In the last episode, John gave a very brief overview of some of the things that you need to consider when putting together a business meeting. In this episode, he takes us through a business meeting framework which is a little more detailed and will take a little bit more thought. Listed below are the things you should do when considering a business meeting framework.

AN ASSERTIVE LEADER

The first thing to do is to ensure that an assertive leader for every meeting. It is recommended that this opportunity be rotated once the meeting has become familiar and functional to give everybody the chance to lead and direct a meeting.

STATED PURPOSE

When meetings are first introduced, the purpose is to become familiar with parts 1, 2 and 3 of the business meeting format just to keep the business running smoothly. But later on, you will actually be able to make sure that you can give in to some more detail.

TIME FRAME

How long is this meeting going to run? What time does it start? What time does it finish? If we don’t allocate time to a meeting, it will just drag on and on or finish too early and means that everybody has missed out on a great opportunity to get together.

SET GROUND RULES

Agree on meeting ground rules. Review them after a few weeks to just check that those ground rules are still valid. Re-negotiate the ones that aren’t. Here are some examples:

  1. It is safe zone – free of violence or threats
  2. There’s no rank in the room
  3. If you’ve got something to say, say it in the meeting — don’t bottle it up and take it outside
  4. Ensure that meetings start on time
  5. Always ensure that you do what you say you’re going to do

“If you can’t be trusted to follow through, there are many other things you might not get trusted with.”

  1. Seek assistance and guidance whenever necessary
  2. Don’t wait to be asked to offer help
  3. Always be up front at meetings
  4. Listen and hear what other people are saying
  5. Be willing to have an open mind
  6. Use “I” statements

DEVELOP A PROBLEM SOLVING PROCESS

There are four quadrants to making a decision:

  • Quadrant 1: The business owner decides and may choose to explain to the team why the decision was made
  • Quadrant 2: The teams discusses the issue, but the final decision is up to the business owner
  • Quadrant 3: The business owner shares his thoughts, ideas and suggestions, but lets the team make the decision
  • Quadrant 4. The business owner leaves it up to the team to work it out together and make the decision, and only consult with him if needed

Time will determine which tasks you put into each quadrant, and as trust develops, then more end up in 3 or 4. The questions to ask are determined by which quadrant you use.

What’s the worst thing that can happen if the team makes this decision? Is it life or financially threatening or does not really matter?

What better use of my time will I make if I was freed out from this task? Are there other things that you can do more valuable for you and your business? More profitable? More positive in the outcome? You are freed out from making those decisions and empowering your team to do it.

FINAL POINTS

Make sure that you set deadlines for each action point and expect total accountability. Once appointed, if the person setting the task can’t do what they promise, they must find an alternative person or way of completing their task.

Review the action points. This is done next time you meet so that tasks can be noted as complete or needing more input.

And last but not least, occasionally review the meeting process itself.

Using this really simple business meeting framework, in addition to business meeting format discussed on the last podcast, you’ll achieve a much more positive and uplifting outcome.

THANKS FOR LISTENING!

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Until next time!

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TRANSCRIPT:  PODCAST EPISODE 7 

Title:  Business Meeting Framework 

Date Published:  August 21 

Running Time:  9:19 minutes 

Hi, this is John Millar and I’m The Naked Business Coach, stripping business back to its bare basics.

In our last episode, I gave you a very brief overview of some of the things that you need to consider when you’re putting together a business meeting.  What I’d like to do in this episode is actually take you through a business meeting framework which is a little more detailed and will take a little bit more thought.  But if you’ve already put the last episode into place, this is going to be so much easier.

The first thing to do when you’re considering any business meeting framework is to ensure that an assertive leader for every meeting.  It is recommended that this opportunity be rotated once the meeting has become familiar and functional to give everybody the chance to lead and direct a meeting. There must be at all times a stated purpose for the meeting.

When meetings are first introduced, the purpose is to become familiar with parts 1, 2 and 3 of the business meeting format just to keep the business running smoothly.  But later on, you will actually be able to make sure that you can give in to some more detail.  But clarity around purpose is really important.  A time frame must be stated up front.  How long is this meeting going to run?  What time does it start?  What time does it finish?  Simple, but usually forgotten.

Remember like most things in time management, tasks will take the time that we allocate.  If we don’t allocate time to a meeting, it will just drag on and on or finish too early and means that everybody has missed out on a great opportunity to get together.

The next point, agree on meeting ground rules.  You got to take a little bit of time first up, that way you can actually gain an idea on what your team wants as meeting ground rules and review them after a few weeks to just check that those ground rules are still valid.  Re-negotiate the ones that aren’t.  Let me give you some examples of ground fuels that other teams that I’ve worked with have come up with.

