It's Time to Talk About Your Meetings. Here's How to Get Started.

Apr 30, 2021 by Elise Keith in meeting culture (7 minute read)

"How can we reduce the time we're spending in meetings?"

I used to love it when clients asked me this, because wow - what a softball! This is easy math. To reduce time wasted in unproductive meetings, you can:

  1. Cancel meetings.
    Look for any meeting that lacks a clear purpose or goals, and get rid of it.

  2. Shorten meetings.
    Whack 10 minutes off of every recurring meeting on your calendar, and stick to the new time limit.

  3. Invite fewer people.
    Eliminate meeting time for those people, who probably have better things to do anyway.

  4. Assign a timekeeper.
    This increases your team's awareness of time passing in the meeting and your odds of ending on time or early.

Here's a quicky video summing up these easy-math tips.

 

But do these simple answers help the smart professionals asking this question? 

No.

Of course not, because this isn't really a math question.

This is a question about how to change a team's meeting culture.

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Topics: meeting culture

Reasons to Reconsider How Data Is Shared in Remote Meetings

Apr 27, 2021 by Lisa Michaels in remote work, guest post (5 minute read)

Hello friends! Please enjoy this guest post about information security in meetings from Lisa Michaels, a thriving content marketing consultant from Portland, Oregon.

The way we work has changed on a fundamental level.

These days, around 56.8% of US employees are working remotely, and there’s a good chance that the trend for flexible working will continue to grow.

Remote and hybrid workforces can’t always meet in-person to share ideas and discuss projects.

Instead, they need to access online tools that bring them face-to-face with teams wherever they are.

The good news is that video conferencing and remote meeting services allow your staff to remain productive in any environment.

On the other hand, rushing into a meeting solution without proper planning can be dangerous from a security and privacy perspective.

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Topics: remote work, guest post

How to Give Positive Feedback to Your Team During a Meeting

Mar 22, 2021 by Richard Fendler in leadership & facilitation, guest post (4 minute read)

Hello friends! Please enjoy this guest post about giving positive feedback in meetings from Richard Fendler, a goal-oriented project manager and team leader.

Meetings are an opportunity to discuss projects, provide updates, share ideas and make tough decisions. In amongst all this, it is important to remember that they can also be used by managers to give team members the positive feedback they need to feel valued and fulfilled in their role.

The challenge, then, is to work out the best way to actually give this feedback, especially now that more meetings are taking place virtually rather than face-to-face.

With that in mind, here are just a few ways you can be proactively positive towards your workers while meetings are underway, without this derailing proceedings and while ensuring that meetings have value.

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Topics: leadership & facilitation, guest post

How to Use Body Language in Virtual Meetings and Interviews

Feb 21, 2021 by Sharon Koifman in remote work, guest post (5 minute read)

Hello friends! Please enjoy this guest post about body language tips from Sharon Koifman, founder and president of distantjob.com.

The new normal is now the norm that really isn't new anymore and it's here to stay.

All of us are in a much better place, don't you think? No more wasting time on long commutes, no more extra expenditure on clothing and office lunches, and a lot of video meetings—because remote work is now a lifestyle.

Video meetings and interviews are great because wearing pajamas when nobody can see them is awesome, but there's a lot more to your everyday virtual meetings that needs attention. This goes for everyone—the employee, the employer, and hiring managers.

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Topics: remote work, guest post

5 Rules for Leading Excellent Meetings with Your Team Every Day

Jan 25, 2021 by Elise Keith in leadership & facilitation, meeting design (7 minute read)

Successful businesses do the things that others know they should do …. but generally don’t.

~ Ari Weinzwig's 7th Natural Law of Business

So let's talk about those things you need to do to run great everyday business meetings with your teams. And yes, I'm going to share some guidelines you may already know.

Hopefully, you'll be inspired to follow them.

It's worth the effort. The leaders we've met who follow these "rules" enjoy more productivity, more loyalty, more engagement, better decision making, and less BS drama between team members than everyone else. And frankly, none of this is actually that hard to do.

Here are five rules for team meetings that I share with my business clients, and that I wish someone had taught me when I started my business.

