CSG 86 | Effective Meetings


Mamie Kanfer Stewart and I are going to discuss how to stop wasting time and draining energy in unproductive meetings.

Connie’s motivational quote for today is by – Tim Ferriss, “Focus on being productive instead of busy.”

As I observe my own productivity challenges, I realize that most of us spend so much time in meetings discussing what needs to get done versus actually doing what needs to get done.

This reminded me of the time my husband came home from work (before remote) one Friday night and shared with me that he calculated the amount of time he was in meetings for that week. Wait for it!

The number of hours in meetings that week was 35!  35 hours, holy smokes!  Of course, I asked him, “Who does the work and when does it actually get done?”  His answer was that he wasn’t sure.  Shocking the amount of time, we feel the need to be in meetings for optics or to show we are an important player in the organization or the need to just feel needed.

Studies have shown that unproductive meetings are one of the greatest forms of waste in business today. Not only do they hamper productivity, but they also drain energy and diminish morale. Learn three simple strategies to make all your meetings effective and engaging.


YouTube: https://youtu.be/OyHty3-LLJ8


About Mamie Kanfer Stewart:

Mamie is the Founder of Meeteor, the author of Moment: Creating Effective, Engaging, and Enjoyable Meetings, and the Host of the Modern Manager podcast. Meeteor helps people thrive at work through effective collaboration, with a special emphasis on effective meetings


How to Get in Touch With Mamie Kanfer Stewart:

Website: http://meeteor.com/


Stalk me online!

Website: https://changingthesalesgame.com

Connie’s #1 International Bestseller Book – ESP (Easy Sales Process): 7-Step to Sales Success: https://conniewhitman.ac-page.com/changing-the-sales-game-resources

Download Free Communication Style Assessment: https://www.changingthesalesgame.com/communication-style-assessment

All-Star Community: https://changingthesalesgame.mykajabi.com/All-Star-Community


Subscribe and listen to the Changing the Sales Game Podcast on your favorite podcast streaming service or on YouTube.  New episodes post every week – listen to Connie dive into new sales and business topics or problems you may have in your business.

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Mamie Kanfer Stewart – 3 Secrets To Effective And Engaging Meetings

As always, thanks so much for joining us. I hope as you read, number one, you understand my mission that I’m going to change the word sales from something icky, sleazy, and manipulation. We’re going to shift it because we’re coming from a place of love, care, and respect always. To help you on your journey and, hopefully, your sales journey, business journey, career growth journey, or whatever you’re coming from, I’m launching my membership site. It’s called the All-Star Community. I know that you’re an all-star.

My motto in life and business has always been, and certainly for the community I’m building, a rising tide lifts all boats. That’s one of my favorite quotes in life by John F. Kennedy. I would love you to join me. If you’d like to be part of my community, I’d love to have you. My quote to get our minds in the zone of our conversation is by Tim Ferriss. Tim says, “Focus on being productive instead of busy.” I love this quote because as I observed my own productivity challenge, and we all have them, I realized that most of us spend so much time in meetings discussing what needs to get done versus doing what needs to get done, which is the actual work.

This reminded me of a time my husband came home from work. This was before remote. He was live. One Friday night, we were having dinner. We were like, “How was your week?” We were debriefing with each other. He said to me, “I totaled the number of hours I was in a meeting this week.” I’m like, “What was it?” It was 37 and a half hours that he was in meetings. My question was, “When do you get the work done?” That’s a big problem. His answer to me was, “I’m not sure, but the work’s got to get done.”

Studies have shown that unproductive meetings are one of the greatest forms of waste in business. Not only do they hamper productivity, but they also drain energy and diminished morale. Think about it. You’re in meetings and not getting work done. How frustrating is that? Learn three simple strategies that make your meetings effective and engaging. Who’s going to share that with us? It is my amazing guest, Mamie Kanfer Stewart.

Mamie and I are going to discuss how to stop wasting time and draining energy in unproductive meetings. Mamie is the Founder of Meeteor and the author of Momentum: Creating Effective, Engaging, and Enjoyable Meetings. She also hosts the podcast, Modern Manager. Meeteor helps people thrive at work through effective collaboration with a special emphasis on effective meetings. Mamie, thanks for being on the show. This is an important topic.


