making tiny gains to our efficiency can have a massive impact. And I know how important it is to keep your team empowered, healthy, happy, and productive, uncomfortable talking to people at all levels of organizations from the C-suite to the internship program. I understand all the nuances, considerations, and top tips to help communication and relationships be as effective as they possibly convey. I've spoken at a number of global conferences in front of full figure audiences, as well as smaller meet-ups, user groups and forums, and love communicating to audiences. And I love helping people grow, as well as ruthlessly reliable delivery. I'm super passionate about getting things done as efficiently as possible, about making the most of my team's time and helping them get through the day without wasting it. I try and keep my team's stress levels as low as possible by giving them autonomy, accountability, and responsibility for their own deliverables. I'm not sitting over their shoulders all the time. I'm certainly no micromanager. I love to put my trust in people, watch them grow and watch them deliver. I'm not just a manage it, but try and coach my teams as well to help them build their own frameworks to solve problems and evolve as people to help them bring their best self to work every single day. I've been studying leadership for over 20 years and I'm absolutely fascinated by what makes great leaders, people that you want to follow. What makes great leaders, people that get things, donor organizations, how can greatly is developed progressive organizations? What makes them so special? Hopefully, some of the tips in these videos will be really helpful to you, whether you are an experienced later or somebody just starting out on their career journey. The fact that you're watching shows that you've already got the mindset to want to learn, develop, and evolve your own leadership skills, and that's fantastic. So please enjoy this content. Do contribute to the Discussions page. I'm really interested to hear what you think. And I know that you guys have got just as much great insight to give me. So thanks very much for watching. 3. Why Do We Need Meetings?: So what I'll meetings and why do we need them? Well, the dictionary definition of a meeting is a gathering of people generate to achieve some form of purpose. And last January, right? And that's January, right? People getting together to achieve a purpose. But as we all know, not every meeting does actually achieve that purpose. And some of them are a complete waste of time. It's sometimes take you backwards in your project. And meetings can sometimes occur for completely the wrong reasons. Let's take a look at some historical reasons why meetings tend to occur. First off, we always have a Tuesday, 09:00 AM, Cole. Okay. Well, it does not choose their 9AM call at any value anymore. Sometimes you'll find meetings that have been setup that I've long since outlived their values and are still going on just because we've always had a call at that time. It's very important to look at the meetings that you're attending and your hosting and say, do they actually keep adding value? And if that choose, their 9AM coal doesn't add anymore Valley scrap IT. Management, lack of trust. If your manager is scheduling meetings with you every day or every couple of days to drill into the work that you are doing? Well, that's probably a bad sign. That's probably a sign of a micro manager or a sign that your manager doesn't actually trust you. Micromanagers look to do this. It's a tremendous waste of time checking upon an employee because you simply maybe don't trust their delivery. This is a legitimate situation. People have performance problems. Managers sometimes need to apply extra scrutiny to employees to make sure they're doing what they want them to do. But scheduling a meeting every day. Well, that's very inefficient and that's five hours at both of you can be doing something else, making a point. I've seen it before where people call meetings just to make a point or just to get themselves in the spotlight. Sometimes just to show off crazy, it seems the mating, just to get some attention is still something that I see quite regularly organizations. So we've seen some examples. There were meetings happen for the wrong reasons, but generally meetings are not a waste of time, even though the frequency of ineffective meetings is a very common complaint amongst the employees. And there are some times where meetings can be highly effective. They can often rescue a project or a work stream or give a workstream much needed new impetus. Meetings have sometimes been known to launch people's careers to give them the exposure they need to allow them to build their networks. They need to take their career into the stratosphere. Meetings are a great opportunity for people to get in front of audiences that they need to influence every meeting is an opportunity, not just to get things done, put to make an impression and build relationships. Are you able to contribute to every meeting you attend? Do you add value? Do you get noticed? Do you make connections through meetings? Meetings useful for you in your career? Are you helping people? I once had somebody start to cry in a meeting because they said I was so helpful to them. That may have been a bit of an overreaction, but I was glad I criticized it. Be looking for the right person to answer some questions for months. And he finally stumbled across me, and luckily I was able to give them the answers that you wanted. And it all got a little bit too much for him, was nice anywhere. So mastering meetings is a vital skill. Let's get stuck into it. 4. The Hidden Costs Of Meetings: It's often been said that meetings have a cost are not absolutely true. Your paying a price for every meeting that you attend, which is why you need to get things back to host our attended meeting. You're effectively being charged in terms of time and money. For example, if you have a management team with five people and they have an annual salary of $50 thousand each and they spend an average of 15 hours or weekend meeting, while your weekly meeting costs for only these people will be over $200 thousand and your annual costs are well over a $100 thousand. If you can reduce that by 40%, will you saving $42 thousand a year? And your management team is actually burning 780 hours of time over that year. And that's all time where they can't do any actual work. And then there's a third cost of meetings. And that's the cost related to employee morale and burnout. As I've said before, wasted time or meetings is a common complaint in employee satisfaction surveys. People don't like wasting time in meetings these time, whereas this can be a source of great frustration. And if an organization has a systemic meeting culture or just becomes the norm, well, that can really contribute to a sense of fulfillment and boredom. And that's very common in burnout situations. And there's also another cost of meetings, and that's the cost of context switching. Let me explain. To attend or host a meeting. Well, you've got to stop what you're doing, spin up your notes, grab your paperwork, and prepare to get ready for the next meeting. If you're the host, you might have to pull up some materials. You might even have to move to a different conference room or even a different building. Then when the matings don't, you've got to do all of that and reverse pack up, go back to your desk and get back on with what you were doing before. So there's actually a couple of blocks of wasted time either side of the actual meeting itself. The hour-long meeting doesn't just cost you an hour of time, probably costs you an hour and a half. So you can see meetings have a cost. They certainly don't come for free. Meetings cost you in terms of time, in terms of money, in terms of morale, and in terms of productivity, which is why you need to get the best out of them. And that's absolutely essential. So we owe it to ourselves, we owe it to our teams, we owe it to our companies to get the most out of matings and to reduce the amount of time that we actually spend in meetings. 5. Red, Amber & Green Meetings: There are many different types of meetings and each one has specific considerations that you should be aware of. They're not all the same. Let's dive into a few of them here. Do let me know in the comments or the discussion pages, if you fail, I've now got something right here or you feel that I've missed something out. I know you guys have got a lot of experience in meetings as well. And I bet there's loads of stuff here that you can add. To my knowledge, I don't pretend to get this perfectly right and I'm always looking for the killer tips that you've got. I've divided the types of meetings open to three categories, red and green. And each of those categories has a different level of rigor, a different level of preparation at different level of risk, and a different approach that you could consider taking. This is how I categorize my meetings. Red, amber, green. Apply a different level of preparation for each type. Having a different approach for different types of meetings is a good way to be more efficient with your time. After all, it's a waste of time preparing for an informal one-to-one with somebody you know very well, then it would be presenting to the board, for example. So have a look and see what you think. So the least rigorous category of meetings is the green meeting. This is the safest warm on the whole year. All you have to do very little preparation for a green mating. And sometimes even known green meetings or information gathering exercises or catch ups. If you're the host, well, you'll probably just have to swing by each participant and get them to provide their own updates, as well as maybe you providing your own shorter, that, not a lot of stuff to do. Most of your discussion points would come off the top of the head. Stuff that you can remember, stuff that's top of mind. Obviously, you do have to prepare for some of these meetings, but it would be unrealistic to expect you to prepare for a green meeting in the same way that you prefer for a red meeting. That's a good way to shave off some time. So meetings that fall into the green category would be these project initiatives or kick offs. Daily touchpoints are gel stand-ups or scrum meetings, catch ups with colleagues that you know very well in formal one-to-ones or checkups on stakeholders, or tame or drop-in sessions such as open slots where anybody can turn up and asks you a particular question, let me know in the comments or discussion pages, if you think I've missed anything off the green meetings category or what you think of a red, amber green as a concept. Amber meetings on the other hand, well, they need a lot more preparation. If you're the host, you'd be wanting your materials to be professional and slick. You'll want to know the platform. You want to arrive early and make sure you are well setup. You want the amber meeting to go well, because if it doesn't, it can be pretty embarrassing. You want to have a very good idea of the questions that you want to ask and the questions that you might be asked. Examples of amber meetings include small group presentations or technical or project