The 90s called; they want their meetings back.

I’ve been sitting in on some of my clients’ team meetings and have had one consistent reaction.

I sat through this same meeting in 1995.

I don’t mean with the same people or even with the same agenda. But the way we’re conducting our meetings largely hasn’t changed throughout my whole career!

Usually, there’s a list of topics that someone calls the “agenda.” Once everyone gets in the room (Zoom or conference room, it doesn’t make much difference), we start talking about the first topic. People speak in no particular order. Some folks interrupt, and other folks are checking email or Slack. Then, after a while, the focus turns to another topic.

What did we decide on the first topic? Did we assign any follow-up tasks? Did they get due dates?

Oh look, our time is up; we’ll continue with this next week!

Meetings are where most people experience your leadership

As a leader, there are two places where most people experience your leadership. One-to-one meetings and team or group meetings.

If you are in a meeting, this is “game time” for you, the leader. This is your primary opportunity to influence the direction of this team. Your whole team is watching how you are in this meeting and interpreting your actions and words to help them decide how they will act!

The agenda items you include, the time you allot to each one, and the quality of the thinking you do before the meeting all impact how your team experiences your leadership.

If team meetings are sloppy, off-the-cuff discussions, what does that communicate about how you expect folks to do their jobs? What does it communicate about how you value their time and ideas?

Chip Griffin and I discussed five ideas I’ve been playing with that might shift the impact that your team meetings are having on your business on his Chat with Chip podcast. Give it a listen; it might spark some ideas to move your meetings into the 21st century. (And none of them involve AI!)

But I’m extremely curious: What have you changed about how you lead your team meetings over the last year or two? What have you seen that’s made a difference? Hit reply and let me know!

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