CSG 86 | Effective Meetings


Thank you so much for having me. I love talking about meetings, so I love to share.

Can you believe that story with my husband?

Honestly, it’s not the first time I’ve heard stories like that. It’s unfortunate how many people feel like their entire week is spent in meetings. Even if it’s not as bad as 37 and a half hours, our perception so often is, “I had no time today because all I did was meetings,” even if it’s not fully true.

It’s tragic. Especially if you’re in meetings that it doesn’t directly pertain to you, it’s like, “Can you send me the notes later and let me read it at my leisure so I’m in the loop of things?” We feel like we need to incorporate everybody sometimes. My first question is why do we have so many terrible meetings?

There are seven answers to this question. It’s not so easy. I will say that there are a couple of top reasons. One is that we turn to meetings for things that we don’t need a meeting for. Meetings are one tool in our collaboration toolbox, but they seem easy. It’s like, “Let’s schedule a meeting. Let’s have a conversation about that.” In actuality, it could be an email, a Slack message, or a voice memo. There are a lot of other alternatives, but we jump to meetings because they seem fast or easier. They seem like they’re going to be the most effective and they’re not. That’s one idea.

The second is that we have really poor planning for our meetings. We can go into all kinds of things around how you plan for a meeting, but the model that we take is a meeting is not an event. It’s not something that’s on your calendar that has a start time and an end time. It’s a cycle. There’s a before phase where you’re preparing for the meeting, the during phase where you’re facilitating, and the after phase where you’re doing your follow-through.

As long as we stay, especially as meeting leaders, in this mindset that, “A meeting is a time where I show up and I’m ready to go,” and we forget to do all of the proper preparation, then the meeting is not going to be nearly as effective. We’re going to invite the wrong people. We’re not going to be able to manage the conversation. We’re not going to drive towards an outcome. There are so many problems because we think we can show up and have a meeting, and that’s not the case. I’ll stop there.

CSG 86 | Effective Meetings
Effective Meetings: As long as we stay, especially as meeting leaders, in this mindset that, “A meeting is a time where I show up and I’m ready to go,” and we forget to do all of the proper preparation, then the meeting is not going to be nearly as effective.


How did you get into this to become an expert? This is a needed resource. How the heck did you get here?

It’s a funny, windy story. I went to art school and thought I was going to be an artist. I graduated and realized I was not going to be a professional artist, and I needed a job. I was lucky enough to get to work in my family business alongside some of our amazing HROD professionals and get to learn what it was to be in a corporate environment.

When I eventually left that after a few years, I went into the nonprofit sector. I was like, “What happened?” We had all these great meetings. Meetings were always effective. There were always notes afterward. There was always an agenda. Then, I suddenly discovered that that was not the case everywhere. I had taken it for granted that good meetings that were good were happening everywhere, and they weren’t.

I started doing a little more exploring and I would talk to people. I would say, “Tell me about your meetings.” Inevitably, someone would say, “Can I tell you about this terrible meeting I was at five minutes ago? Can I tell you about this horrible meeting that I was in yesterday? My time was wasted. I don’t know why I was there. Someone wouldn’t shut up.” All the problems were unloading and I was like, “This is not cool. This is not what the work experience should be like. This is not how we should be interacting with our colleagues. This is not a good use of our time and energy.” That set me down a path to say, “This has got to be fixable. If my family business can have good meetings, there should be an easy enough way that all organizations could have good meetings.” That was the beginning of the end.

That’s fascinating. It’s interesting. My younger son has since graduated college, but he had an internship at one of my corporate clients. The person he reported to was amazing. She was also a mom. She would bring him to meetings. She would say to him, “I want you to listen to the meeting. I want you to tell me who wasn’t prepared. I want you to observe.” She says, “I know the players.” She knew the information. She goes, “I want to teach you the importance of a meeting and the importance of a good, effective meeting.” He was like, “Okay.”