  1. It is safe zone.  Free of violence or threats. We don’t want people getting upset, but we do want honesty.
  2. There’s no rank in the room.  I don’t care whether you are the CFO, the Managing Director, or the toilet cleaner.  You have to have everybody on a level playing field.
  3. The next is if you’ve got something to say, say it here.  Don’t bottle it up and take it outside.
  4. The next is really important.  Ensure that meetings start on time.  Not the people are arriving around that time be on time for all meetings.  That’s being there; ready to start at that time.
  5. Always ensure that you do what you say you’re going to do.  If you can’t be trusted to follow through, there are many other things you might not get trusted with.
  6. Seek assistance and guidance whenever necessary.  You don’t know everything.  And that’s okay.  Make sure that when you need some help that you ask for it.
  7. Don’t wait to be asked to offer help.  Oftentimes, people with great skills sets and abilities, just don’t stick their hands up to help each other up because they don’t want to make somebody feel bad. It feels worse when they file.  So step up, offer that help and you’ll see that it’s gratefully received.
  8. Always be up front at meetings.  Don’t play games. Don’t be passive aggressive.  Just be upfront and honest with each other.  Honesty and integrity are really key important matters whether it is in or out of the meetings.
  9. Listen and hear what other people are saying.  Be present. Don’t listen to what they’re saying so that you can formulate your response.  Listen and really hear what they’re saying.  Even if you don’t agree, the reality is what they’re saying may in fact be true for them.  And that’s okay.  You’re allowed to disagree with them.  But just be present and be respectful and curious.
  10. Be willing to have an open mind.  If you don’t have an open mind you’re going to lose so many opportunities for personal and professional growth.
  11. Use “I statements.  Normally we talk about “there’s no I in team”.  But the reality is when you’re talking, be specific. “I’m happy with”  “I wish we could”  “I’m not happy with”  That’s the sort of thing that you want everybody in the team contributing.

The next thing I want you to do is I want you to look at developing a problem solving process. So that things just turned to generating to a crying, winging, whining session, make sure that you come out of it with those problem solving process around maybe brainstorming, focused groups, project teams, mastermind groups.

Make sure that you actually have it there.  Now when you’re looking through making a decision, I want you to make 4 quadrants.

  • Quadrant 1 is “I will decide.”  Meaning, he the business owner, “I may choose to explain to my team why I’ve made the decision.”  Is it maybe valuable training for them to understand the process?  But ultimately as the business owner, the decision is mine.
  • Quadrant 2.  When you’re classifying decisions, there are things that we will discuss, and then I’ll make a decision.   So as the business owner again will hear your ideas and your suggestions.  I’ll take those things into account, but at the end of the day, the buck starts and stops with you as the business owner so I will decide.
  • Quadrant 3.  This is where you get the team to decide on things.  Where we’ll discuss and I’ll share you my thoughts, ideas and suggestions, but I’m happy that in this situation, you the team will make that decision. And by making that decision, you will actually accept responsibility.
  • Quadrant 4.  I trust you but if you have any problems, just work it out together so that as much as you can as a team, and consult with me as needed. And that’s a real tough one for most business owners because you’re giving them the opportunity to come back and help you drive your business.

So far you can see is not easy but let’s have a look at it.  Time will determine which tasks you put into each quadrant and as trust develops, then more end up in 3 or 4.  The questions to ask are determined by which quadrant you use.  I mean I have to think about it.  What’s the worst thing that can happen if the team makes this decision?  Is it life or financially threatening or does not really matter?  Can I live with the results if they’re good enough?  You know good enough could be the result is 80% is good as what I could have done myself that you are happy to give the team a learning opportunity so that they can grow and develop.

The next is, what better use of my time will I make a fuss freed out from this task. Are there other things that you can do more valuable for you and your business? More profitable? More positive in the outcome?  If you are freed out from making those decisions and empowering your team to do it.

Just to finish up. Make sure that you set deadlines for each action point and expect total accountability.  Once appointed, if the person setting the task can’t do what they promise?  They must find an alternative person or way of completing their task.  Make sure every time, you document every single action point so that you’ve got a record to refer to.

Second from last.  Review the action points.  This is done next time you meet so that tasks can be noted as complete or needing more input.

And last but not least.  Occasionally review the meeting process itself.  What’s working well? What’s working not so well?  And what do we want to do differently.

If you have thought about these really simple business meeting framework, in addition to the last podcast that I showed you around business meetings? Together you’ll achieve a much more positive and uplifting outcome.

This is John Millar, the Naked Business Coach, stripping business back to the basics.

I hope that you enjoyed it and I look forward to seeing you next time. Ciao!

John Millar

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