demos. Weekly project updates or touchpoints are one-to-ones with your manager or team members from gametes is a good idea to have your act together and be as prepared as you feel comfortable if you know, particularly prepared for number meeting. Well, it might be a little bit embarrassing, but it probably won't be the end of the world personally, I like to try and prepare for Amber meetings quite well. And that's because you never know when an amber meeting will turn into a red meeting where the topic of conversation gets dragged into a different area or you might get extra people pulled in just generally because of the audience. Sometimes if you're talking to somebody in senior management or, or, or your manager. Or your team, sometimes the context of amber meeting can change part way through the meter and it's always good to be prepared. For example, you're gonna catch it with your manager and he referring to some project detail off the top of your head. Maybe they then ask you to expand on that detail. Well, you then need to reach for some materials. It's important to know where those materials actually are so that you can get to them. It's not a good idea to want to reach for some materials and have no idea where they actually are. That could be quite embarrassing. So a little bit of extra preparation never goes on this. Now read meetings, well, they're the highest alert level for meetings. You'll want to make sure that you're absolutely A1 prepared. You'll want to make sure your materials are slick and polished. You want to make sure you know the questions that are coming your way and the questions you are going to ask. And you need to be prepared for subjects other than the topic of the meeting. Especially if you're talking to senior people. Senior people have got a nasty habit of dragging you down rabbit holes you don't want to go to. And while you missed out talking to your managing director about one particular subject, you may find that they pull you down a whole other rabbit hole topic of conversation. And before you know, you're talking about something completely different. And it's a good idea to anticipate the questions that you might be asked by somebody if they decide to go off paste for red meetings, you also need to have your numbers 100% accurate. Make sure your data is bang on. This is because red meetings often make decisions on the back of data. So if you're presenting data or read mating and decisions then get made. Well, you want to be sure that the information you've given is accurate, the same with disciplinary performance related aspects. There also read meetings. You don't want to be going into a performance related meeting with somebody and the data that you have is inaccurate, that could be serious consequences for getting the data wrong in a red meeting. Examples of red meetings include performance reviews and appraisals with their employees, disciplinary meetings, HR issues or complaints. Skip level meetings with your manager's manager or even higher and high-level group presentations to the Board. Similar forums or very influential people not preparing for a read Mating can be seriously career limiting. Going into a senior management meeting with a managing director completely unprepared. That's career limiting and it's not something should be done. But I prefer to think of the red meeting as a really good opportunity. It doesn't come around very often where you can get in front of a very senior audience are very influential audience, audience That can make decisions about your own career. So when you get these meetings, it's important to realize that this is actually an opportunity to impress. It's not something to be scared off, it's not something to be apprehensive of. It's an opportunity to show them what you're made of making red matings into super positive encounters can be how you can make your Korea go from strength to strength. It's an opportunity to influence people that need to be influenced. So those are the three level of meetings, red, amber, green, fairly simple. It helps me to classify meetings like that because it allows me then to understand what level of preparation I need to do. 6. Scheduling - Do You Need A Meeting?: This next section is all about scheduling your meetings. There were a lot of variables that come into play when scheduling a meeting. How long it lasts, what slots do you pick? Who you invite? How do you construct the meeting invite? There's a lot to it. It's not just a case of picking a slot and hitting Send. Well, you could do that if you wanted, but if you follow the tips and advice that I'm about to give you, well, you'll have a much better and more efficient experience and so will all your ten days. So let's continue. Do you need a meeting? Well, first off, the biggest question, do I actually need a meeting here in order to establish whether you need a meeting or not? Well, first, try and understand the question you want to answer. What do you want to achieve? What's the purpose? What do you want to have at the end of the meeting? The didn't have at the Star, what's in it for you? We've spoken about the cost of meetings earlier. As you can see, there's a significant cost in time, money, and morale for calling meetings. So you better have a good reason to call one. If you don't have a good reason to call it, well, you're just wasting your own time if you end up calling meetings without valid reasons to have them while you're wasting your time and you're going to incur some reputational damage as well. So let's take a look at some of the most common reasons for needing to call a meeting. First one is engaging. Often you'll have an email chain or piece of work and you're just not getting responses despite being reminded a number of times, that person just won't reply, you'll just get radio silence. Now we all know these people and you'll know that no matter how many emails you send, this person's not coming back to you. Some people are just not very good at managing their inboxes. Not very good at managing meetings or managing their workload. And others are just prone to forget about the people. And this is just a might well, for the people might be deliberately not answering your email questions for fear that they may get embarrassed or for fear that they don't have the right information or that they're in a situation where they answer that they are going to give you is something they might not want to give you. Unfortunately, people like this exist, it's really inefficient and sometimes the only way to get an answer is to get them onto a col. Another reason for calling a meeting is that you have multiple decision points. Sometimes you'll have an email chain where multiple questions are getting asked and multiple decisions need to be made. You might lay out four or five questions in an email to gather people's answers on your respondents might only answer three of them. It's really frustrating when people do that. It's almost like they're just don't read it properly. I don't understand why people don't answer all the questions that are posed to them in an email. I know I tried to. Situations like this, it's useful to get people into a meeting room or onto a coal. That way you can step through explicitly every single decision point that needs to be made. And you don't move on to the next one until the one you're talking about is decided and agreed by everybody. That way you get to the end of the meeting and you have consensus on all of the decision points that you need to work. That can be a lot more efficient than sending an email saying, actually you didn't answer question three or he didn't answer question two. Another reason for calling a meeting is you need to act fast. Speed is an important factor. Sometimes it's really important to get onto a call if you need to make fast decisions, if you need to get an answer quickly. One of the many poor aspects of using email is that you just don't know when somebody's going to reply or if they're even read it. So getting people onto a call can cut to the chase rather than you having to go through the uncertainty of wondering whether somebody is picked up your question and is going to come back to it. Calling a short meeting in these situations can be very useful to get everybody to focus quickly, make fast decisions. 7. Scheduling - Timing Considerations: Timing considerations. Okay. You've done all that due diligence. You lead a meeting. Okay. Fine. Well, it's not just a case of opening up your calendar, picking Islam that suits you and hitting Send. There's a lot more to it than that. But yeah, I'm happy because 1130 AM slot, that looks great for me. I've got nothing either side of it. Got plenty of time to prepare. I can finish that meeting. I'm straight into lunch. Lovely. That works perfectly for me. I'm going to pick it up. Well, hang on a bit. Let's rewind this first rule of scheduling meetings is to schedule for other people, not yourself. Well, obviously you don't want to give yourself that super inconvenient 30 AM slot that's going to hit just as you get to work. That would be silly. So I mean, you don't want to give yourself that graveyard slot. That means you have to stay into their office late into the evening or take a letter tray at home. But if you're scheduling a meeting, it should be a time that's convenient to as many of the participants as possible. If you schedule meetings, thinking of other people while you build a reputation as somebody that knows what they're doing, there are many people who always schedule meetings to suit themselves. They have quite a selfish attitude and they get that reputation is somebody who hasn't thought about the other people that they're taking the time from. A few are continuously scheduling meetings that are inconvenient for other people, or people will remember, and you will build their own reputation. So put yourself at the back of the queue and consider making it as easy as possible for as many of you delegates as possible. Time zones in global companies, occasionally you'll be calling meetings that involve all of the time zones. Apec, the mayor, USA. Well, how on earth do you get everybody onto a call at a time that suits everybody? Simple and say as you pretty much can't and you're going to end up inconveniencing somebody. So what I try and do is I try and inconvenience as few people as possible. If there's more representatives from a particular time zone of scheduling for that one and somebody else. Well, they might have to suck it up. And if the meeting is a repeatable series or one that happens more than once, well, flip it around occasionally so that the burden doesn't fall on the same people every time. If you do end up inconveniencing somebody say from Asia-Pacific region, well, it's always good to give them a courtesy call, our courtesy ML and explained the situation. They'll generally understand. And work calendar, there are some slots that you should always try and avoid. Good example of that is the 9AM morning slot. Nobody likes having to dial into a meeting as soon as they sit down at their desk, most people generally start around nine and a lot of people do like a little bit of time to decompress, getter coffee and to relax into the day and get ready for the work