How-To-Select-The-Right-People-For-A-Team-Meeting - Meeting Leadership Podcast Episode Image

Well-planned exercises, thorough agendas, or inspirational speeches matter most when the right people are in the room to absorb them.

Selecting the wrong people for a meeting is a double-edged sword. 

One one hand, meeting productivity depends on the expertise and strengths of those in the room; on the other, a wasted meeting is counterproductive and lowers morale. 

In MLP 048, we explain why meetings should be attended by the right people. We break down the Meeting Team Traits Inventory system, a great way to identify the skill set of your team and apply those skills to solving problems.  

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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. And if you’re the type of professional who believes that great meetings start with you, and you know that in order to have a great meeting, you need to become a great meeting leader and you’re looking somewhere for the practical skills, the tips and the strategies that you need to do just that, you are definitely in the right place.

00:48 – Why are we in this meeting?

And when you hear that title, don’t you know exactly what I’m talking about? Let me give you an example. I was doing some training with a group of probably 40 government bureaucrats. And here’s the question that I asked them: Have you ever been in a meeting and you didn’t know why you were there? Please put up your hand. Well guess what happened? 95% or 150%, I can’t remember, of all the hands went up in the air. It was absolutely shocking, but it was absolutely the truth.

01:16 – The Meeting Team Traits Inventory

So often, we are being brought into meetings; we’re not contributing. And so as a meeting leader, you have a real opportunity to take a moment before the meeting occurs to make sure that you gather the right people. And today I’m going to introduce you to sort of a tool that you can use to think about how to do this. And the tool that I’m going to introduce you to is called the Meeting Team Traits Inventory. Now when you’re building a Meeting Team Traits Inventory, you’re going to identify the overall skillset of your entire team. Now, the way to do this is to get started by listing the attributes of each person on your team. Then you’ll get a snapshot. Now, this snapshot is going to allow you to see what skills you have available and then it’s going to help you figure out which other ones you need to be able to solve a specific problem at your next meeting.

02:05 – How to identify the available team traits for a meeting

And to help you understand this, let me break it down with an example. Now, the first thing you want to do is describe the meeting. Right? So in this case, we’re going to say you’ve got a corporate executive team and they want to do an innovation discovery meeting. And the next thing that you want to do is identify a goal for the meeting. Now in our example, we’re going to say the goal of this meeting is to identify new products and services that will lead to new revenue streams. And in the next step, well, this is where the rubber really hits the road. Because in this step, you’re going to identify the available team traits for this meeting. And when we take a look at our example, we can say that in this corporate team, there are a few strong leaders, some overly quiet people, some negative people, and some people who are just a bit too literal.

02:52 – Decide which additional team traits are needed to meet objectives

And after you do that little bit of honest self reflection, then you need to figure out the additional team traits that you need to get for this meeting to solve the problem. And in our example, because we know that we really want to have a blockbuster innovation meeting, we know that we’re going to need some people who challenge ideas. We know we’re going to need innovative thinkers, we know we’re definitely going to need people who are not afraid to speak their minds. And for sure, we are going to need people who follow up and take action. And now that we’ve described the meeting, set out a goal, understand what the traits are with the people that we already have on our team, and we know kind of the traits that we want to bring into the meeting to make this innovation meeting even better, then we can move on to making a few key observations.

03:39 – Putting team traits into action

For example, you could say because of the current combined attributes of this executive team, it’s going to be difficult to have a productive innovation discussion. And then you have to ask yourself, what can we do to make this innovation meeting a success? What are the action items? Well, in our example, you could bring in an industry expert who has innovation experience. You could also coach the quiet executives to help them kind of learn how to speak up and share their best recommendations during the innovation meeting. And finally, you could really light a fire when it comes to accountability after the meeting. Because think about it, if you’re going to bring in an expert and you’re going to spend all this time coming up with new products and new services to drive revenue, you really want to make sure that things get done when the meeting is over.

And that is just one example of how you can put a Meeting Team Traits Inventory into action. But of course, you could use it for anything else, like a weekly staff meeting, board meetings, executive meetings, whatever you’re doing, whatever your needs are, take advantage of making sure that you’ve got the right people in the room. And after going through that example, I think you can agree that a Meeting Team Traits Inventory can be a really valuable tool when it comes to selecting the right people for a team meeting.

04:55 – Episode recap

And let me take a moment to recap some of the key points that we’ve covered in this episode. We know that you can’t afford to have the wrong people in the room. And when you’re dealing with the people that you already have, you want to be able to coach them and encourage them and you also want to be able to honestly acknowledge whether or not they have the right skill sets to solve the problems that you’re trying to solve in a meeting.

And when you can deal with this, honestly, when you can visit it with a real measurable kind of tool like the Meeting Team Traits Inventory, there’s a good chance that that meeting that you’re going to have is going to be highly productive and highly profitable.

05:28 – Meeting Leadership 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’re looking for great live training options, great online training options, and really kind of the inspiration that you and your team need to make your meetings more productive and to help you take your leadership skills to the next level, then visit

And as always, I want to say thank you so much for listening, and we’ll see you tomorrow on the Meeting Leadership Podcast.

05:58 – 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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