How to Create Super Effective Meetings in 6 Easy Steps
Maybe you know the feeling – you wake up on Monday morning, energized and ready to take on the week. You roll into the office with a little pep in your step and favorite coffee in your hand. Then, at 9:00, you find yourself in the most boring, monotonous meeting possible. Your energy is instantly drained, your eyes glaze over, and your brain tries to be anywhere else but in that room. Your attitude for a super-productive Monday just got crushed. All thanks to an inefficient meeting.
This was exactly my experience every single Monday morning during our team meeting.
We had the same problems that so many companies do when running meetings. Our team meeting wasn’t structured in a condensed format, we weren’t reviewing only hot topic items, reporting was lackluster, there was constant conversation of who was owning what tasks, and they drug on and on. Sometimes for more than two hours.
After that, I was completely checked out. My employees could see it in my eyes, and I could see it in theirs – we were in a Monday morning meeting rut. We had to get out of it – fast.
A New Method: The Level-10 Meeting
I began researching methods that could help us, and came across this video. It explained the Level-10 Meeting methodology, created by the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS).
EOS would ask the entrepreneurs and owners in their group to rate the effectiveness of their current meetings. On average, they would rate them a 4. I probably would’ve rated ours right around there as well.
So, EOS developed a formula for creating a Level-10 Meeting – a meeting that you would rate as a 10 on the effectiveness scale.
This method has turned out to be our company’s saving grace. If you’re in a leadership position and find yourself struggling to get the results you want from your meetings, this method could be yours as well.
Our meetings now take less time and are more productive than they have been in the last decade. So, I want to tell you more about it, in the hopes it may help you implement your own Level-10 Meeting.
The Pulse of an Effective Meeting
The Level-10 Meeting methodology teaches you the importance of time management. You learn how to be the most efficient in the shortest amount of time, so that you’re never sacrificing quality.
To do this, you have to understand and adhere to the pulse of an effective meeting:
- Same day.
- Same time.
- Same agenda.
- Start on time.
- End on time.
Every meeting should have this exact pulse, every time. This is the first step on your journey toward a Level-10 Meeting.
The 6 Components of Your Level-10 Meeting Agenda
The structure of EOS’s Level-10 Meeting will be the foundation for your own meeting agenda. This should be a document that one person on your team manages, and brings to every meeting.
Your agenda will be made up of six different parts:
1. Start on time. All involved team members should be in the meeting room five minutes prior to the scheduled start time. This has been key for us in making sure our meetings actually start at 9:00 sharp.
2. Positive focus. We always start our team meetings with positive focus. Each person in the meeting shares their big positive from last week. I encourage my employees to share both a professional and personal positive focus. This is what brings the human element to our meetings, and helps us grow closer as a team. It’s a great way to start your meeting on a positive note – get it?
TIME ALLOTED: 5 minutes.
3. Reporting mode. This is the part of the meeting where you make sure that everything in your business is on track. You’ll use the following three reports to examine your numbers, priorities, and people:
- Scorecard. These are the hard numbers in your business. For us, we use our scorecard to track our assets under management and life insurance. This gives us a clear vision of exactly how much new business we’ve closed, and what’s in our pipeline.
- ROCK review. Your ROCKS are your company’s top goals for the year. In this report, you’ll review these ROCKS, and evaluate whether your current numbers have you on track to meet them.
- Customer and employee headlines. Knowing what’s going on with your customers or clients is important. We like to send piggy banks to new parents, congratulate our clients on big accomplishments they make, and send cards or gifts for newlyweds, retirees, etc. This is also a great time to give recognition to an employee’s hard work.
During the reporting section, you’ll come across items that warrant further discussion. Write them down and save them for the next portion of the meeting. This section should be pure reporting – no discussion allowed!
TIME ALLOTED: 15 minutes (5 minutes for each report).
4. Review last week’s to do list. This list should be part of the meeting agenda itself. Your to do list items are seven day action items. Every week, things should be going on and coming off, with 90% of the to dos coming off every week.
TIME ALLOTED: 5 minutes.
5. Identify, Discuss, Solve (IDS). This should be the longest part of your meeting. Here, you expand on all those things that came up in the reporting part of the meeting. Prioritize the issues you wrote down in order of importance. Then decide what the real issue is. For instance, if internal communication is a sore spot for you, is it really that no one is talking to each other? Or could it be that people aren’t utilizing your CRM correctly?
Once you identify the issue, discuss it openly. Garner feedback from key team members who are affected by the issue.
Finally, solve the issue. Once a resolution has been agreed upon, it then goes on the to-do list and a task is created for it.
TIME ALLOTED: 60 minutes.
6. End the meeting. By now, it should be right around 10:25, and you should start wrapping up your meeting. Take five minutes to recap your new to-do list, and assign tasks. Also, have everyone rate the meeting. Your minimum goal is to be consistently rating your meetings at a level 8, with the ultimate goal being a level 10.
Then, end your meeting at 10:30 sharp.
Why Does It Matter to You?
As a business owner, running effective team meetings was one of my biggest challenges. I feel like it’s a big challenge for anyone in a leadership position.
How many times do you leave a meeting thinking, “What was the point of that?”, or “Why couldn’t you have just emailed that to me?” Most of the time, your team has one day out of the week where they can all come together. So, you need to make that 90-minute window as productive as possible.
No longer do Monday morning team meetings crush my attitude for the day, for the week. Now, they help add a little extra energy. I walk out of them feeling like I have a clear vision of exactly where our company stands, and I may have only added one or two quick things to my plate. I don’t feel overly burdened.
Following the Level-10 methodology has worked wonders for our team. Be sure to watch the video and start creating yours.