ahead. Generally, people are not that thrilled as soon as they sit down at the desk at 09:00 AM. Well, that meeting reminder pops-up straightaway. So try and avoid the nine AM slot. It also puts people into pressure commuting to the office if they're delayed, if they have problems getting to work well, there might well be late for it. They might well feel rushed if they've got preparation today, it means they might have to take an extra early trained to work or something like that. So it's generating convenience law. Similarly, let in the evening, 5PM, 6PM, no good slots for people. People are wanting to finish work, they wanted to wrap up for the day. They might have a trend to get home. They might have other things to do in the evening. So sticking a major question for five to six or 530 to 630. Well, sometimes it has to be done, but generally doesn't go down well. So try and avoid. Early slot, trying to avoid the late slot seems obvious, but you'd be amazed how many people don't. But I'm scheduling meetings. I also try and avoid lunchtime because many people like to get away from their desks and take a walk or decompress or hover are more relaxing lunch. It's not everybody that likes to eat their lunch at their desk on a call at the same time, I certainly don't like to get some fresh air. I like to relax a little bit more and take some time out. So if you're blocking meetings at lunchtime, well, that can take that precious time away from people and can be very inconvenient. If you are somebody that likes to get away at lunch, people who don't like the early or late slots or the lunchtime slots being taken up in their calendar. Well, they'll just block it out in their calendar system. Recurring wastes so that they always show as busy or unavailable during those times. If if you see somebody's calendar has done that, well, that's a clear sign that they are one of those people who doesn't like the early late on lunchtime meeting. So finding another slow don't cross the hours. What do I mean by this is a typical workday is chopped up into 60 minute blocks from the top of the hour to the end of the hour. If you schedule a meeting, say on the half hour, say from 1030 to 1130 when you're disrupting not one but two of these blocks, you're disrupting ten AM to 11 layer. I need a shifting 11 AM to 12 PM. This increases the cost of meetings in terms of time, you taking out two blocks when you should take out just one. So try and not cross the hours. Try make sure that if you're scheduling an hour-long meeting goes from the top of the hour to the end of the hour. One hour versus 45 minutes versus 30 minutes. It's a good rule of thumb to try and cut down the cost of meetings. I've seen firm-wide initiatives that some companies are worth four BY people have tried to get everybody to just share a little bit of time of the meetings. For example, if you would typically organizing a meeting for an hour, make it 45 minutes. If you typically organizing meetings for half an hour, make it 15 minutes. Try and chop a little bit of time off. And in my experience, this generally works. That cumulative time you save on meetings by chopping ten minutes, 20 minutes of them? Well, it really does. I don't mean awake. Another benefit of this approach was it really got everybody to focus on the agenda. People were concentrated on the agenda that didn't waste time. They got into the subjects and they made decisions a little bit quicker because they knew that the meeting had a little bit of time pressure. It wasn't going to overrun. In fact, it was gonna finish ten minutes before the hour. So people actually got through the agenda faster and made the decisions quicker. So I actually think it made meetings a little bit more efficient. So if you're in a position of influence, whether you consider implementing that rule in your own department and no meeting day in my current company, we have an initiative that's called no meeting Wednesdays, where we're instructed to schedule as few meetings as possible with colleagues that we know and try and keep that Wednesday diary as clear as possible. And it's been a real success. It's allowed people to block out time for learning. It's allowed people to block out time for project work that they didn't have time for before. I love looking at my calendar on a Wednesday because while it may not be a 100% player, a will be significantly more clear than the other days of the week. So there no meeting Wednesday has been something that people have adopted, people have got behind. It took a little bit of getting used to. But as everybody understands that the company that Wednesdays are not traditionally for meetings anymore. Well, you'll find people are not scheduling meetings on Wednesday. They're trying to picking other times in the week. And that free time on a Wednesday, we can then use for collaboration, networking or learning and other work. It's been quite a success. So try the no meeting the in your organization. 8. Scheduling - Meeting Invite Essential Contents: So let's talk about the contents of your meeting invite. Your meeting invite should have some key information in it. First off, make sure that title is informative, not a generic type like Pegasus meeting or catch your poor one-to-one, makes sure that the title has some information as to what the meeting is about. So it could be something like Pegasus project resource requirements or Pegasus project application deployment details, Something like that. Also make sure you've got an agenda and we're gonna talk about agendas in an upcoming video. So I won't go into here, but needless to say, it's an extremely important part of your meeting. Invite Island details for any coal. Makes sure that the dial in details cover every recipient or every region that a recipient will be in. Make sure you have a toll-free number for everybody, no matter what region there in, you wouldn't want to if somebody maybe has to join a call on the move and ends up dying and international number on their personal device. That's not toll free. Well, that's not going to go down to so make sure that your dial in details cover every possible combination of recipients. So they're all got a toll-free option to join attached the context, there's nothing worse than opening a meeting request and having no idea what it's about. It's one of my pet heads actually, I think that it's really important that people should be able to click on a material question, know exactly what it is about good, solid agenda helps here, but also if a mating resulted from an email chain, for example, well, attached that email chain into the meeting request. So when it pops up in front of somebody, they can double-click on the mail and see the latest contexts that conversation. What brought them to this situation? What brought them to having this meeting? That's a really polite thing to do, really does serve people time. Otherwise, you end up with situations where they're meeting requests pops up, and then someone has to troll through their emails to find the last mail from the sender to try and work out what the heck this meeting is actually about because they've forgotten. And if they're meeting invite happens to be the first interaction you have with somebody, then it's always a good idea is to start the meeting, invite off with an introduction, who you are, why you on the amazing Why do you want to talk to this person? That's always a good thing to do and it's a polite introduction rather than just effectively cold calling somebody with a meeting request. And sometimes I'll actually paying somebody by chat or by email beforehand to say I might need a meeting with you, would you be able to spare the time, that kind of thing, anything to make sure that the meeting requests isn't the very first interaction I have with that person because that seemed very impersonal. Room 14 b. Whereas that so if you are having a meeting in person, don't assume that everybody knows where the conference room, especially if you've only been able to get 14 bay around the corner where you have to go through a few flights of stairs and do a secret passageway, I actually find the thing that makes you that if you've picked a room, that might be tricky to get to that everybody knows how to get to it. A couple of lines to say, This is how you get to this major group can really work wonders so many times where people have struggled to find an obscure meeting room, it's always good to smooth their path and save a lot of time that way. And it's very polite. Things like that all help to build your reputation is somebody who's considering other people and has an eye on making a meeting goes smoothly in every possible respect. As you've noticed, a lot of these tips are about how people will perceive you, how you can improve and build your reputation is somebody who's consider. 9. Scheduling - Etiquette: So we'll come back to this series on mastering meetings. As we've seen, there's a lot to it. It's not just a case of picking a calendar slot and hitting Send. There's actually quite a lot of considerations that you have to go through if you want to make your meeting something that people actually want to attend. And now that you've found the perfect time for your meeting, what else can you do to make sure that this is a pleasurable and valuable experience for the people that are going to returned. How can you use this meeting to help build your own reputation? Or somebody who is very consider of people's time and knows what they're doing when they're booking and scheduling meetings. First of all, check the calendars. Once you've decided on your meeting attendees, make sure you look at the calendars to see if they're available at that time. I'm amazed by how many meetings I get regularly. There are times where I'm already showing you my calendar as either out of office, not free or blocked in some other way or even outside my working hours. 