Bad meetings leave team members disengaged with the company vision, wasting everyone’s time in the process.

Getting adult professionals to adjust their behaviors is no small task. The Successful Meetings Quickstart Program by Lucid Meetings is a great way to get your team more involved.

In episode 117 of the Meeting Leadership Podcast, we invite Elise Keith of Lucid meetings to expand on the value of her Successful Meeting Quickstart Program.

Elise Keith

Elise Keith - Meeting Leadership Podcast - Effective Meetings

J. Elise Keith is the founder and CEO of Lucid Meetings, the author of Where the Action Is: The Meetings That Make or Break Your Organization, and regular contributor for Inc. and other publications. Lucid Meetings provides services, software, and resources that help thousands of organizations worldwide implement a system of successful meetings.

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00:00 – Show Opening

Gordon Sheppard: Do you want a sustainable and accountable way to actually improve your meetings? Then you’re going to get a lot out of today’s episode on the Meeting Leadership Podcast because today we’ve got Elise Keith from Lucid Meetings and she’s going to talk about the Successful Meetings Quickstart program.

00:43 – Podcast content starts here!

Gordon Sheppard: 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.

01:03 – For professionals who are tired of bad meetings

Gordon Sheppard: Welcome to another episode of the Meeting Leadership Podcast. My name is Gordon Sheppard. I want to say thank you for being here. Thank you for being the type of professional who’s looking for another tip, another strategy, something they can take out and take action with today to make their meetings better and grow their leadership skills. Honestly, it’s really good to have you here. Today’s episode is for those leaders, those professionals who are just tired of bad meetings. You’re looking for a better way, a sustainable way, not a quick one hit wonder, something that you’re going to actually be able to do over time to make real change in your organization. Not only to make your meetings better, but really to change the culture. Which leads me to proudly introducing the topic for today’s episode, which is How The Successful Meetings Quickstart Program Can Help You Grow. Thankfully, to help us learn about it, we’ve got expert Elise Keith from Lucid Meetings.

01:23 – Welcome back, Elise Keith! – MLP 110 

Gordon Sheppard: Now, many of you might remember her from episode 110 on the Meeting Leadership Podcast where she explained how Lucid provides a systematic approach for highly effective meetings. You can actually get that episode by going to meetingleadershipinc dot com forward slash 110. For those of you who haven’t had the good fortune of meeting her just yet … and you’re going to in just a moment … Elise Keith is the founder and CEO of Lucid Meetings. She’s also the author of Where The Action Is: The Meetings That Make or Break Your Organization. She’s also a regular contributor for ink dot com and other publications. Really, she’s going about it in the right way. She has a substantial body of work over more than a decade where she’s been helping literally thousands of organizations to not only improve, but to change their cultures for the better. With that in mind, I’m not going to make you wait any longer. Here’s the great interview with Elise Keith. Elise, welcome back to the show.

02:32 – Interview start    

Elise Keith: It’s great to be here. Thank you.

Gordon Sheppard: It’s just great to have you here again. Back on episode 110 we learned about why you started Lucid Meetings, and all of the substantial work that you’ve done in terms of gaining information, gaining experience, and now meeting the market where it needs to get met in terms of really helping them not only to improve their meetings, but improve their overall culture. So I’m thrilled to have you back. One thing, though, I want to mention is that a lot of people listening to this specific episode haven’t heard you before on the podcast. So when you go to introduce yourself, what do you tell people?

02:58 – Elise’s self-introduction

Elise Keith: I say, “Hello, I’m Elise. I’m the founder and CEO of Lucid Meetings, where it’s our mission to make it easy for teams to run successful meetings every day.”

03:28 – The origin of the Successful Meetings Quickstart Program

Gordon Sheppard: I can attest to the fact that you are knocking it out of the park every day, day after day. Here’s what we’re here to talk about today. It’s a specific aspect of what you’re doing, because there’s so much to talk about in your work, but we’re going to talk today about how the Successful Meetings Quickstart program can help you grow. Now, where does this program … where was it born out of, and again, how does it help people move along?

Elise Keith: It’s the funniest thing. One of the challenges you have when you’re trying to help more teams run successful meetings is that oftentimes the leadership doesn’t really experience the problem in the same way that everybody else in the company does. So they will think that their meetings are probably just fine. It’s a well documented phenomenon from the research that says that there’s this blind spot that our leaders have. I will include myself in this for sure because I know I think I’m better than I am, that where we don’t believe that our meetings actually need fixing. But you will do your customer … your employee engagement surveys, you’ll talk to folks, and at some point leaders have enough people complaining that they’re in back to back meetings that are wasting their time and they’re losing employees and they’re losing productivity, that they’ll seek help. Often what they’ll do is they’ll reach out and they’ll say, “Can you just come in for a day and do a workshop with my team so that I can show them that I’ve done something about this meetings problem?”

Gordon Sheppard: They’re checking a box. They’re doing that C-suite stuff. Oh my goodness. That goes on and on.

04:52 – A valuable tool for facilitators and consultants 

Elise Keith: Exactly. It’s super, super common and there’s a whole world full of opportunities for consultants, them folks, to fill that spot. Certainly we get that inquiry as well. we looked at that and we said, “Okay, if you have problematic meetings, if people are really suffering like this, this isn’t a one and done kind of activity. This is culture change. This is, if you want to fix your meetings, you’re going to fundamentally change how you work as a company.” But from this thinking point, everybody wants to start with a day. So the Quickstart program does in fact start with a day. It’s a one-day workshop to begin with and we work with the team to look at what’s actually happening in their meetings. That by itself turns out to be revolutionary for people when they put them in a spreadsheet and look at the numbers and the dates and they go, “Oh, gosh.”