The first time he came home, I said, “And?” He goes, “After we debriefed, mom, she was like, ‘Who wasn’t prepared?’” What did he know? He was a kid. He goes, “So-and-so wasn’t prepared.” She goes, “That’s right. Why didn’t you think he was prepared?” She got him thinking about the mechanics of the meeting. Was that not a brilliant lesson for an internship?

I love that. We need more of that. We need more managers to groom, support, and help our newer employees and interns have an understanding of what makes for a good meeting and realize it’s not something that happens by accident. It happens through thoughtful design and intention.

A good meeting is not something that happens by accident. It happens through thoughtful design and intention. Click To Tweet

She would take him to the meetings that she was running and meetings that she was invited to. They would allow the interns to come in. Her meetings were twenty minutes to a half hour in and out, get it done. People knew to be prepared for her meetings. She went to other meetings. He goes, “Mom, they were an hour. It was hard.” Even a kid understood the difference if you’re taught. If no one taught him that, he would never have even thought about, “This is a meeting. This is what happens.” We almost learned through osmosis. Maybe that’s what ends up happening. We learn those bad behaviors.

The crazy thing about it is everyone has stories about bad meetings that they’ve participated in. Almost no one has a story about a bad meeting that they’ve led. As meeting leaders, we are responsible for creating the right circumstances of the environment for the meeting to be a good meeting. Infrequently, we pause and say, “Was that valuable for the people that I invited? I think it was a good use of my time. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have led the meeting.” It’s usually other people’s meetings when in reality, that’s all of us. It’s not something that we pick up so easily through osmosis. It does have to be an intentional learning of what makes for a good meeting.

This is fascinating. Here is my next question. This is the bottom line. With my husband’s story and what you’re saying that it’s not the first time you’ve heard that type of statistic of, “I’ve been in meetings 35 hours. When do I get the work done?” what’s the real cost and impact for these unproductive meetings?

There is an online calculator. I can’t remember where it’s at, but if you Google a meeting calculator online, you can put in the number of people, the effective hourly rate of each of those people, and how many meetings they’re in. You can get a dollar amount of what your company is spending on those meetings. That’s one way to measure.

Another is a little less easy to articulate into a number, but you can think about it in terms of your turnover, your overall productivity, or the opportunity costs of what’s not getting done. If you even use yourself as a barometer to say, “What could I do if I spent ten less hours a week in meetings? How much more could I get done? How much more effective could I be if I wasn’t so stressed by all of these meetings and operating at a lower level because my brain got too much?” all of those factors are happening for every person in your organization. If we can free up meeting time, reduce stress, and build engagement, the whole organization gets lifted. All of those boats will rise with that tide.

I love it. I love that calculator. What a good exercise. To everybody reading, whether you’re a business owner and/or a corporate person running these meetings, that is a great calculation. I like quantifying things. We are like, “It’s an hour of my time. What’s the big deal? What is that hour of a time times 10 costing you or times 40, or whatever it ends up being over a month?”

We could do it for the week or the day, but then expand that over a month or a year, those numbers can be tens of thousands in cost or lost revenue coming in. It is mind-blowing. I love the calculator. I’m a finance person, so I love numbers. You speak my language. Here is the question. How do you see meetings change in the future especially because we’re in this hybrid work model? What are you seeing happening with that?

There is some cool stuff happening with meetings. First is that meetings are going to be virtual forever. The idea that we can say goodbye to these terrible Zoom meetings and we can all be in person, that will happen sometimes, but for the vast majority of organizations and the vast majority of teams, people are going to be working remotely, whether that’s because you’re not co-located anymore or because people are going to have work-from-home days. Maybe someone’s kid is sick and they’re going to stay home, and instead of having to skip the meeting that maybe they did in the past, they’re going to be calling in.

We have to normalize hybrid meetings or virtual meetings. They are here to stay. We need to start investing in good technology. Those could be good cameras, good meeting screens in our rooms, and phones so that if you’re in a conference room, you could hear everybody. We need to have an upgrade because we know that we’re going to have virtual meetings at some point.