07:00 AM, eight pm, not kind of thing. It happens all the time. I generally just decline meetings like this. If somebody isn't considering of to check my calendar and find a slot where I'm actually free. Well then I'm not interested in going backwards and forwards to try and find that slot. This is basic due diligence, but if you're the organizer not checking the calendar is actually hurting yourself. You're just gonna waste time because the lender going backwards and forwards trying to find this law. Some people will accept it, some people declining. And it makes you actually have to do a lot more work scheduling and monitoring than actually saving work. But the more important aspect here is that it's the psychological and the reputational damage that you incur as a meeting host, a meeting scheduler for not checking calendars. It will be very aware to your attendees that you didn't check the calendars, that you put the names of the people in and hit Send slot that might suit you. You didn't the forethought or the interest to contribute a little bit of due diligence to make things easier for people. People will remember, people will notice and remember. So make sure you always check calendars to save paper available. You'll save your own time. But you're also the notice to somebody that is respectful of other people's time and people notice that you're trying to work the schedule to respect that time feature that I don't see used anywhere near enough is the optional meeting attendee. So try and use the optional meeting attendee. Most modern meeting software has the ability to put people into the meeting request as optional. Now, if you've got somebody who really is truly optional to a meeting, there might add some value, but it's not essential that there then make sure that this is accurate. If somebody appears is optional, it gives them the freedom to decline. If there may be double booked, for example, there may be turning down other meetings to attend yours if they're in the required section. So make sure there are well aware that this is something that they are optional for and they have the option to decline. Similarly, if you see yourself or if I see myself in the required section of a rating means I am January required for this and I will then be turning down other meetings for this slot. So. People take notice or whether they are required or optional. But I see too many occasions where all of the participants are just put in the required slot and there's no real thought given as to whether this person is truly optional or not. If you use the optional facility, you'll find that your guests will respect that very much. And you'll also have a much more efficient experience with the matings. Say it's okay to propose a new time. I found that some people are naturally nervous to decline meetings or proposed a new time if it's inconvenient, I'd much rather somebody did that to me if I'd scheduler meeting this law and this law was not particularly convenient for them. So in my meeting, requests are tend to explicitly state at the bottom, it is fine to propose a new time if this one doesn't suit. Although sometimes we might leave that out if it's a large audience or I've already struggled to find a time slot because of the complexity of people's calendars, but giving people an explicit permission to propose a new time if not convened. Well, that's a courteous thing to do. Responses. Most modern software will allow you as the meeting organizer to decide if you need people to reply, whether they're going to attend donuts. And the real mantra here is, if you don't need a response, don't request one. It's very useful if it's a meeting, for example, like a large drop in session where people can attend whether they feel like it or not, nobody is particularly absolutely required to attend, but it pretty much all optional. Well, make sure that they don't need to respond. You'll find that most people won't respond to meetings like that, but the ones that do well cause you the agro in cleaning up your inbox is the responses come in that you don't particularly care about. So if you don't need a response back, then, make sure that the meeting invite states that are set up accordingly. Same-day. No way. Now this is a bit of personal preference, I think, but I find it not particularly courteous if people send meeting requests to be on the same day, most busy people will block their calendars, plan their days in advance. You sit down and you have a set number of tasks to do and your day is going to unfold in a particular way, hopefully. So when people ping meetings into your calendar for an hour's time or the same day or even less than an hour's time, five minutes sometimes. Well, okay. If there has to be done, it has to be done. But I find that leaves a little bit of a bad taste in their mouth. It's sometimes smacks of a lack of planning on their part. I always make sure that I try and do at least one day's notice for anybody that I'm scheduling a meeting with. Some people really don't mind the same day meeting personally, I'm not a fan of it, which is why I tried to apply my own methodology. Occasionally this is unavoidable, but as a rule of thermal generally give people a day's notice for any meeting the IScheduler islands for dialing calls, made sure there's an appropriate toll free access number for everybody. If your scheduling, a meeting across time zones are across geographies and you've only provided it's a UK toll-free number. Well, that's going to paypal with voiceover IP technologies that he's there as well. That this is generally not so much of a problem. But if you're going old school telephone, maybe somebody is on the move and has to dial into a meeting using an international number on their personal device. That's not going to go down too well. So make sure you've catered for everybody in the different time zones with a toll-free option to join. That's courteous. That helps to build your reputation as somebody that knows what they're doing when they're scheduling matings. 10. Scheduling - Considerations for Externals: Some considerations for external people. So sometimes you'll be inviting people to your meetings that don't work for your company. It might be a vendor at my beer and another company, a partner. It might be somebody, an external client or some description. Now these needs a little bit of extra considerations. Firstly, allow extra time. Your external visitor may well be journeying into your office from the other side of the city or even in a different city, make sure you've considered this time slot of your meeting accordingly and that you've made it so that it's convenient for them. You don't want somebody to be struggling with transport potentially get to a meeting late to be running across the city that were hop into a taxi to get somewhere. You want it to be suitable for them if they arrive in the city at 830 in the morning, for example, or maybe nine o'clock is a good time to start. Maybe they don't get into the city until later. Well, in that case, consider a later meeting. It's always a good idea to check with them to make sure that the meeting suits their schedule. Again, that's very respectful. It builds a reputation. And sometimes your external visit might actually be in the city for a different meeting with another client or another person around about the same time? Well, it's a good idea to check with them and say, Are you in the area at all next week and make sure you can sync up at the same time. That way, it's more efficient for everybody. It's very courteous. Again, build your reputation and somebody who's not just thinking about themselves, they're thinking about other people. Also build in extra time for external gas to get through the sign-in process at your organization is likely they'll have to get a security pass or something of that description. That might even be a queue at the security desk or reception. You don't want that to force somebody to potentially be lead. So I had a little bit of extra time and factor the entrance process in to your meeting request. Don't rush them into the amazing I have on occasion seen some external people come into meetings and they arrive, they sign in, they go upstairs. They've still got the jacket is on there and packing things and they're rushed into the meeting room and bang thereof meeting time. Well, that's not particularly Curt if somebody's had to travel across the city, for example, or it's early in the morning, we'll give them a bit of time to decompress. Makes sure you offer them a drink. Make sure you give them a couple of minutes to unpack and start the mating in a nice, comfortable and relaxed where getting stuck into the agenda before somebody's even had a chance to power up their laptop or take off the jacket, and I've seen it happen. Not respectful, it's not courteous. It means you are not considering that person. So the more you can help put people at ease by simply offering them some refreshments is very good thing to do. Pretty validate technology. Sometimes your external guests will be coming into your organization and they may have some materials to share. There may be bringing a laptop. Well, make sure that you've checked that the laptop is compatible with your AV system. Make sure that they've got the right cables. Make sure they have the right compatibility, make sure you know how to use the AV systems in meeting room 5B where you're going to be, it might be different to the regular meeting rooms that you go to. Make sure they've got the right cables. Make sure they've got a guest Wi-Fi account. If they made sure that they have the relevant access to be able to share the materials that they need and make sure you have got the number of heavy support on hand in case there's a problem on cash, you can't get it working. I've seen it on too many occasions where somebody comes in and there's six people huddled around a laptop because none of you can work out how to get the big screen working. That's pretty embarrassing. Another consideration for external guests coming to your organization for mating is it's very important to be aware of confidentiality. When your bringing people from other companies into your workplace, you are responsible for them. You're responsible for their conduct, their behavior. You're responsible for safety and everything else. Make sure that when you want them to the meeting room, you do it in the right way and make sure the meeting room that you've booked is in the correct area of the building or the correct area of the office that is not in a confidential or restricted area, make sure that they're not walking past desks that have confidential information on them or on the screens or any other trade secrets that you might not want people to see. This is pretty rebel. I've seen on Occasion things written on whiteboards or things left on desks that I've certainly had to steer my external guests aware from pretty quickly and always, always keep an eye on external guests. Never leave them unattended. And this isn't a lack of trust thing. But I've seen things go walk about before. If you're bringing people in and you don't know what they're going to do. Well, don't be surprised if something goes walking. Again, it's rare, but I've seen things disappear from desks. Coincidentally around the time that external people have been around. It's very hard to prove it and it's very rare. So always remember if you bring external people and they're your responsibility, it's your responsibility to make sure they're safe, comfortable, and secure. 11. The Meeting As An Opportunity To Impress: So hopefully a number of those considerations around scheduling, around meeting, etiquette, around considerations for external guests have been quite useful. It's very, very tempting just to open your calendar and hit send on a slot that suits you, but as you can see, there's a lot more to it. Just hit send. But if you want to consider a meeting situation as a reputational boost, while it's important to realize every time you're scheduling a meeting, you're putting yourself in the spotlight. Every time you call a meeting, you're giving yourself the opportunity to be judged, to be judged on the quality of your meeting request, the level of respect and consideration you've shown for your audience and the efficiency and how you are minimizing the cost of the meeting to everybody. We all know the people in our organizations that don't do this well. I bet you can think of several names right now of people that when you see a meeting request from them, you know, it's gonna be purely scheduled. You know, there's not going to be an agenda and you know that it's likely going to be a waste of time. Well, don't be that person. Meetings are just another one of the many different types of interactions you have with people. And as such, chances for you to impress or chances for you to not impress. Following the tips in this course, hopefully, you'll be able to make your meetings into a much more positive experience. So as we said, every meeting is an opportunity for you to be judged, but I prefer to think of them as opportunities for us all to show what we're made of and to show how good we convey. So take your time, remember the attention to detail and make it great. 