The world’s best ideas may start in a single mind, but they are almost always executed through teams.
We sometimes avoid seeking help for arbitrary reasons like pride and the need for control. These traits usually do more harm than good, and it’s not different with meetings.
In episode 125 of the Meeting Leadership Podcast, we cover the reasons why a second set of eyes on your agenda is the way to go.
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00:00 – Show Opening
As a meeting leader, do you actually enjoy preparing the agenda? And when you send it out, does anybody actually read it? Is it exciting? Is it something that people actually want to get into? Well, today on the show, we’re going to give you a technique that’s going to take your agendas up a notch and actually make them really worth reading, really, really valuable, and they’re going to help you to become a better meeting leader.
Are you a professional who wants to become a more effective leader? Then get ready for practical 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.
00:48 – Podcast content starts here!
Welcome to another episode of the Meeting Leadership Podcast. I’m Gord Sheppard and I just want to say thank you so much for being here. Thanks for taking time out of your valuable day to spend time here picking up another leadership skill, another tip, another strategy, because you know the value of a good meeting. And you know that if you want to be a strong leader, you have to know how to run a great meeting to inspire your team and get more things done, and you’re coming to this podcast to get the tips, the tricks to do just that. It is really, really good to have you here.
01:20 – How to make meeting agendas better
And today on the show we are talking meeting agendas, as in how to make them better, as in a specific way to do just that. Because the title of today’s show is How an Agenda Editor Can Help You Lead More Effective Meetings. And if some of you are scratching your head right now and you’re saying, “Gord, an agenda editor, what are you talking about?” Well, let me ask you this question: what is your favorite Hollywood movie? And as you think about that, let me tell you a couple of mine and it’ll actually locate my age and stage. Now as a kid, I loved the movie Rocky. I thought it was a great film. It’s one of those things that really kind of inspired me at the time. Sylvester Stallone was young enough that we didn’t know sort of everything that was going on in his world.
01:36 – Even great scripts need revisions
But why did I like Rocky? Because it had a great script, and actually the marketing was there because it was movie of the year and this kind of thing and people really told us about it. Well, if you can take that premise, that every Hollywood movie has a great screenwriter to write the script, and you can imagine that every one of your meetings has a great agenda writer, then we can also borrow the editor concept from Hollywood because every one of those scripts has to be read and re-read by multiple people. And if you’re lucky, you’ve got a great editor to actually go through the scripts that are being written.
02:53 – Reason 1: Editors will think of things you didn’t
But one of the big mistakes that many meeting leaders make is that they actually create the agenda by themselves. They don’t ask for help. And with that in mind, I want to mention five really strong reasons to actually reach out to one of your colleagues to vet that agenda before you send it out to your team. And the first reason is simply this: your colleagues are going to help you to think about things that you did not. Take a moment to think about the power of two minds in that situation as opposed to just one. When your colleague is kind of bouncing back those ideas to you and you’re then able to absorb them, you’ll know if they’re actually relevant for this meeting or if there’s some things going into the meeting, say about specific projects or that kind of thing, that you really should be doing more of.
03:21 – Reason 2: Editors help you overcome unconscious bias
It’s a real, real advantage. And another really important thing that your colleague will do for you is they’re going to help you overcome your own unconscious bias. And unconscious bias are those things that we do that are based on kind of the ways we think about things and the ways that we were brought up, that we’re just doing and we don’t really realize it. And let me give you a really clear example for somebody that’s actually preparing for a meeting. Now, let’s say you’re designating time to your team of employees, but there’s actually a favorite that you’ve got in the team. Now maybe, sort of unconsciously, you’re kind of giving more air time to that favorite that you’ve got on your team, and the loss from that is that the rest of your team is really kind of feeling left out.
04:20 – Reason 3: Editors cut agendas down to essentials
And of course, one of the best ways to avoid this is by showing the agenda that you’re preparing for the meeting to your colleague, and your colleague could actually point that out. And not only would that make the meeting run a lot more smoothly, it would help you to grow as a leader and learn even more about yourself. And the third reason that I really believe in having an agenda editor is that they are going to help you cut that agenda down to its essentials. I mean, there’s so many complaints about meetings running over time. We’re talking about things that really we shouldn’t be talking about in that specific meeting. Things get social or whatever it is.
04:48 – Reason 4: Editors eliminate typos and spelling mistakes
The agenda editor is going to be able to look at your agenda and really then very quickly say, “Wait a minute, should we be talking about this or should we talk about it another time?” And the fourth reason, well it is pretty basic but it is really, really important because an agenda editor is going to make sure that there are no spelling mistakes. Do you know when we watched a movie or a TV series and we see one of those continuity errors, like there was that time in Game of Thrones when there was someone who left a Starbucks coffee cup on the set during this time when we’re supposed to be way back in some distant fantasy place. Well, as we all well know, spelling mistakes on an agenda are a disaster because there’s going to be just somebody on the meeting team that’s going to spend time talking about that as opposed to the important issues that you really need to get at.
05:28 – Reason 5: Editors help you promote the agenda
So, the agenda editor can help you really avoid this problem. And the final advantage to having an agenda editor is the fact that they can actually help you to promote it. So like a great Hollywood movie, you really want to be able to get the word out about the good things that are on that agenda so people can get excited about the meeting and the agenda editor is going to be someone who can go along with it and tell even more people. It’s got a multiplier effect when it comes to telling a good story.
And now let me take a moment to summarize how an agenda editor can help you lead more effective meetings. Number one, they’re going to help you think of things that you did not. Number two, they’re going to help you overcome your own unconscious bias. Number three, they’re going to help you really cut the agenda down to its essentials. And number four, they’re going to help you avoid spelling mistakes. And finally, number five, they’re going to help you market the agenda and help to get people really excited about the good things you’re going to be doing in your next meeting.
06:25 – MLP 71: How To Create An Effective Team Meeting Agenda – https://meetingleadershipinc.com/71
And if you’d like to go even deeper and learn more about effective agenda preparation, then check out episode 71 on the Meeting Leadership Podcast. Now, it is the first part of a five part series and it’s titled How to Create an Effective Team Meeting Agenda. I think you’re really going to enjoy it and you can get that episode by going to meetingleadershipinc.com/71.
06:49 – MLP 130: Why Leaders Need To Be Aware of Unconscious Bias – https://meetingleadershipinc.com/130
And for any of you who want to learn more about unconscious bias, then check out episode 130 on the Meeting Leadership Podcast. It’s called Why Leaders Need to be Aware of Unconscious Bias, and that’s with Leo Wong from MacEwan University. It’s a really insightful episode. It’s one of those leadership things that if you get a handle on it, it’s going to really help you kind of get away from your blind spots. And you can get that episode by going to meetingleadershipinc.com/130.
07:17 – 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 there you’re going to find some really solid live training options for you and your team. I’ve taken that training out to senior leaders that are doctors, engineers, bureaucrats, university administrators, and a whole lot more. And I think if you’re looking for that type of immersion, where you can get a real jumpstart on making your meetings better, you’re going to find out all about that by going to meetingleadershipinc.com/academy.
And if you haven’t done it yet, take a moment to hit the subscribe button on your favorite podcast app. That’ll really support the show, it’ll really help us to pump out more great content here at the Meeting Leadership Podcast, and if you do want to take a moment to leave a rating and review, we would really, really appreciate it. And as always, thank you so much for listening and we’ll see you next time on the Meeting Leadership Podcast.
08:10 – 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 even more great content. We’ll see you next time, right here on the Meeting Leadership Podcast.
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