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Topics: leadership & facilitation, meeting design

Hindsight is 2020: How to Run a Year-in-Review Team Retrospective

Dec 30, 2020 by Enrico Teotti in meeting design, guest post (12 minute read)

What happened? So what does that mean? Now what should we do going forward? 

In a retrospective meeting, you and your team work to answer these three questions together. When you’re reviewing a short event that just happened, your retrospective meeting might be very short as you all simply work to answer these questions directly. 

When you’re looking at something as long as a year or something involving lots of complex interrelated parts, it doesn’t work to just ask “So, what happened in 2020?” That’s more likely to encourage day drinking than useful insights. 

For something as 2020 as 2020, you’ll need to put a bit more structure in place if you want a useful result.

Introducing Enrico Teotti

That’s why we're thrilled to introduce you all to Enrico Teotti. Enrico hosts the This is Retrospective Facilitation podcast and is an active leader in the agile facilitation and coaching community.

As his holiday gift to us all, Enrico put together a meeting template we can use to try and make some useful sense out of 2020 with our teams. Check it out!

~ Team Lucid

Running an End-of-Year Retrospective

How was your year?

In this short post I'll describe one way to run an annual retrospective so you and your group can reflect on what happened this past year, discuss what you make of it, and begin to decide what the next wise actions to take next year might be.

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Topics: meeting design, guest post

What in Tarnation are Augmented Meeting Services?

Oct 28, 2020 by John Keith in meeting technology, communication architecture (12 minute read)

And why does Lucid Meetings fit the description so well?

Way back in 1997 I decided to quit my high tech job and start an internet software company with a couple friends. But right off the bat I made a big mistake.

See, you think you're going to be building products and delivering services (okay, you are), but as a company founder and leader you're really building a business. And in particular you're building the foundations, processes, and systems that support the business over time. Of course we didn't quite realize that, so instead we mainly focused on building out our product development systems, with scant attention on the accompanying business support systems.

Because we hadn't really developed or standardized our communication architecture, people filled the gaps for themselves. One day we woke to discover we were rife with disjointed, informal systems—leading to pockets of isolated information that kept our teams in the dark and separated from each other in their own silos. A lot of that mess showed up in our meetings.

Through this tortuous experience we learned a very important lesson: our meetings were indeed "where the action is" — all the good, bad, or ugly in the organization showed up there. And once we had that idea firmly in mind we began to explore what it meant to develop a truly professional approach to meetings as part of a larger business communication plan.

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Topics: meeting technology, communication architecture

3+ Ways to Approach Strategic Planning

Sep 14, 2020 by Elise Keith in strategy (2 minute read)

As 2020 continues to teach us all how much God enjoys a good laugh at our plans, we've noticed a dramatic uptick in the number of people downloading strategic planning meeting templates.


Strategic planning isn't a type of meeting. It's a process, and there are many ways you can approach that process.

We have several strategic planning resources available on the Lucid Meetings websites, each of which serves different types of groups and situations. If you've only seen one of these resources, you might find the alternatives useful too.

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Topics: strategy

Communicating in Real Time, Near Time, and Far Time

Sep 8, 2020 by Elise Keith in communication architecture (8 minute read)

Behind the scenes here at Lucid Meetings, we talk a lot about how to support organizations as they work to establish a robust, effective, and resilient communication architecture.

Communication Architecture
The method and frequency by which information, attention, and intent flows between people, teams, and systems in your organization.

See also Meeting Flow Models and Meeting Operating Systems.

Today, I'm inviting you to "think out loud" with us as we work to refine these ideas.

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Topics: communication architecture

How to Identify and Eliminate Meetings That Waste Your Team's Time

Aug 4, 2020 by Elise Keith in leadership & facilitation (8 minute read)

In previous articles, we explored ways to determine the best-fit meeting cadence for your team. An effective meeting cadence means your team is talking often enough to maintain momentum and build solid working relationships, but not so often that they have trouble completing other work. 

Looking at the many examples provided in these articles, I hope we can agree that most teams have some meetings which are required to successfully achieve their goals. If we accept that we need at least some meetings, we can reject the lazy idea that we'll fix our unproductive meeting problem by just cancelling lots of meetings.

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Topics: leadership & facilitation