12. The Importance Of The Chairperson: So if scheduled a meeting and it's all good, you've picked the perfect slot. You've designed your meeting agenda, and you've got your attendees nails. Fantastic. Let's do it, but hold on there. That's not quiet. Your responsibilities are only just beginning. You're the chair of the meeting and it's up to you to lead it. And there's a lot you need to consider. Many, a meeting has been completely ruined because of an ineffective organizer or Chairperson. Let's go through some tips that ensure that you're not that person. You'll have to organize the agenda. You have to make sure it keeps to time. You have to make sure that everybody contributes in the best and most efficient way possible. And you know what, sometimes you might even need to put your referees hat on. A great chairperson can really make the difference in a meeting. They can make a meeting super-effective. So let's build up the skills that help you perform that role. In the following section, we'll take a look at the responsibilities of the meeting chairperson. 13. Chairing - Starting Your Meeting: As meeting chairperson, it's your job to start the meeting of well, it's your gig. Kicking off a coal effectively can make all the difference between a very effective meeting and one that turns out to be a waste of time. It's all in the start. A positive start to a meeting can allow the meeting chairperson to set their authority, to set the tone of the meeting, to set the direction and the vibe. So here are some of the most important things for starting a meeting. First of all, it's your gig. So be prepared to lead a CIO job to lead the meeting, it's your job to chair. You are responsible, you are in control. Now that might seem obvious, but I've seen it on many occasions where somebody will organize a meeting and then the start of the meeting, they just don't say anything and they wait for somebody else to take control there, wait for somebody else to step forward. And the chairperson, the organizer, is effectively relegated to an admin role. I mean, sometimes I can still work. Sometimes some of the key participants are all the people and the chairperson doesn't actually do a lot of talking, but it's kind of unprofessional. The chairperson should be at least in a position to take control. Stop the meeting started well, introduce the participants and start dialogue, validate the data and instructions. Now this is probably something you should have done it before the meeting starts, but it's still very important, our chairperson, it's your job to ensure that the island and the access numbers or any other way that people are going to get into that meeting or coal, It's your responsibility to make sure they actually work. How many times we also in many things where people try and dial in and the access codes don't work or the numbers wrong or whatever else. It's very frustrating West a lot of time and can often lead to the meeting being canceled. So it's your gig. Your in charge made sure that access control works. Know your platform. Although most companies have a preferred application for meetings and cold, you might be in a situation where the scheduling a meeting using a different platform or platform that you're not particularly familiar with. There are many out there. And although they all kind of have similar functionalities, the nuances and the user interface is all vary between the different platforms. Some are better than others. Some take a little bit more getting used to. If you're on an unfamiliar platform and you're the meeting chair, well, it's your responsibility to get to know that platform. Don't be wondering how you can meet people. Don't be wondering how you can conference people and don't be wondering how you can share your screen or present content. You need to know all that so it goes efficiently. So take time to practice. Most Meeting systems have a test page where you can dial into and practice a tests meeting. I typically do that with new platforms if I'm going to be hosting a meeting or even attending on very important to know the platform and not encounter issues when you actually get into the meeting, it's important that the meeting chair is super comfortable with the general functionality of the platform. How you chat, how you meet people, and other functionality like map. Now this seems really obvious, but I've seen it on a number of occasions where a meeting chair has completely frozen when everybody else is dialed in, somebody's struggling to get into the meeting, they need to be Conference didn't, for example, and the meeting chair has completely frozen and not knowing what to do this can be pretty embarrassing. As a meeting chair, you need to be in control. You're responsible to know exactly what you're doing, take decisive action and bring the other participants in. It's blocked. This is one that bites people a lot. You may receive a meeting request from other people or you may be scheduling a meeting with other people as chair. And then all of a sudden, the meeting request doesn't work because the system that you've chosen to use is blocked. A particular company, my company, we block several platforms and we have a preferred platform for Coles. Or the companies do very similar. So if you're using a platform and you have external attendees from other companies, while it's always courteous to make sure that they can actually access that platform that is not blocked because many new platforms coming out all the time. So especially if you're using third party platform or unfamiliar thoughtful, make sure your attendees don't have it blocked. There's nothing worse than everyone logging onto meeting and somebody not being able to get in because they haven't checked whether that platform is blocked at their organization. So as the meeting chair, you can always send out a friendly reminder and make sure that people have tested the platform beforehand, preparation. So as meeting chair, it's always your job to being controlled to start the meeting well, so take some time, arrive early, make sure you're meeting materials and set-up makes you the dial and numbers are correct, measure everything's okay. A good five minutes before the meeting is due to start, you need to welcome people into the coal. It's your job, it's your call. So make sure that you've arrived early just to head off any potential issues that come up at the last minute. If you sharing any materials where it's always good to have them front and center and ready to go rather than have to go through the process of uploading them when people have already dialed and have them ready to go. So people joined the meeting and everything set and ready to achieve the goals. Introductions. Introductions are an interesting one. Sometimes you don't need an introduction if everybody is very familiar with each other. But there were many calls where you do need an introduction. Maybe not everybody's familiar with each other. And as meeting chair, it's your job to kick the introductions of. Now Introductions can set the tone for a good meeting or they can do exactly the opposite. I've seen much time wasted in meetings with long-winded, lengthy introductions. Just too long. And as meeting chair, it's important that you can set the tone, ask people to introduce themselves. So it's up to you to kick the introductions off. Maybe specify that people have got thirty-seconds, even less to introduce themselves. Well, sometimes you might want to make introductions on behalf of cable if there's a group of people from your company, for example, it's important not to spend too long on the introductions, although they are quite an important part of a meeting, you don't want them to be using up 510 minutes and I've seen that happen before. So as meeting chair take control, make the introductions, make them quick, and then get on with the meeting. 14. Chairing - Running Your Meeting: So scheduling a meeting and starting a meeting is just the start of the whole process. Now is meeting chair, you've got a steer the ship through the minefield. That is the meeting itself. You've got to ensure that the agenda gets addressed, that the decisions get made, that everybody keeps to time, and that people don't end up destroying their professional relationships. It's not an easy thing to do, and it's sometimes very, very difficult. So here's some tips for how you as a chairperson can make the meeting go super smooth, keeping to time. Without a doubt, one of the most important jobs of a meeting chair is to keep the whole thing to time. Overrunning meetings can play havoc with people's schedules. There's nothing worse than getting to the end of a time slot and having to finish a meeting without having covered all of the decision points that you want to address. Time management in a meeting requires concentration, plumbing, and it requires confidence. I've seen it on a number of occasions where mistakes have been made by junior people who are chairing meetings because they might lack the confidence to shift people along on the agenda. They might lack the confidence to cut people off and say you're out of time, you need we need to move on, especially when they're a senior people involved in a meeting with time management really is one of the most vital skills in chairing a meeting. And it's important that you practice this. And it's important that you get comfortable and familiar with how you like to do time management. For example, you might want to introduce people to do their part and say, excuse me, so you have five minutes, so you have ten minutes. And as the time goes on, don't be scared to do a time check and say, you've got two minutes left, you've got four minutes left or whatever. We're going to have to wrap it up now takes confidence to interrupt people and tell him to hurry up. Or if people aren't keeping to time, they're gonna spoil your whole mating. And because you are in charge, it's up to you to police that. It's very easy to do in a polite kinda where it most people will understand and know when they're overrunning. But it's often when people are put into time pressure at the end of meetings because other people have overrun or taking too much time. That's not fair. Managing the vibe. Not all meetings have the same kind of atmosphere. And as meeting chair, it's up to you to make sure that the atmosphere in your meeting is appropriate for the subject. For example, you wouldn't want to say a jovial tone full of humor and jokes if it's a very serious decision-making meeting with a group of managing directors. And the same way if it's a casual catch-up or one-to-one, then you don't need it to be super