5 Ways to Maintain Meeting Schedules With Flexible Work Arrangements

Jul 25, 2021 by Lisa Michaels in remote work, guest post (5 minute read)

Hello friends! Please enjoy this guest post about establishing meeting schedules in the face of flexible work arrangements from Lisa Michaels, a thriving content marketing consultant from Portland, Oregon.

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For years, companies have been making the shift towards a more flexible work environment. The cloud and today’s ultra-fast internet connections allow people to stay informed and aligned no matter where they are.

However, though many organizations were beginning to shift towards remote working opportunities, it wasn’t until 2020 when we saw the trend explode.

The pandemic of 2020 meant many companies had to choose between shutting down the company or finding a way for staff to work from home.

According to Gartner, the events of the year shattered the paradigm of the standard workplace schedule forever.

The question for today’s companies isn’t whether remote working opportunities are necessary, but how can they ensure the continued productivity of their employees in a remote environment, particularly when it comes to arranging meetings between disconnected parties?

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Topics: remote work, guest post

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 (5 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 (6 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

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

5 Important Meetings For Distributed Customer Support Teams

Feb 3, 2020 by Mercer Smith-Looper in meeting design, guest post (8 minute read)

Introducing Mercer Smith-Looper
Mercer is the Head of Support at Appcues, where she manages an all-remote team of customer support representatives. In this article, Mercer describes the meetings she's found to be most helpful for keeping her team aligned, happy, and productive.
— Team Lucid

Running a remote team can be challenging. It’s easy for remote teammates to lose focus, or to feel ignored and unappreciated. Wouldn’t you if you rarely saw or spoke with the people on your team? 

That's why remote work experts like Lisette Sutherland from Collaboration Superpowers advocate for more intentional communication with remote team members. Remote teams often meet more, not less, than their co-located counterparts.

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Topics: meeting design, guest post

A Framework For Productive Consulting Meetings (and Happier Clients)

Aug 2, 2019 by Michael Zipursky in project management, meeting design, guest post (6 minute read)

Introducing Michael Zipursky
The Lucid Meetings team is delighted to welcome our newest contributor, Michael Zipursky. Our CEO met Michael when she was interviewed for his Consulting Success podcast. After the interview, Michael shared how implementing the simple meeting process described below helped the consultants he works with reduce drama and retain happy clients.

It's a perfect example of how powerful it can be when you have a consistent structure for your meetings, and how you don't have to over-complicate things to get great results.

In this post, Michael share the 3-step framework that's helped hundreds of consultants build trust with clients.
— Team Lucid

Do you feel nervous before meeting with your consulting clients? If so, chances are you aren’t well-prepared.

With proper preparation and a specific agenda, your meetings will be productive and stress-free. Not only will this make your life easier, but your clients will appreciate it as well. 

In this article, I’ll explain a simple 3-part framework you can use for your client meetings. This framework works especially well if you’re working with clients on an ongoing basis. 

After reading, you’ll know how to run the perfect consulting meeting — and how to leverage meetings into more consulting work.

Before & After Using The Meeting Agenda: Jane’s Story

Jane never felt quite comfortable during meetings with her client.

Sure, she was delivering on the project just fine — but these meetings with the client were a sticking point.  She wasn’t sure what the purpose of the meeting was. She went into them hoping for the best. 

Without a clear structure to the meeting, it was hard for her client to see progress. They even started to doubt her value. 

She could feel the business slipping away.  

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Topics: project management, meeting design, guest post

Taking Effective Meeting Notes: Where Technology Meets Organizational Culture

Jun 26, 2019 by Al Chen in meeting technology, guest post (7 minute read)

I have worked in technology for 10+ years, and have experienced meetings of all shapes and sizes. Interestingly, the types of meetings and ways of conducting meetings have not evolved as quickly as the technology behind meetings. 

Photo by CoWomen on Unsplash

Generally speaking, the meeting starts with the meeting facilitator announcing the agenda. Everyone introduces themselves. Someone is writing meeting notes and minutes as the meeting progresses. As the meeting winds to a close, the meeting facilitator surveys the room for questions and comments.

“We are the only mammals that can cooperate with numerous strangers because only we can invent fictional stories, spread them around, and convince millions of others to believe in them.”

Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens

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Topics: meeting technology, guest post

Fast, Fun, and Powerful: Design Sprints

Jun 17, 2019 by Douglas Ferguson in meeting design, guest post (7 minute read)

Introducing Douglas Ferguson
The Lucid Meetings team is delighted to welcome our newest contributor, Douglas Ferguson. Douglas Ferguson is the president of Voltage Control, an Austin-based agency that specializes in Innovation Transformation.

We were introduced to Douglas through our network as the go-to facilitator to bring in when you want to run a Design Sprint.

What's a Design Sprint? In this post, Douglas tells us all about it.
— Team Lucid

We often know what we should do or what we want to do to make our product and services better. But, we don’t. Instead, what we have to do and what’s on fire at-the-moment usually takes precedence. So, when we want to make big shifts, it’s all about carving out time and focus. Design Sprints give you both.

Let me give you an example from one of my favorite Design Sprints: on-demand meal delivery company Favor asked me to facilitate a Design Sprint last year. They wanted to focus on how to improve the earnings of their “Runners" (the people who deliver the meals) by 10% while also cutting the number of Runners who found the job frustrating by half.

Tackling this problem with design had been on their mind, but they just hadn’t gotten to it. By dedicating time for a Design Sprint, they were able to kickstart important improvements.

"We started with all these ideas about what our users wanted and needed in the next version of our app. The design sprint made us rapidly validate these assumptions instead of getting months down the road and realizing we were designing things our users didn’t want or need. In one week, we were able to build a solid foundation for our redesign from real user feedback."

-Meg Nidever, UX Designer, Favor Delivery

Even better, the Sprint experience led to a renewed dedication to prototyping and user testing for the Favor team.

What is a Design Sprint?

A Design Sprint is like an all-inclusive retreat for your next great business idea. This timeboxed, self-contained process allows teams the opportunity to consider an existing problem or a new idea, gather insights on potential or current users, prototype ideas, and validate them all within about five days.

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Topics: meeting design, guest post

Transforming Expertise into Mastery

Sep 19, 2018 by Paul Dreyer in leadership & facilitation, guest post (4 minute read)

The Lucid Meetings team is thrilled to introduce Paul Dreyer.

Our founder Elise Keith met Paul when visiting Zingerman's. At the time, Paul was visiting Zingerman's to see how they'd evolved their training practice, and Elise was conducting research for Where the Action Is.  

They got to talking about the Conscious Competence Ladder, a tool they'd both used for training meetings. Paul shared how he'd developed an updated version of the model for use in his work - and yes, it's way better! He's generously agreed to share this updated model with the Lucid community. Thank you, Paul! 

When I first learned about the "Conscious Competence Ladder” of becoming an expert, I loved it.

I immediately added it to my leadership and communication tool box. Whether I was learning something myself or facilitating a training on leadership development, I would often point to this model as an effective and powerful awareness tool.

Sometimes also referred to as the "Conscious Competence Matrix” or the "Four Stages of Learning," this model helps us  better understand the struggling landscape we must travel when learning something new.

Of course, I was not alone. Since it was developed in the 1970s, the Conscious Competence Ladder has become a widely used and loved tool. From classrooms to boardrooms to best-selling books on communication (i.e. Malcolm Gladwell's Blink), this model seems to show up everywhere.

Unfortunately, it's incomplete and actually not a good model. Let me show you how to transform the model into something better.

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Topics: leadership & facilitation, guest post