We have to normalize hybrid meetings or virtual meetings. They are here to stay. We need to start investing in good technology. Click To Tweet

I’m hopeful that in the future, we’ll have even more amazing tools at our disposal. Those are things like AI where we can have our little avatars. We put our headsets on and we can be engaging and collaborative in these virtual spaces in a new way. There are inklings of those things that are coming out, but hopefully, in the next couple of years, we’ll see a lot more.

Before we started recording, maybe I was sharing how when COVID hit, I had done everything live prior. I’m new to the game of this digital world. I’ve been in business for twenty years, but the digital stuff is new for me. It was quite an education and a learning curve. I’m fascinated by not only learning the stuff but all of the automation I have and how I depend on it. I often think, “Whoever created that was brilliant. Where did they come up with that idea?”

Since we’re doing more of this, there is the quality of cameras and the quality of sound. We all have ring lights to bring the light on us so it projects better. All of these things are getting better and cheaper to buy. As technology gets perfected, the cost gets lower. Everybody can afford all of the things that you’re talking about with AI, etc. It’s becoming affordable.

There are more collaborative tools that exist online. Whiteboarding used to be clunky. This time, it’s super streamlined. It is so easy and accessible for everyone to be whiteboarding together within a virtual space. There are also sticky note exercises. That was one of my favorite things to do as a facilitator of meetings. It was like, “How do we take this really fun physical activity that we were doing in a room and on a wall and convert it to a digital space?”

When we first started doing that a couple of years ago, it was super clunky and not a good experience for most of my participants. This time, it’s so easy. They’re wonderful tools and accessible to everyone. In some ways, it’s even better than doing it in person because there is a sense of anonymity that you can create. If you want people to share their ideas, share their criticisms of a concept, or get their best thinking out, if you’re doing sticky notes and people can read your handwriting, and they know which color note you are, it’s not quite the same as doing it online. Nobody knows what color you are and nobody knows what your handwriting is because you’re all typing. You can take advantage of some of the benefits of those online tools.

That’s such an important concept. I remember in my corporate days and even still when I have meetings with my corporate clients, you’ll be in a room and you have the talkers and the people who sit there quietly. Early in my career, I used to think, “They’re disinterested.” It was not the case. They’re observing and listening. They have great ideas, but they’re a little bit shyer. They’re more introverted.

You have the talkers in the room who monopolize the airtime. They sit quietly and their ideas and innovations never come out because they’re afraid. They’re like, “What if they don’t like my idea?” It’s a more introverted personality. What you described with the sticky notes, you’re typing it and nobody knows. Nobody knows it’s me. I’m an introvert. It gets ideas out there more easily but without the worry of what are they going to think of my idea, right?

Exactly. One of the things that I love training around is that meetings can be more than talking. It’s not because we are in-person together or virtually meeting that we have to be speaking in our meeting. We can do activities and use different kinds of modes to get our thinking out. There are a ton of benefits to doing that.

CSG 86 | Effective Meetings
Effective Meetings: Meetings can be more than talking. It’s not because we are in-person together or virtually meeting that we have to be speaking in our meeting. We can do activities and use different modes to get our thinking out.


We talked about anonymity. That creates a sense of psychological safety that people can share. It democratizes the microphone. Everyone is contributing at the same time. We don’t have to take turns anymore because we’ve said, “For five minutes, go ahead. Type your answers in.” We’ve collected way more than we would ever have been able to get if we were going around one at a time, sharing our thinking.

Third, it also gives people time to process and think in different ways. Some people, like extroverts, are really good at thinking out loud. That’s often why they take so much time with the microphone. It is because they’re doing their thinking as they’re talking. Whereas for someone who’s introverted, they’re thinking and processing internally, and then they’re going to put out once it’s fully formed.

By giving people that time and space to do a sticky note exercise, a mind mapping exercise, or any other kind of engagement, what we’re doing is we’re giving them the space to think and then contribute without running past them. I’ve heard from introverts as I’ve talked to people about their meetings that many times, by the time they’re ready to share, the conversation is already past the point. It feels a little like they don’t want to loop it back because it’s too late. They’re trying to get ready for the next thing. We can use all these different modes of engagement to create more effective, more engaging, and more equitable meetings and get better thinking out onto the table. I love it.