serious either. So as meeting organizer, set the tone accordingly, you can do that with a bit of humor at the start. Maybe if you want to set the tone a more relaxed atmosphere for your meeting, or you can get straight to the point with formal introductions in clarifying the agenda and the objective of the meeting at the start, introducing their participants, that kinda thing out. So it's a more formal tone. The point areas just to make sure that the tone you set is appropriate for the meeting subject. And as the meeting progresses, the vibe can also change. So make sure that you as the chair are always on top of what's the vibe? How are people getting on? Has this making suddenly taken a very tense turn for the worst, or is it getting a little bit to jovial, a little bit too informal, and we're not actually talking about the decisions as being chair, make sure you are all over the vibe and a steering it accordingly. The vine can change through a meeting and you can move it from one direction to the next. And that's quite a powerful thing to do. If you feel that decisions aren't getting married, you can make things a little bit more serious if you fail, it's getting two series, two tens and relationships are suffering. Well, you can steer it back in the other direction, bringing people into the conversation. So you'll find that you're meeting has a number of different participants and they're all there for a valid reason because you've ensured that they are. But everybody has different confidence levels. Everybody has different amounts they want to contribute to a meeting or people have different ways of communicating. Some people are just not very chatty, Other people are super chatty. And some people won't say anything at all. So as meeting chair, it's your job to monitor this, monitor the contributions that people have made, and try and give everybody the best possible opportunity to contribute. A good chairperson actively monitors that contribution levels of everybody in a meeting. If somebody's quiet and hasn't contributed a tall, you can bring them into the conversation more by actively asking them to contribute or actively asking if they've got anything they wanted to say. Or there's some people who are dominating. You can say, well, let's hear from other participants so we take your point of view, but you've said a lot, let's hear from the other participants in the goal. This obviously takes good situational awareness and confidence as well to be able to interrupt Paypal and steer them and maybe tell people to stop talking or to gently bring people into the conversation that you know, might not be actually comfortable at speaking. So having a good level of situational awareness and emotional intelligence really does help meeting chair be an effective moderator In this role, managing disagreements. Sometimes you'll have a meeting where basically it all kicks off and participants end up getting stuck into each other. Arguments, breakout, relationships get tens. Strong language is sometime used and it generally gets to be a very unpleasant experience as the meeting chair, it's up to you to try and stay there meeting away from these kind of situations or when they do happen, tone them down quite a lot. You might need to tell people to stop told. You might even need to tell people to leave the meeting. Because if relationships are getting strained and people are going to end up saying something that they regret. That's not good for anybody recording decisions. You don't want to presided over a meeting that's gone down in company legend for what was said, it tracks far too much negative attention. So try and manage the meeting accordingly. If you feel relationships getting to stroke and you can do something about it. It takes emotional intelligence and it takes situational awareness, and it takes a lot of confidence to be able to do that, but it's better to step in and let things go too far. And yes, this can be something that inexperienced chair people can find very tough, but it's generally a very rare occasion. I've only experienced meetings like this, maybe a handful of times in 25 years. So it's not something that happens often. Now this is a super important role of a chairperson. It's your job to record the decisions that are getting made as you progress through the agenda. For remote calls is a good idea to use the chat functionality to explicitly record decision points as they get mad. You can often ask people to contribute as well and say, I approve this or this is approved for our team or whatever, that allows you to build up a nice audit trail of the decisions getting made as you go through the agenda. This allows the chair to pull out the chat transcript and use it as part of the meeting minutes. And if you're meeting in person is a good idea to record these decision points on a whiteboard and then maybe take a photograph of her afterwards for distribution. Either way, it explicitly records the decisions in the moment as they're being made. This approach is very useful when you're trying to close off those decision points from a big email chain where you just couldn't get consensus. Spell out the question, recall the decision explicitly get people's approval in text. That way. There's nothing that can be argued about afterwards. You've made the decision, people have signed it off, progress, policing the time. We talked a bit about time management early on. This one's more about when people have got four or five updates to me. Let's say you're swinging around a group of people. Each one's going to be doing a 10-minute update, for example. Well, it's up to you to keep track of that ten minutes as it goes along. And don't be scared to remind paper, you've got three or four minutes left, you've got two minutes left. You down to the last minute. Can you wrap it up plays and make sure you're clear as you introduce each person. This is so and so this is the topic we'll be talking about. They're going to be talking for this amount of time. Because as I said before, some people really don't care as long as they get their point out, they really don't care what happens at the back end of the meeting. If somebody else is pushed for time and that person that's pushed for time won't be upset with the people who over and they'll be upset with you for not keeping the meeting to track. So those are a number of ways that you can helped steer the meeting in the right direction as it goes through. There's lots of things happening all the time. There's lots of things that a chairperson needs to consider from people dynamics to the subjects that are being discussed, to the clock, to the platform, being able to new people, being able to use the chat transcript, record decisions and actions. There's a lot going on all at the same time, and that can be even more difficult if u is the meeting chair actively a key participant in the meeting as well, and have to be participating in the conversation. You're not just recording it. You're actually a main part of the meeting. So there's an awful lot that can be done and it does take practice. 15. Chairing - Building A Great Agenda: So this section is all about the meeting agenda. So as we spoke about earlier, meeting agenda is a critical path and meeting an agenda published in advance greatly improves the efficiency of any meeting. And an agenda is essential for any meeting that really wants to achieve a consensus on a number of important decisions or that has a senior management focus. You won't want to be sending a meeting to a senior person that doesn't have an agenda. And it in fact, some companies I've worked out have a blanket rule that if you receive a meeting requests that doesn't have an agenda, you are well within your rights to delete it. And that is sometimes something that I do when I'm pushed for time or when we're having particularly busy periods, I just don't have time for people who can't be bothered to put the effort in to specify what they want to meet me about. I don't think that's fair. I don't think that's respectful of people's time. So here are some tips regarding meeting agendas. But first, what is an agenda definition to the word agenda is as follows. A list, an outline, a plan, things that need to be done, voted on, or decided. It's basically a list of things you wanna do. And there's no real consistent way that people do it. I've seen agendas that are two basic, or I've seen them super-complicated. They take ages to read and are even more difficult to follow. There's no real consistency. It varies very much between company and company and person to person. And it's okay to develop your own style with agendas and workout. What works for you? The style that I've come to develop is a very simple bullet point list with a little bit of supplementary information when you construct the origin only thinking about the level of detail, try and imagine that actually detail in your agenda might be useful, but it might also prevent people from reading it in the first place. And if you have to specify a lot of detail in your meeting agenda will lot might make it onerous for you to construct it. You need the process to be snappy. You need the process to be simple. You need to put as little friction as possible in the process. Some companies Monday meeting agenda templates that you must fill out and attached to a meeting invite before you can send a meeting. I don't find those work particularly well, especially as many of them have duplicate information. The title of the meeting, the day at the participants. Well, all that's in the meeting invite itself anyway, there's no point specifying it again in a separate document. I'm not really a fan of that kind of approach to leave a comment or something on the Discussions page. If your company has that approach and tell me what you think it might well work for you. Have you got a real template that you use? That's really good, great, well, let me know about it. And my experience generally I tend to stay away from the official meeting template. Make sure you've got an agenda. Do the agenda. Now in the meeting, invite. It can be very tempting when you're sending anything to just put agenda TBD and then fill it in later. Sometimes that can be okay, but sometimes it can be pretty unprofessional as well, especially if you're trying to block the time from a senior person, it's not something that you want to do. And even if you are genuinely intending to populate the agenda elicited, this can come across as a little bit unprofessional, little bit irritating, and can make it hard for people if they're double booked to choose which meeting to pick, to choose which meeting to prioritize. My favorite agenda structure is a simple bullet point list of discussion points and decisions that need to be made. And we generally start with an overall top-level objective like this, chief consensus on Pegasus application deployment points. I'll then go on to list the most important decisions that need to be made. Stating clearly if it's a decision point or a discussion point, as well as any administration points that need to be made. So let's have a look at an example. So you can see here we've got six items on my agenda. First one is an urgent issue. Second, 1, third 12 decision points, which