If you’re headed into a fresh new fall semester, you’re also headed into a new semester of meetings. Your calendar is likely filling with meetings for committees, your department, a task force, people who report to you, or a cross-functional team. But around the country we are feeling meeting malaise: statistics show that in the US, “65% of employees agree that meetings prevent them from completing their own work, and 45% of employees feel overwhelmed by the number of meetings they attend.” Although the US alone hosts approximately “55 million meetings […] every single week [….] 71% of the meetings are considered unproductive” by attendees.
This episode is dedicated to dissecting typical organizational meetings and reframing them using Priya Parker’s principles for meaningful gatherings. I offer four steps you can take to redesign your meetings for purposeful human connection. I want you to be the person on your campus who runs meetings people actually enjoy attending, and I want you and your colleagues to experience the closer relationships that result.
Here’s the episode at a glance:
>> 0:25. Welcome to Episode 14. What’s so lucky about #14, you wonder? I’m glad you asked!
>> 02:15. How my low-key obsession with great meetings started, how the pandemic killed my patience for mediocre meetings, and how Priya Parker’s book The Art of Gathering has rescued me. It can rescue you too!
>> 07:40. What work meetings traditionally look like, and the shocking statistics that show how useless and wasteful they truly are. Spoiler: in the US we waste approximately $37 billion on purposeless meetings.
>> 09:31. If you search “how to run a meeting” you’ll get 1.5 billion hits. (At least, I did.) But the advice can most generally be reduced to these five steps…which will help you run a meeting, but won’t bring any joy or meaning to the meeting.
>> 13:02. If we think like Priya Parker, our meetings can become gatherings. (Well, at least some of them can.) She also lists five steps to create a meaningful gathering. They’re a little more intensive than the basic five steps to running a meeting, but we’re not into basic, are we? 😉
>> 18:08. My challenge for you to get your meetings off to a great start this semester: Use these four steps to re-energize your meetings for meaning and purpose: (1) Commit to a purpose. (2) Collaborate with your colleagues. (3) Establish etiquette. (4) Set up for a strong finish. I share examples of each step to prompt your thinking and planning.
>> 29:47. Want to see these strategies in action? Enroll in The Leadership Academy! We’ll use these four steps to organize our weekly office hours, so you can experience these ideas in action and share feedback to make them better.
Extra reading & resources — no affiliate marketing, just information-sharing.
How much does your meeting cost? Figure it out easily using this cost of meeting calculator from the Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2016/01/estimate-the-cost-of-a-meeting-with-this-calculator
My top hits when I searched “how to run a meeting” using DuckDuckGo:
1: “How to Run a Meeting” @ The Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/1976/03/how-to-run-a-meeting/
2: “How to Run a More Effective Meeting” @ NYTimes: https://www.nytimes.com/guides/business/how-to-run-an-effective-meeting
3: “How to Run an Effective Meeting” @ Chestnut Hill College. This PDF is adapted from a Student Leadership Conference, so may be especially helpful for student groups — not only in co-curricular settings, but also in the classroom if you use a lot of group activities. https://www.chc.edu/uploadedFiles/How%20to%20run%20an%20effective%20meeting.pdf
4: “Six Tips to Run an Effective Meeting, Backed by Science.” I like this article for its infographic called “The Ugly Truth About Meetings.” At least, up until it becomes a sales pitch for video calls. I especially appreciate this meeting tip: “Avoid Monologues.” If you’re new to convening meetings or wondering what can be handled via email vs. what should be addressed in a meeting, this article includes a handy table to help you compare and decide: https://www.scienceofpeople.com/run-a-meeting/
5. “How to Run a Meeting: 10 Tips to Ease Your Anxiety.” https://www.betterup.com/blog/how-to-run-a-meeting
My stats come from this overview: “27 Incredible Meeting Statistics : Virtual, Zoom, In-person Meetings and Productivity.” Nicely researched and clearly written, this article compiles much of the recent research about the state and cost of meetings in the US. As a bonus, it’s written by a liberal arts college grad who earned his BA in Anthropology. Seriously, what can’t you do with a liberal arts degree? https://www.zippia.com/advice/meeting-statistics/
Grab Priya Parker’s free guide, The New Rules of Gathering, at her website: https://www.priyaparker.com/
Listen to Priya Parker help Brene Brown makeover one of her organization’s meetings: https://brenebrown.com/podcast/brene-with-priya-parker-a-meeting-makeover/
The Uplift Podcast
1345 N Jefferson Street #498
Milwaukee WI 53202
© 2023 The Clareo Group, LLC All rights reserved.
Website by Shelby Design Co
Based in Milwaukee Supporting Leaders Everywhere
Learn With Us
The Clareo Group
Terms & Conditions
Support For Your Team