My VA is in the Philippines. Her name is Denise. I love her. I told her she can never leave me. We laugh because I had tech issues. When I do my calendar invite, Zoom used to show up. I could click the Zoom link and it would set it up and, and populate for you the Zoom. It went away. I don’t know what I did. It was gone. She talks me through things, but I need to see it. I’m a visual, so I let her share her screen or I share my screen and then she tells me what to do to link it or to connect it.

It’s so helpful for me because I’m a visual. I can do it and not say, “Do it for me,” because I want to learn. I want to understand how because then, you could troubleshoot down the road. She’s always teaching me, but she makes me do it, which we can even though she’s in the Philippines and I’m here because of that screen share capability. It takes angst.

Also, if someone isn’t techy by nature, when you show them what you’re doing, they’re like, “That’s such an easy tool. I wish I had known that sooner.” You used the word safe before. It’s safe that somebody’s not going to go, “Connie’s an idiot. She doesn’t know how to get the Zoom back on the calendar.” With setting the extensions and all of that, I don’t know. My brain doesn’t think that way because I’m on the older side. The younger people teach us in these Zoom meetings and other meetings also. It’s the technology that we would otherwise be afraid to try because we’re unsure we’re going to click the wrong thing and make a mess on our computer. There’s so much value. Does this help? Do you find that this helps with the inclusiveness of the meeting as well?

Absolutely. There’s a different atmosphere that’s created when there are opportunities for engagement that don’t rely on power dynamics. For example, if you’re having a hybrid meeting, in which there are some people who are in the room and some people who are joining over Zoom or through MS Teams, it is best that each person is sitting with their own laptop. It is so that each person is still an individual box even though you’re all in the room.

CSG 86 | Effective Meetings
Effective Meetings: There’s a different atmosphere that’s created when there are opportunities for engagement that don’t rely on power dynamics.


People in the room can be talking and also looking into the camera. That creates a sense of inclusion that everybody is equal. Everybody is a valid participant as opposed to the one little camera, which is what we all used to do if you were having video meetings. It is one camera up high with this funny fish angle lens where you’re half looking at people’s backs. Their faces are so tiny you can’t read their facial expressions. That makes the people who are virtually participating feel like they’re not there or they’re an afterthought. That does not feel inclusive.

If we’re all our individual little boxes, then even though sometimes people are looking in different places, you still feel like you are part of the meeting in a valuable way. Whether it’s the setup of your tech or using activities that allow people who feel maybe less comfortable or less safe to share and contribute, all of those things that we can do as meeting leaders to set up the context can help people feel more included.

I love it. The other thing, too, before you said you could do, “Take five minutes and write out whatever the objective is that we need some input, strategies, or ideas from. Everybody take five minutes. Write your ideas down,” before on a whiteboard, what do you do? You take a picture of the whiteboard and say, “Can somebody transcribe that now?” With this, it’s all digitized, we could copy and paste it into a document for minute notes or whatever it is. It simplifies the whole process of sharing after the fact as well.

Completely. That’s one of my favorite aspects of meetings that are happening online or even in-person meetings. It is taking advantage of the fact that we can create the content digitally so that there’s no extra work after the meeting. I cannot tell you how much of my time was spent typing up sticky notes in my previous work. It was exhausting, not fun, and not a good use of my time.

The same thing happens with meeting notes. If we’re taking meeting notes by hand, after the meeting, someone’s got to type those up and then send them around. Does anybody ever type them up? It is probably only the A-type personalities. Very few people type up their meeting notes. It lives in your notebook. There’s no digital record.

We can get rid of some of those practices. For example, it is with wrap-ups at the end of the meeting. This is one of my favorite tips for increasing the productivity of your meeting. It is taking your last five minutes and making it a wrap-up. When you’ve got five minutes left, you stop the conversation. You bring it to a close and ask the group, “What are the next steps? Who’s got tasks?”

During the meeting, you can be writing down and make notes for yourself, but in those last five minutes, you open up whatever digital tool you use for storing your meeting notes. It could be an email, a document, or a meeting-specific tool. You put in your tasks for the whole meeting. Each person says, “I’m going to do this,” or, “Somebody needs to do that.”