platform to deploy the application on. And what our rollout number's going to be from now to the end of the year. Then two discussion points. These discussion points don't need to result in decisions, but they are things that need to be discussed and actions may come out of them. And then we have an administrative point at the end, the date of the next meeting. So pretty simple. This isn't the finished agenda. This is how I would probably start off constructing an agenda and found that this kind of format works well because it allows participants to clearly understand what are the decisions that need to be met, what we're going to be discussing. And it allows them to give advanced consideration to all of the aspects of the meeting and be very clear what the meeting is trying to achieve and what it's about gender items as simple, clear and they prioritize, but we can make this even better. So let's add the time per agenda item. And you can see here for the urgent issue, we are going to spend ten minutes on the item. And for items 23, we're also going to spend ten minutes, very clear how long we're gonna be taking. That's halfway through the meeting now, 15 minutes discussion point on number four followed by five-minutes description on number 52 minutes administration at the end. That leaves us with an eight minute buffer, which can be very useful for mopping up any last-minute items, any extra discussion point or any overruns. It's always good to have that little bit of a buffer at the end. Preparation in order for meetings to be as efficient as possible. And maybe some need for some of the participants to do some advanced prep work. This should be clearly stated in the meeting invite, and it's a very good idea to agree with the participants in advance. I know I appreciate if I have to do some prep work and the meeting organizer has ping me before, has a pole you mind coming to the meeting with these numbers or this data. That's much better than just finding out at the last minute, you never know you might not actually spot the action, the preparation required in the meeting invite if somebody hasn't constructed it very well, very clearly, the last thing somebody wants to do is dial into a meeting and then suddenly realized that they had an action 0.2 actually some day to bring some numbers to the meeting itself or how to do some other preparation that can be quite embarrassing. And it can mean the meeting doesn't stay on track very well to make sure you call out any preparation work that's required well in advance and very, very clearly to the participants, it's not really their responsibility to spot that they've got prep work to do. It's your responsibility to make sure that they've noticed. That's the courteous thing to do. And scheduling and running good meetings is all about courtesy, and it's all about people skills. So let's take a look at our final meeting agenda. You can see here I've clearly specified our objective. We've got a list of required participants and optional participants. And then there's a note at the top that states quite clearly that preparation work is required. Please check the agenda and allow followed up in advance with anybody who does have preparation work to do. And then if we go through the items, you have a prioritized list of items that we're going to step through, clearly marked as decisions or discussions. We've also got a call out for something that's very urgent, top. And each one has got the required time that we're going to spend on it. The items that have got prep work are clearly called out. And also the people who were required to do that prep work are also specified. We've got a discussion point and then we've got some Administration at the end, and then we have an eight minute buffer time for any other business. I'm not saying that this is the perfect agenda, but as you can see, it gives people a clear idea of what is to be discussed, what the priorities are, how long they've got if they need to do any preparation work. And the general format of the meeting. If you received a meeting invite with an agenda light that you clearly get the impression that whoever is calling them anything has thought about it. It's quite clear about how they want the meeting to go and what they want to achieve. It's much better than just getting a blank meeting request or something with a couple of lines of text. So people that received this meeting request can make an informed decision as to whether they should accept it. Climate, weather, it takes priority over anything else that's in the same time slot, or whether they can go ahead and accept this. It gives them information to make their own decision and to plan their calendars accordingly. Remember, people may have other potential meetings at that same time. So you almost have to sell your mating above others. You have to give them a reason as to why they should attend BY that in terms of the value they'll get or the level of contribution that they're required to make. So constructing a clear and accurate agenda is a very, very critical aspect of being a meeting organizer. It contributes significantly to the effectiveness of your meeting and it builds your reputation is somebody who is thinking about people's time in a considerate ways, respectful of people's diaries and is trying to save people work rather than give people work. Of course, this is just the agenda style that I find works for me. I'm sure there are many variations of it. I see many other variations in my company, some of which work very, very well. Do let me know in the comments or the discussion page, if you've got a variation on a meeting agenda or there's some things that I've missed. Hey, I'm really interested to hear your point of view because I'm sure I can learn a lot as well from the ideas that you guys have got. 16. After Meeting - Minutes & Follow-Ups: Okay, so that went well. Everyone got to the amazing seamless experience. Dialing in and connection was fine. Everyone got through the agenda, you made your decisions. Lovely. Nobody fell out as well, which is always a good thing. Not quite. There's still more that you can do as a meeting organizer and that's the aspect of the follow-up after the meeting, recording decisions, making many minutes are generally referred to as a list of actions that emerge from a meeting. This can actually differ from the agenda itself and is generally a record of what actually happened in the meeting, not what was supposed to happen in the meeting. Minutes are absolutely critical, especially for those decision-making meetings where you really needed to make that decision. Often meetings that might be a little bit controversial. You've got to record minutes accurately. Firstly, recoding minutes can actually be pretty difficult, especially if you are the mating share yourself and if you've got a level of active participation in the matrix, so recording meetings, carrying out the chair responsibilities, recording the meeting minutes, and contributing towards the meeting itself is quite a difficult thing to do. Sometimes bring somebody along who can help me recalled the meeting minutes or give that role somebody else in my team. It's very valuable that allows the chair to concentrate on actually chairing the meeting and making sure you get through the agenda properly. Much like an agenda, some companies recommend meeting minute templates. They tend to work okay? And generally if a company mandates that, then I will try and follow that process. But on the occasion that they don't, let's go through a few examples of potential ways that you can record meeting minutes. So minutes must recall the following attendees because you may get no shows on the people that turn up to your meeting men. Well, not be the people that were invited. People can be brought in midway through, or people can be swapped out for delegates decisions. The purpose of a meeting is to make decisions. So if you make decisions during a meeting, make sure they go down in black and white afterwards. Sometimes I've seen it where meeting minutes do not accurately reflect decisions or haven't even been sent at all. And it's like those decisions never happened. And actions, meetings generate actions, record them so that they can be done in follow-up meetings or elsewhere. So let's take a look at sample minutes for our meeting. So clearly the title specified. You've got a record of the objective, who turned up who was unable to turn up. And the agenda that we followed in this case, we follow the published agenda, sometimes the agenda changes, and then we have our action items, things that need to be done after this meeting. There's a couple of action items that resulted from agenda item number four, and they have been stated with the individuals that are responsible and the Judah as well, ownership and Judah is critical for actions. If I just specified this particular action needs to be done without putting a name behind it, then chances are nobody is going to volunteer and step forward to take it. And then we have a reminder of the agenda that we were to follow at the bottom of the email, I always recommend keeping meeting minutes, very simple and easy to read. Make sure you call out any actions. Recall our ANY decisions. Make sure you call out any follow-ups and give people the opportunity to correct you if you've misstated anything in the minutes, make sure you send out the meeting minutes as soon as possible after the meeting. Sometimes I've seen it where people have left meeting minutes for a week or even longer, and you really do lose the momentum. We really lose the impetus. I, people are much less likely to actually execute on their actions if they're meeting minutes don't come out for some significant amount of time, especially if the meeting has got time-sensitive decisions or time sensitive actions. You really wanna get those back out as quickly as possible. That gives people the chance to take action and do the work while it's fresh in their minds, I find it's very useful to actually compile the meeting minutes as the meeting progresses. And that way you're only writing it down once and it makes your life a lot easier as a chair, do be aware this is totally open to variation. There is no hard and fast rule. And again, do let me know if you've nailed it with meeting minutes or there's something that you feel that I've missed. This is a system that works for me. The I've built up over 20 years and I'm sure there are many other different systems out there that work even better. So that's minutes. Make sure you keep them easy to read and very easy to consume. That we'll get people taking much more noise so they actions rather than if they're buried in blocks of text. Detail isn't always a great idea. And meeting minutes, it's all about readability and ease of interpretation. And then we have personal follow-ups. What I like to do after meetings, especially one meetings have been tens, is I like to follow up with people personally after meetings, especially if they've been given action points. I'd like to make sure that people are clear on the actions that they've given, that they're in agreement with the actions in that we're able to deliver on that there's no issue. It's never good to give people action points and then either not have them execute on them or have them come back to you and say that it didn't agree with this was an action in the first place. So sometimes before I send the meeting minutes are I will reconfirm that people are happy with the actions that they're about to be allocated. Because those actions will be allocated in a wider email in front of a lot of other people that may be senior management on the PML. So it's a good opportunity to make sure that they're in agreement with the actions that they're given. And it's very good way to improve relationships in your network. Sometimes follows are important because maybe there's been some tension or some debates or some relationship breakdown during a meeting where people might have fallen out and it's never anybody's intention to cause relationship damage altogether, people's back. So so if somebody has had an unpleasant experience in your meeting, it's always a good idea to circle around trying to defuse any tensions and make sure they're failing. Okay. The same is if someone's been an aggressor and you feel that they may have overstepped the mark into meeting. Hey, it's your meeting and you are in control and don't be scared to call somebody up and say, I think you could have handled that better or maybe that that wasn't the way that they should have active during that meeting. So there are a couple of follow-ups. Let me know if there's anything that you guys do to follow up after a meeting that you find contributes to the overall effectiveness. 