3-Ground-Rules-For-Great-Meetings - Meeting Leadership Podcast Episode Image

Are you a leader who wants to build more trust and accountability with their team?

In MLP #012 you’ll learn ‘3 Ground Rules For Great Meetings’ that you can apply right away to do this including:

  • How to agree about what to do with cell phones
  • How to fight so you can really get along and more

You’ll also get an outstanding suggestion about how to ensure that you follow your ground rules in every meeting that you lead.

So listen in and take action today!

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Show Highlights

(:00) Show Opening

(:27) Skip intro Podcast content starts here!

(:45) 3 Ground Rules  Getting started

(1:22) Ground Rule #1  Cell phones

(1:57) Ground Rule #2 One person speaks at a time if there is a fight

(2:20) Ground Rule #3 Make fights about the issue and not about the person

(3:07) Ground Rules Why you shouldn’t have too many ground rules

(3:31) Shared Agenda Why you should put your ground rules into a shared agenda

(4:07) MLP #011 How Coach Carter Inspires Leaders To Be Accountable (another great accountability episode)

(4:31) Meeting Leadership Academy – https://meetingleadershipinc.com/academy

(4:55) Shout Out! Darren Crawford

(5:42) Podcast Outro 

Click Here To Read The Show Transcript


00:00 – Show Opening

 Are you a professional who wants to become a more effective leader? Then get ready for daily tips from the coach, with the experience and inspiration to help you succeed in any leadership situation. You’re listening to the Meeting Leadership Podcast with Gordon Sheppard.

00:27 – Start Here – Podcast content starts here!

Gordon Sheppard Speaking

Welcome to another episode of the Meeting Leadership Podcast. My name is Gordon Shepperd and I’m really pleased to be able to bring you some more practical tips to help you build your leadership skills in this episode. Because, in this episode, we’re going to talk about three ground rules for great meetings. 

0:45 – 3 Ground Rules – Getting started

Now, when I say ground rules, here’s what I mean. This is sort of the things we say out loud in front of each other that are going to determine how we act when we are together. I mean, so often we save this type of declaration for weddings and funerals, and what I’m suggesting is that really what you want to do at the beginning of your next meeting is just take a minute and write the words ground rules up on the board, put it on the agenda, put it somewhere, and then ask some simple questions. Then with your team, together, you can establish what the ground rules or what your behavior is going to be for the meeting that you are in.

1:22 – Ground Rule #1 – Cell phones

Now, the first question I always like to ask is, what do you want to do with cell phones? I ask it in every meeting that I’m in, because it’s an easy icebreaker. It’s one of those ones that makes half the room go, “We’re going to shut them off,” and the other half of the room goes, “Well, no, I can’t let it go, I might need to be in touch with my family,” or whatever. It doesn’t matter to me what you decide except that you actually decide for the specific meeting that you’re in, what you’re going to do with cell phones. It’ll lead to that type of discussion. You’ll see the types of people that are in the room and once you determine that, you can actually put that on your ground rules. 

1:57 – Ground Rule #2 – One person speaks at a time if there is a fight

Now, another question I like to ask when it comes to ground rules is, in this meeting, what’s going to happen if there is a fight? Now, I say fight, you can say passionate disagreement, whatever thing you need to say, but here are a couple of recommended ground rules that I always throw out that you can throw into yours to get yours started.  If there’s a fight, one person speaks. Everything stops and one person speaks. 

2:20 – Ground Rule #3 – Make fights about the issue and not about the person

The second piece I’ll put in there is I’ll say, “And, we’re going to make this disagreement about the issue and not about the person.” Now, when I say those two things out loud, it’s pretty powerful, because immediately it sets boundaries that create trust, because people now know they can disagree. They know they can disagree productively, and they know that it’s not going to be personal. They know it’s going to be professional when we actually get to it, because really you want passionate disagreement in a meeting, and if this boundary is there, it’s going to allow for that to occur. Those are the first three that I put into the ground rules for every meeting that I’m in. What are we agreeing to do about the cell phones? If there’s a fight, we’re going to stop everything, we’re going to make sure that one person speaks and it’s about the issue, not about the person.

3:07 – Ground Rules – Why you shouldn’t have too many ground rules 

Now, from a ground rules perspective, my recommendation is that you might add a couple more that are specific to the types of meetings that you’re having, and specific really to the type of team that you have as well, but if it starts to get up past sort of six or seven, I think you’re getting into writing an HR textbook and that’s not really the point. The point is to have some simple rules, we all understand them and once those are ingrained, then you can move on to adding more to the list.

3:31 – Shared Agenda – Why you should put your ground rules into a shared agenda

Once you’ve established the ground rules for you and your team, I can’t recommend highly enough that you put them into a shared agenda. Now, this is an agenda that sits on a common drive, like a Google drive or a SharePoint drive, everybody has access to it, and on an ongoing basis, we’re simply updating the agenda. We’re not creating a new agenda and then saving it to a Word doc and putting it on someone’s hard drive, it’s actually going into a living, breathing space. Everybody can get in there. Everybody can see. It’s a great way to consistently communicate to your team, especially from a ground rules perspective.

04:07 – MLP #011 – How Coach Carter Inspires Leaders To Be Accountable (another great accountability episode)

If you like the idea of establishing ground rules in meetings, you may also want to check out another episode I did about accountability in meetings. You’ll find that when you go to Meeting Leadership Podcast, episode 11, how coach Carter inspires leaders to be accountable. If you want the link, it’s meetingleadershipinc.com/011, that’s meetingleadershipinc.com/011.

04:31 – Meeting Leadership Academy – https://meetingleadershipinc.com/academy

I also want to let you know that this episode of the Meeting Leadership Podcast is brought to you by the Meeting Leadership Academy. For great live training, online training and all kinds of other options, including a book I wrote called, the Meeting Leadership Solution, which does have a 10-step system to help you have highly effective meetings, visit meetingleadershipinc.com/academy to learn more.

4:55 – Shout Out! – Darren Crawford

As always, I am so thankful for the people who take the time to send feedback about the work that I do. Here’s a comment from a gentleman named Darren Crawford who attended one of my live workshops. He said, “I enjoyed Gord’s truth about healthcare meetings presentation, and I took away several nuggets that I can implement into my meeting structure to create some quick wins in facilitating efficient and effective meetings. “I also appreciated Gord’s knowledge from an outside-of-healthcare view and the group participation to enlist rich ideas from allied professionals.” Thanks so much Darren. I really enjoyed teaching you and the rest of the folks in that workshop, the level of participation was through the roof. And thanks to you for listening and we’ll see you tomorrow on another episode of the Meeting Leadership Podcast.

5:42 – Podcast Outro

Thanks for listening to the Meeting Leadership Podcast. Be sure to subscribe for more strategies to help you become an outstanding leader and don’t forget to rate and review, so we can bring you fresh content every day. We’ll see you tomorrow, right here on the Meeting Leadership Podcast.

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Connect With Gordon Sheppard

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Gordon Sheppard

Gord is on a mission to change the world, one meeting at a time. Over his 25+ years in business Gord has run or participated in more than 2000 meetings! Not only is Gord the CEO of Business Expert Solutions Inc. (owner/operator of Meeting Leadership Inc), but he is also a Facilitator, Trainer, Business Consultant, Author, Speaker and Podcaster who helps leaders learn how to have great meetings, so they can build outstanding organizations and serve their clients at the highest possible level.

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