Having-A-Title-Doesn’t-Mean-You-Know-How-To-Run-A-Meeting - Meeting Leadership Podcast Episode Image

Titles are imperative for establishing chain-of-command, but they don’t have as much effect on your ability to run meetings. 

MLP 046 explains the pitfalls of leveraging titles to manage a meeting instead of focusing on effectiveness. We’ll also provide helpful suggestions and some useful links on the subject (see the links section for details).  I’ll explain:

  • Several ways that you can become more self-aware as a meeting leader
  • Why you should avoid taking yourself too seriously
  • The value of constructive criticism
  • How a meeting mentor can help improve your meeting skills across the board

This episode is a solid platform to find other episodes that will improve your overall skill set as a meeting leader.

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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 – Podcast starts here!

Gordon Sheppard Speaking

Welcome to another episode of the Meeting Leadership podcast. My name is Gordon Sheppard, and I just want to say thanks. Thanks for being a professional who’s here listening to this show to pick up an extra practical tip, an extra skill or strategy that you can use to make your next meeting more effective, lead your teams at a higher level, have a bigger impact on your organization and ultimately serve your community, serve your clients and customers at the highest possible level. Thanks for being here.

00:55 – Having a title doesn’t qualify you as a meeting leader

And today we’re going to tackle a really important lesson, one I wish I’d learned earlier and you’re going to hear the painful story and thankfully good outcome that will help you avoid the mistakes that I made, because today we’re going to talk about how having a title doesn’t mean you know how to run a meeting. Because think about it. There are CEOs, presidents, the chief of surgery in the medical area, managers, project managers, supervisors, that list of titles, well it goes on and on. And how many of the people that you know, who have the titles that I just described, are actually effective at running meetings?

I’m going to tell you it is not all of them. In fact, I’d be surprised if it’s more than half, because so many of these people, they’re so busy moving up the food chain that often they don’t take a moment to actually learn how to run a meeting. So they might have some bad habits baked in and they’ve kind of moved forward, but they’re really not setting aside the time to learn how to do it. It has a really brutal impact on their teams. But they use their title to keep leveraging, keep moving forward. But overall their meeting productivity is poor.

02:05 – Leveraging titles can have long-term consequences

And one of the main reasons that I can say this, well it comes from my own experience. You see, there was quite a while ago, when I was working in a corporate setting and I was an employee who died to be a manager until I became a manager, but that’s for a therapist or something, I’m not sure. The reality was there was so many things that I thought, well, you know what? If I became the manager of this group of nine people, I’m going to do things differently. I’m going to be the one who really makes things efficient.

And one of the things that drove me nuts when I was an employee was the weekly staff updates meeting. You’ve heard me talk about this before on the show. That drove me crazy. Well now with my promotion, I had a shiny new title. And I worked in the TV business, so I was the manager of creative services and marketing. And I can tell you that was a title that went straight to my head. And when I walked in to run that first weekly staff updates meeting, guess long it was. It was nine minutes long. I thought, wow. I walked in there and I went, what are you doing, and what do you doing, and boom, boom, boom.

And I turned around. I walked out of that meeting. I patted myself on the back for running something that was so efficient and it wasn’t gonna waste time like it was before. And guess what happened? I lost the trust of that team for at least three months. The damage was done. It was done in nine minutes. It was brutal. I actually did not know how to run a meeting and I went to make a transition from sort of these 60 and 90 minute staff updates meetings to nine minutes. It was too fast. I was arrogant about the whole thing. I leveraged my title. All the mistakes that I hope you don’t make after you listen to this episode.

03:43 – Suggestion #1 – Become more self-aware

So what can you do to avoid being trapped in a title? And I can also say that there are many people that have a title, they don’t even want it, but they have to run the meetings. So what can you do if you’re in that situation to actually start to improve?

