How-A-Meeting-Mentor-Can-Improve-Your-Leadership-Skills - Meeting Leadership Podcast Episode Image

If you’re a Professional who knows they need to improve their facilitation skills, then you’re going to get a lot out of episode #009 of the Meeting Leadership Podcast.

What You’ll Learn

In MLP #009 you’ll learn:

  • What a Meeting Mentor is
  • How to find a Meeting Mentor and set them up for success
  • How a Meeting Mentor can help you to immediately learn how to run highly effective meetings and more

Attention Professionals Who Have Just Been Promoted!

This episode is especially relevant for Professionals who have just gotten a promotion:

  • They went from having no direct reports to having to lead a small team
  • They know they need to develop their facilitation skills rapidly
  • They are open to mentorship

Enjoy learning this important capacity building concept!

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Show Highlights

(:00) Show Opening

(:27) Skip intro Podcast content starts here!

(:44) Meeting leadership challenges  If you lead meetings you’ve probably run into this

(1:15) Gord’s new manager story  Don’t do what I did when I started managing meetings! 

(2:56) Meeting Mentorship Step 1

(3:44) Meeting Mentorship Step 2

(4:50) Meeting Mentors build capacity You can’t have enough Meeting Mentors

(5:16) Meeting Leadership Academy

(5:36) Shout Out! Alnoor Damji

(6:11) 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!

Welcome to another episode of the Meeting Leadership Podcast where we give you the practical tips and the strategies you need to become an outstanding leader. Now in this episode, it is a blockbuster because today we’re going to talk about how a meeting mentor can improve your leadership skills. 

0:44 – Meeting leadership challenges – If you lead meetings you’ve probably run into this

And let me take a moment to put this into context. Now, maybe right now you’re actually out there, you’re leading meetings and they’re not quite going the way you want them to and you know you could use a little bit of help. Or maybe somebody in your organization has just changed titles. They’ve gone from employee to manager, they’ve gone from manager to director, and now they have to lead meetings in a really effective way, but they don’t quite have the chops to do that. And I have to take a moment here to be honest and share a story of my own.

1:15 – Gord’s new manager story –  Don’t do what I did when I started managing meetings! 

Now there was a time when I worked for a large organization and I was an employee who just died to be a manager. I just oh so wanted to be a manager until I became a manager. But that might be an issue for the psychiatrist or another episode, but not right now. Here’s the thing, when I was an employee, we used to have a weekly staff updates meeting. Can I get a shout out for that? Drove me crazy. But maybe it was just me, because it would last for, I don’t know, an hour, or an hour and a half. Well now I was the manager of that weekly staff updates meeting and here’s how I ran the first one. I walked in and I made that meeting last for nine minutes. People were stunned. I was like, “What are you doing?” And boom. “And what are you doing?” And boom.

And then I walked out of that meeting, I patted myself on the back and I said, “Wow, wasn’t that great. I just shaved so much time off their day and they can get back to work and they’re just going to really appreciate it.” And from that nine minutes, I lost their trust for at least three months. I had to do so much bridge-building. I didn’t know how to run a meeting. I didn’t know that that change would be too radical and I didn’t have the self awareness to hold myself back from my whatever, power-hungry, title change stuff that is just… It made it awful. If I had had a meeting mentor, somebody to guide me through those early days of running those meetings, it would have gone a lot better. So I hope that today you can avoid what I did. Avoid that kind of trap and really use what you learn in the podcast today to improve your meetings immediately.

2:56 – Meeting Mentorship – Step 1 

And here’s how I like to describe the meeting mentorship process. Now the first thing that you’re going to do is you’re going to find somebody within your organization who’s really good at running meetings. You’re going to go to them and you’re going to say, “Hey, would you like to be a meeting mentor?” Now, after they run away screaming, you’ll pull them back gently and you’ll say, “No, no, no. I know you’re busy. It’s a two-step process. It’s pretty simple.” You’re going to be available for two meetings. Now in the first meeting, what you’re going to do is you’re going to go in and you’re going to observe the new meeting facilitator at work, right? You sit in the meeting, observe them leading the meeting, take notes, and then you’ll go for coffee afterwards with that meeting facilitator and give them your feedback. Now immediately, we know that that facilitator’s going to improve because they’re going to get this feedback and they’ll go into their next meeting and they’ll be better right away.

3:44 – Meeting Mentorship – Step 2

Now, here’s the second step. In the second meeting, the meeting mentor runs the meeting. And when this happens, two significant things occur. Now, the first thing is the facilitator who’s learning gets to watch a strong meeting leader in action, right? You get to see all the nuances of what they’re doing and how they’re managing the room and making the flow go and all that kind of thing. So immediately your bag of tricks, it increases exponentially. And the second thing that happens comes from feedback that I get when I get brought in to professionally facilitate meetings from senior leaders. They say this to me, they say, “Gord, wow, that was great to have you run the meeting.” Because I never get to watch my team. This is a gift to yourself if you are currently running meetings. You want to be the one occasionally to sit to the side, not be at the front, bring somebody else in, whether it’s the meeting mentor. Or maybe you want to do something like rotate the chair, have other people in the meeting lead.

Give yourself that chance once in a while to get off to the side, you will see your team in a different way, it will enrich the experience and you’ll become a stronger leader for doing just that. 

4:50 – Meeting Mentors build capacity – You can’t have enough Meeting Mentors

And there you have it. The meeting mentorship process. I think it’s a game changer. I think organizationally, if you had one, you had two, you would then be building up meeting leadership capacity all over the place. Think about how this could actually impact your community, right? You’ve got the association level, you’ve got volunteers in different settings, they’re running meetings, they’re not sort of going well. What if they could reach out to somebody who could come in for two meetings and make things better right away? 

5:16 – Meeting Leadership Academy –

And while you take a moment to think about that, I also want to let you know that this episode of the Meeting Leadership Podcast is brought to you by the Meeting Leadership Academy. If you want to get training to become a more effective leader, an effective leader who learns how to run outstanding meetings, then visit to learn more. 

5:36 – Shout Out! – Alnoor Damji

And I just want to say thank you so much for the people who are listening to the show, supporting the show and taking the time to leave comments. Here’s one that came in from Al Noor [Damji] He says, “Brilliant content. A must for all organizations, local and international. Thanks for sharing the link with me, Gordon.” Al Noor, thanks for your feedback and thanks to everybody that’s listened today. I hope you’re able to take that meeting mentorship concept, put it into action right away, and get another win in your next meeting and grow as a leader. And we’ll see you tomorrow on the Meeting Leadership Podcast.

06:11 – 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. (singing)

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Connect With Gordon Sheppard

Gordon Sheppard

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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