17. Considerations As An Attendee: So here's something about considerations as a meeting attendee, Not a chair. There are a few rules that you can follow to help build a reputation. That you are somebody that's valuable to have meetings that adds value, that helps the process along. And that is a very good delegate to actually have turn up to a meeting. This might lead to an increase in the number of meetings that you have to go to. But it's generally always good to be seen as a go-to person, so don't panic. The first one is always reply. If the meeting that you receive requests a response. Some don't, as we discussed earlier, if you need to reply tentative or decline, That's fine. Just provide a reason why you can't make the meeting or proposing new time, the worst possible thing is to not reply at all. It's one of my personal frustrations to start a meeting our call and not know if somebody's going to attend or not, then you check the trucking and you see that they actually haven't replied, so you don't know and you may have invited other people. There may be senior management on the cobe and then you don't know if people plan to attend at all, so make sure you always reply. It's common courtesy and it's very difficult as a meeting organizer to manage a meeting when people are just not indicating whether they're going to attend or not. As I said, decline or tentative is absolutely fine. I'd much rather somebody did that than not reply at all. In our organizations, we all know the people that do this, but you can think of three or four names now that if you send a meeting request style, you're gonna be checking to see if they're online. So hey, are you planning to attend this or not? Because, you know, they're not going to combine two. It's really inconvenient for a chair to have to do that. So when you get a major requests, make sure you're paying that reply back. And other one is a meeting attendee. Mute that mute button, the magical mute button. It's your job as a meeting attendees, your personal responsibility. Too. Soon as you dial and get yourself on mu, many amazing, it's been completely ruined by a rogue line, current mood or you can't disconnect where somebody is either not paying attention and they've left themselves off mu, and they've spoiled it for everybody else. There are two things I don't understand. Firstly, I don't understand why not all platforms give the chair the ability to mute everybody. And indeed they don't like it's very frustrating. And I don't understand why people don't just mute themselves. As a matter of habit, to me, it's the least you can do so make sure as soon as you get online you meet. And the same goes for video beware the rogue video. It's your personal responsibility to ensure that your video camera is working and that it's on where it's supposed to be on and it's off when it's supposed to be off. All I'll say is there's plenty of amusing examples out there. The internet of people that may have left a video camera on when they shouldn't have done, not gonna go into any details. But let's say it could probably be career limiting or at least extremely embarrassing. So make sure you know what your video cameras doing. And then there's a management of your webcam on your mute button throughout the meeting. Treat them, treat your children. You need to keep an eye on them all the time to make sure that you know what they're up to. Because if one goes on accidentally at the wrong time, it can be disastrous in 25 years experience big companies doing thousands of meetings. I'm seeing more than a few embarrassing examples. And while some of them were pretty amusing, some of them were actually very, very embarrassing and humiliating for the individuals concerned. So try not to let that happen to you. Keep an eye on your newborn, know when it's on a no-one itself. As an attendee, you need to know your platform, just like a chair needs to know the platform. It's up to you to know the basic functionality of each of the major platforms that you're likely to use. If it's a new platform, it always helps to do some research in front and just get familiar with it so that you know exactly what you're doing. Especially important to know how to enable audio to do the chat, to mute and unmute yourself and enable your video camera as well. A lot of it sounds so obvious, but all of this is based on real-world examples. And the more you can make iterative improvements in the efficiency of your meetings, in your understanding of how meeting software works, better and smoother overall experience will be for you and everybody else. As a meeting attendee, you really need to make sure you do your actions. So if we receive actions in a meeting and the minute it correctly and make sure that you deliver on those actions. If there's a problem, follow up with a problem with the Jue De follow-up and check. But if you've got that action, then it's up to you to deliver on it. It's never good to attend the followup meeting and the chair goes to the list of actions everybody else has done as you haven't done yours and you've got to explain yourself in front around. Why didn't you do it? And sometimes you don't have a valid reason. That's the kinda thing that gives you reputational damage. People will soon remember because doing meeting actions is inconvenient. It's worth. People don't generally want to do work. People who haven't bothered to do the work on those meetings. Well, that's going to observe paid. They'll build a reputation is people who don't deliver, who aren't reliable. So make sure that every time you give an actions in a meeting, you are always delivering on them. And other one is a meeting attendee. Did he say anything? Sometimes you'd be in a meeting, you'll get right towards the end and you actually realize that you haven't said anything. And in cases like that, it's worth asking yourself a question wasn't inappropriate meeting for you to be involved in where you paying attention during the meeting was a subject area that you have knowledge about. It might be that somebody else who's better place to attend this core of the new and they could have added more value. Because if you've got to the end of a meeting or a call and you have not said anything well, really, did you need to be there? Try and analyze your performance, find out why you didn't contribute, because it's all about reputation. The other people on the call will have noticed that you didn't say anything. And if that keeps happening continuously while they'll start to question the value that you bring to a particular forum posts. If you didn't say anything and everything well, you're wasting your own time as well. So continuously analyze your performance in meetings. I like to look back on meetings periodically and work out which ones I thought were good and which ones I felt were not so good for whatever reason. Maybe it was something for the way it was chaired. Maybe it was something to do with the subject or not getting through the actions. And how was my own performance during those meetings? Was it effective? Was I contributing, was I adding value iteratively improving your contribution as a meeting attendee builds a great reputation and it makes sure that meetings are actually very efficient forum for you to be involved in. 18. Conclusion: Thanks so much for watching this course on mastering meetings are really hope it was useful. As you can see, there's a lot to mastering meetings. I recall the early days in my career where I just pick a slot in the calendar and hit Send. I've learned an awful lot Since then. I remember the first meeting. I have a cold, I can picture it clearly. It was with a couple of middle managers. I was a very junior analyst, a large company. And that meeting ended with them telling me, pull, you really should prepare for things like this. I remember sitting down in the meeting room and not only not knowing what I was, therefore, not knowing what to say. I didn't know what questions I wanted to ask them. I didn't know what I wanted the outcome to be. I didn't even know if I pick the right people. It was a real amateur show. Since then I've had thousands of meetings and I've got it down to what I think is a system that works for me. Hopefully this has been really useful for you as well. We've seen the finer points of meetings, types of meetings you can have. We've seen considerations regarding scheduling attendees and actually how you construct a meeting. We've seen meeting agendas, we've talked about minutes. We've taken a deep dive into follow-ups and how you can be a great meeting attendee, as well as an effective check screen. How important it is to be an effective meeting chair. The role of keeping the meeting to time, managing participants, making sure you get through the agenda, diffusing any tensions, almost acting as a referee at times. And then they all important followers. And finally, we've taken a bit of a dive into the one-to-one meetings to see how you can get more value for those close calls with your manager and direct reports. Do let me know in the comments or discussion page, if you have any other tips that I've missed or any ways that you think I can refine the process that works for me. The great thing about productivity improvements is that small iterative tweaks can make a massive difference when combined together. So I'm sure if you can give me some of yours, I can add them into my system and make it even better. Also check out the productivity as YouTube channel for more leadership and productivity videos, we've got loads more subjects coming up. So if you want to be a better leader, manager and get more stuff done while keeping your stress levels down. Checkout productivity is thanks a lot for watching. We'll see you next time.