You assign all those tasks and then you ask, “What decisions did we make?” You document specifically, “This was the decision that we agreed on,” and include one sentence on why that was the decision. What was the rationale? That’s because when you send those meeting notes off to somebody who wasn’t there and they see the decision, if it doesn’t have context, it’s quite hard for them to implement it effectively. If you can put in one sentence about, “This is why we agreed on this decision,” it will give them some context to be able to effectively carry that forward.

Lastly, what should other people know about? Were there any highlights, takeaways, or ideas that we want to capture for the future? Is there anything that needs to go into the notes so we don’t forget it or that somebody else who missed the meeting would need to know about? You type it up at the moment so at the end of the meeting, you click save and send. You send it to the people who need to be informed. There’s no more work to do on your end in terms of the informing piece. The meeting notes are captured. People who need to know have been informed.

Everybody knows what they’re supposed to do after the meeting from the execution standpoint, like who needs to collaborate with who. If you and I, in the meeting, say, “We have to look and work on that. After the meeting, let’s stay five minutes and schedule a time where we can focus on whatever that task is. It could be 30 minutes or whatever we need,” it’s about moving the needle forward from a productivity standpoint. This is brilliant. I am getting so many ideas. I am all about productivity. I hate wasting time. The, “I wish I had done that. I didn’t have time to do that,” makes me crazy when I say that.

There was another thing you said. Do you know how sometimes you’re in a meeting and somebody says something like, “We should do that next year,” and nobody writes it down? Six months from now, I say to Mamie, “Do you remember we said we’re going to do that next year?” She’s like, “I do. I don’t remember what it was.”

When you document at the end of what are things that we don’t want to lose but don’t need in the project right now but it’s something that might be in the next quarter or the next year, you can put them and have them stored somewhere so we can refer back to them. It is so we don’t lose those great ideas or innovations that are coming out of the meetings, too, right?

Exactly. If you make a practice of once a quarter going back and skimming, or if you’re using a good digital tool, you can search and it will pull up your content from different meetings to be able to see, “That was a good idea. What was relevant to this?” I got to tell you. I’ve heard stories of the opposite happening. It’s not the, “We should do this thing next year,” or, “Someone should do this,” and then it goes nowhere.

Also, the opposite has happened where especially if you’re the boss, we’ll say, “It would be great if we started reaching out to other industries and learning about X, Y, or Z.” They don’t mean that someone should go and do that, but somebody in the meeting hears the boss say that and goes, “Someone’s got to do that thing, so I’m going to start doing that.”

The one real-life example that I think is hilarious on this front is that there was a meeting and the boss said, “Do we have the entire year’s financials and key activities in one place?” The team was like, “No. We have quarterly documents. We have a high-level thing.” He was like, “It would be nice if we had it all in one place so it would always be in one place.” He didn’t mean that he wanted someone to go do that. He was saying, “It would be nice if we had this thing.” The team interpreted that as, “We need to start doing this,” so they were spending hours compiling, reorganizing, and trying to put together all these materials.

This was before everything was digital. One day, the boss was like, “What are all these folders stacked here on my bookshelf?” They’re like, “Those are the compiled annual reports that you wanted.” He’s like, “What are you talking about?” It turns out that for four years, the team at the beginning of January every year was compiling these huge annual reports. They were putting them into little half-inch binders and putting them on the guy’s desk. The guy was like, “I don’t know what this is,” and he was sticking it on his shelf.

No one ever looked at it. The team was agonizing over this. He asked them, “Why are you doing this? Why are you making these reports?” They said, “You asked us to.” He was like, “I didn’t.” It’s those kinds of things that happen that are a huge waste of time and a waste of energy. If we are not clear in our meetings about what are the actual next steps or hypothetical next steps versus what are the things that we want to revisit in the future and not for now, we can end up wasting a lot of time and losing a lot of good ideas.

