Gay’s Top 10 Rules for Effective Meetings

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[October 11, 2022 – Blog] BlogOne of the biggest “time sucks” in any organization is meetings that are unnecessary, disorganized or run inefficiently. The worst sin of all is having people in a meeting who have no imminent reason to be there. In my world, time is money and if you spend too much of your precious time in meetings that don’t serve a specific purpose and outcome, then you are draining your bottom line.

Author, professor & organizational psychologist, Adam Grant points this out with some stunning statistics: 

“Time in meetings has more than tripled since February 2020. Nearly a third of meetings are unnecessary—wasting $25M a year for every 1k people. There are four reasons to meet: to decide, learn, bond and do. If it doesn’t serve one of those purposes, cancel it.”

I could not agree with him more. However, some meetings are crucial to move things forward. In my book Cowgirl Power, I have a prescription for how to run an effective meeting:

  1. You have an obligation to participate. If you don’t, you will not be invited back.
  2. You have an obligation to be heard. You were invited because we thought you had something to contribute. If someone tries to dominate the conversation, swat them down.
  3. You have an obligation to be respectful of team members. Be all in, not on your cell phone or laptop. Meetings start and end on time, agendas are published in advance and clear assignments are made.
  4. You have an obligation to be blunt, truthful and brave. If this is a shit show project, just say so. Trust the team to fix it.
  5. You have an obligation to have a point of view and advocate it.
  6. You have an obligation to disagree. You were not invited to sit there like a lump.
  7. You have an obligation to be nice to ideas. Collect ideas without judgement, then come back with each team member having a vote and prioritize the best collective ideas.
  8. You have an obligation to be sure that diverse points of view are heard.
  9. You have an obligation to spend a few minutes before or after each meeting to say hello to your team members and ask about their family, dogs and interests.
  10. You have an obligation to run assholes away.

Always meeting with a purpose!

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Gay Gaddis
Founder. Author. Artist. Trailblazer.

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