03:57 – Why leaders need to say less so they can learn more – meetingleadershipinc.com/19

Well, the first thing that I would recommend is that you want to start to become more self aware. Now of course, this is a long journey, and I’m going to recommend a few other podcast episodes from the show that you can actually listen to and you’ll get things that you can put into action right away. And the first episode that I want to recommend is episode 19, and it’s called why leaders need to say less so they can mean more. And that’s with guest expert Lauren Sergy. Now, Lauren did a great job on that episode. It’s a great place to pick up a few tips.

04:28 – Learn to use non-verbal communication – meetingleadershipinc.com/35

And I know that what’s going to happen is you’ll hear her in episode 19, and you’re going to want some more. So then you can go on to check out episode 35. And it’s titled how successful leaders win with nonverbal communication. And again, Lauren gives great tips in there that you can put to use right away.

04:43 – Make a great first impression – meetingleadershipinc.com/38

And another great episode from the show that can definitely help you to become more self aware is episode 38. It’s called how to make a great first impression in a meeting. And there you’re going to pick up some really solid techniques so that every time you walk in the room you’ll be able to really get people moving in the right direction immediately without even opening your mouth.

05:06 – Suggestion #2 – Don’t take yourself too seriously

Which leads me into the second suggestion that I’d like to make to help you deal with a title. And that is just don’t take yourself too seriously. I mean, you can hear the ego that I had soaked into that title that I was describing and I don’t know what would have happened. The reality is I actually got packed out. The TV business went sideways for me and I got packed out from that title. So I had the title and then it was gone. So my identity, that was so wrapped into it, it changed any way, and it made me really look back and realize these titles come, these titles go. But hopefully, if you’re focused on your team, that’s the best way to really leverage a title.

05:44 – Suggestion #3 – The value of constructive feedback

And my final suggestion is that you get feedback. I can’t tell you in my consulting work how many leaders I run into, I mean like business owner, executive director, president, they have put themselves in a state of isolation and they aren’t getting the feedback that they need to be effective leaders. So the more feedback that you can get and the faster you can get it, the more that you can improve and put yourself and your teams into the best possible positions.

06:10 – Improve your skills with a mentor – meetingleadershipinc.com/9

And one of the best ways that I can recommend for any leader to get feedback is to get a mentor. And if you don’t already have one, I can tell you right now, go out and get a one on one mentor for any aspect of your leadership that you want to tackle, because the right mentor, well they’re going to be honest and they’re not going to put up with any of your crap. So go out, get that done. Don’t fall apart when the first one doesn’t work out perfectly. Get on to the second one, the third one, but when you get the right one, lock it down. Get into that situation where I’m going to say like an hour a month, you’re in that bubble with your mentor and you’re getting the feedback that you need to take back into every leadership situation that you’re in.

And once you get a taste of the success that comes from one on one mentorship, then I recommend that you check out episode number nine on the meeting leadership podcast, and it’s called how a meeting mentor can improve your leadership skills. And in that episode you’re going to get a really good piece of wisdom about a rapid turnaround process that will get a meeting mentor into your life and it will help you and your team to improve the overall productivity of your meetings very, very quickly.

07:16 – Recap

And now, let me take a moment to recap what we’ve covered in this episode. Now we started out with the basic idea that having a title doesn’t mean you know how to run a meeting. And the first suggestion that I have for helping you to deal with this is to become more self aware. And the second suggestion that I made was to not take yourself too seriously. And finally, I really recommend that you get some feedback because every leader needs feedback to grow.

07:43 – Meeting Leadership Academy – https://meetingleadershipinc.com/academy

And I also want to let you know that this episode of the Meeting Leadership podcast is brought to you by the Meeting Leadership Academy. Now, if you want great live and online training options for you and your team to learn how to have highly productive meetings, how to become better leaders, then check out meetingleadershipinc.com/academy.

And for everybody who’s enjoying the show, please take a moment to hit the subscribe button on your favorite podcast app and maybe leave a rating and review because that’s the kind of information that we’re using to make better content every day.

And as always, thank you so much for listening and we’ll see you tomorrow on the Meeting Leadership podcast.

08:22 – 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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