It’s clarity. I teach communication. It’s the lack of clarity. You think people understand what you’re saying and thinking, or they’re assuming, which assuming is not a good thing. We have to have clarity in these conversations. I love that wrap-up in the last five minutes where we ground everything that we talked about with the next steps. What are we putting on the shelf and parking? Maybe it will come and then we can search it later on, but nobody’s doing anything with it right now.

It creates more clarity in the conversation by having these things documented plus giving everybody a voice. I love that with the inclusiveness and your recommendation. You’re in the boardroom, which is great, but it is having your own computer. Everybody has a computer because of COVID. A lot of people couldn’t find computers initially when COVID first hit, but everybody ordered them. Everybody has a laptop. You could buy a laptop without a camera. We all have cameras on our laptops. It has gone through this evolution because of COVID. COVID is still happening, but you know what I’m saying. People were dying initially. It was tragic. What we’ve learned from an industry from a business perspective is it has created some useful tools. It’s remarkable.

I agree.

Do you have any last words before we end this episode?

I have to share the number one thing I tell teams to do to have more effective meetings. If you’re reading and you remember nothing else from this, remember this one thing. We call it the desired outcome. When you are planning a meeting, the first thing you need to do is figure out what this meeting is going to accomplish. It’s not an activity. This meeting is not meant to accomplish discussing, brainstorming, reviewing, or checking in. Those are great activities, but they’re not what’s going to be accomplished.

You have to figure out what we call the noun. What’s the thing that you’re going to have at the end of the meeting? You start to switch your mind to fill in the blank. It is like, “At the end of the meeting, we will have a list of ideas to explore. We will have a recommendation to serve the committee. We will have alignment on this really complex situation that we’re struggling with. We’ll have a solution to this problem.”

If you can focus, rethink, and shift your mind because it’s a little bit of a weird thing, but if you can fill in that blank at the end of the meeting, we will have what? We will have an outcome. You can design your entire meeting around that outcome. You’re like, “Who do I need to have in the room in order to achieve that outcome? What do we need to do? What do we need to talk about? What are the right activities to get to that outcome? How can people prepare for the meeting?” It is going full circle to make sure people are prepared. You’re like, “What can I provide for them or what instructions can I give them so that they’re ready to come into that meeting to drive to that outcome?”

There’s a whole lot more, but the desired outcome is the number one thing. If you can’t think of a good desired outcome, you probably don’t need to have a meeting. If your only desired outcome is that at the end of the meeting, everybody’s going to be informed of this information, you don’t need to have a meeting. You can send a memo. Write an email or record yourself on video. The only time you should be having meetings that are informational is when it’s a sensitive or complex subject or it’s a relationship that’s involved. It’s about maintaining humanity.

If you can't think of a good, desired outcome, you probably don't need to have a meeting. Click To Tweet

That’s brilliant. Here’s the thing. This is such an important topic. It’s an important conversation that we need to have. We need to start shifting the way we approach meetings. We have so many more tools at our fingertips that can impact the results, get us out of the meetings, and get our productivity up. Those are great tips at the end. Thank you so much.

Mamie has a website. Go to Meeteor.com. Thank you so much for being on and sharing, truly, your zone of genius that is even more necessary than it’s ever been. Probably because of the hybrid situation, I find that a lot of my clients are struggling with, “How do we make everybody feel part of it?” The meetings are scheduled to be home because they can’t have everybody in the office or whatever their situation is. This was an important conversation. Thank you so much for being on.

Thank you so much. I enjoyed this.

That was great. I hope you’ll all join me weekly as we question, build, and discover together that no matter where you are in changing your sales game, my guest and I do have your back. I say this at the end, Mamie, of every show. I know they’re all sick of hearing me say it, but information is a beautiful thing. If you do nothing with it, it’s simply that information. When you take the information, like some of the ideas and strategies that Mamie shared with us, watch the impact on your time and your productivity. You have to do something differently.

Take the tips and strategies, apply them in your real life, your real business, your real meetings, or whatever it is, and watch the magic that happens. The application is where we create magic. Thank you so much for being on. You’ve been tuning in to the show. I truly am inspired that you join this journey with me on the show. I do hope you always find value in tuning into my guests and me and our tips and strategies. I will see you all soon. Have a great one. Thanks.


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