Gordon Sheppard: I can tell you that I died a slow death when I worked in the corporate world. It was the weekly updates meetings that were unorganized, not led by anybody who cared, and so many wasted, wasted hours. And the possibility that you were out there and you could have brought this to us at that time, would have been so great, and now you’re actually doing it for people. So that’s good.

05:55 – Examining the real context and data of meetings

Elise Keith: Yeah. So that looking, that taking an actual look at the real context and the real data, is the first step in that workshop. Then throughout the course of the day, the team works together to identify how they would like to change how they meet going forward. So they set up some provisional guidelines or norms, and then they look at specifically how they might restructure their meetings as a business process so that they don’t need to have these, all those ad hoc conversations that find their way onto the calendar.

06:40 – How the Quickstart Program gets results

Gordon Sheppard: But cat videos are so important and I just really need to know what you’re doing on the weekend. Are you telling me that you’ve got the way to get those conversations out of there for another time?

Elise Keith: They are, but it’s certainly not something that you achieve in that first day. The Quickstart program sets up things in that first day workshop that the team then designs and commits to running as an experiment. Right? So they come out with explicit actions they’re going to take, and a cadence or a check-in period where they’re going to then work on and test whether or not those ideas they have about better meetings are actually working. One of the keys to a behavioral change like this is that a) you have a place to practice it and that b) you’re reflecting and keeping the conversation alive long enough for it to work.

That first day, we tell a lot of stories. We talk about what works in different kinds of companies, so people have a vision of what that success looks like. Then following their workshop, they spend three months in taking online courses about basic meeting skills that we have in our online meeting school, and then meeting with experts from my team to talk about what’s working, to get tips on specific techniques they might try, and then practice their skills in a safe, risk-free supported environment.

07:46 – Getting the behavioral change to occur

Gordon Sheppard: Boy, this is a long way from that senior leader calling you and saying, “Come on in for a half day and we’ll get this thing done,” and wipe your hands of it and go forward. This sounds like a really responsible approach that’s actually going to get behavior change to occur.

Elise Keith: That’s certainly what we aim to do and it’s absolutely the goal. Because if you just do that one day, it can spark inspiration but you have to be able to quickly build on that inspiration with accountability. The program is designed to create both support and accountability for taking that inspiration and putting it into practice, in a way that’s pretty cost effective in terms of their time. So even though it’s a three-month program, nobody spends more than 10 hours a month in program work. And that’s if they’re doing every single thing, like watching all the videos slowly and attending every conversation. So it’s a really efficient way to then revamp something that’s usually costing them, if there’s a large enough company, billions of dollars a month in wasted time.

08:48 – The program’s effect on Meeting Return on Investment (MROI)

Gordon Sheppard: Totally, and one of the things I’ll mention is a little acronym for me, is the MROI. It sounds like the meeting return on investment that you’ll be given for those 10 hours a month is almost immeasurable, in terms of how much it would improve all the things that you’ve been saying before about retention and satisfaction. And then the ability to be more effective in delivering their products and services. What a great approach.

Elise Keith: It’s pretty powerful. We have people walk out of that first workshop and come back at the first check in and say, “I’ve been running the same meeting for two years and it’s always been a pain, and I completely ditched how I was doing it and I changed it based on this one tip I learned in that workshop, and it was the most productive meeting we’ve ever had.”

09:47 – Learn about the Successful Meetings Quickstart Program –

Gordon Sheppard: I love it. That gives hope to people and I think that’s so much of, when spending time with you, this is what I’m getting over and over again. Wherever you’re having a touch point, you’re letting people know that things are possible, this change can be made, and then you’re bringing in a systemic way to actually make that occur. If people want to learn about the Successful Meetings Quickstart program, where can they get it?

Elise Keith: If you go to our website, lucidmeetings dot com, there’s a big box about the Quickstart right on the homepage.

Gordon Sheppard: I think people are going to really want to take advantage of this. You’ve explained it so eloquently and you can hear now, they’ll want to run down the rabbit hole and get the whole thing. Elise, thank you so much for being on the show and explaining this to us.

Elise Keith: Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to share.

10:35 – MLP 110: How Lucid Provides A Systematic Approach For Highly Effective Meetings With Elise Keith – 

Gordon Sheppard: It always feels great to do a substantive interview with an outstanding guest to learn about a program that isn’t sort of a one hit wonder, something that’s done over time to really make change that can drive an organization forward. I hope you go to lucidmeetings dot com and learn more about the Successful Meetings Quickstart program. If you enjoyed listening to this episode, then you’re going to get a lot out of episode 110 on the Meeting Leadership Podcast. It’s called How Lucid Provides a Systematic Approach for Highly Effective Meetings. Again Elise Keith is there to share all the good stuff, and you can get that one by going to meetingleadershipinc dot com forward slash 110. 

10:55 – MLP 125: Inspiring Leadership Stories with Elise Keith –

Gordon Sheppard: And then we are lucky enough to have Elise back on the show again on episode 125. It’s called Inspiring Leadership Stories and there, Elise is going to share just a blockbuster that I know any leader is going to get a lot from.

11:24 – Meeting Leadership Academy –

Gordon Sheppard: You’re going to get a lot of sort of feeling like this meeting change thing, this leadership change thing, this culture change thing, is really, really possible. So make sure you get that one as well, and you’ll get it by going to meetingleadershipinc dot com forward slash 125. 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, I am super proud of the live training options and the online training options that will help you build your leadership skills and learn how to run highly productive meetings. You can learn all about that by going to meetingleadershipinc dot com forward slash academy. As always, thank you so much for listening and we’ll see you tomorrow on the Meeting Leadership Podcast.

11:52 – 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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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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