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Morning Mindset with Paul G. Markel


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Oct 31, 2018

As someone who has attended thousands of required meetings, I have come to loathe them. Meetings are often a necessary evil. Are there ways to ensure that meetings are productive and positive and not simply monumental time wasters?

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Episode Transcription

[INTRO]

♫ Trenches by Pop Evil ♫

*Alex*

Welcome to Morning Mindset. A daily dose of practical wit and wisdom with a professional educator & trainer, Amazon best selling author, United States Marine, Television, and Radio host, Paul G. Markel. Each episode will focus on positive and productive ways to strengthen your mindset and help you improve your relationships, career goals, and overall well-being. Please welcome your host; Paul G. Markel.


*Professor Paul*

Hello and welcome back. It is time for another Morning Mindset podcast. I am still your host Paul Markle in case you were wondering and if this is your first one if someone recommended this to you and said hey, you need to listen to this guy and listen to this topic today. Congratulations, and I'm glad that you're here.

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I'm betting that many people in the office, work environment will come across this and I'm like, yeah tell me about it. Today's topic productive meetings question mark productive meetings like Ron Burgundy there. That's right. Why did I put a question mark behind it? You're like well, we'll Paul your meetings are all about productivity.

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That's how we have and develop productivity is through meetings, right? I'm in my fifth decade here on planet Earth, and I have been to I think safely over the last 30+ years, literally thousands of meetings and we had what was called formations. In the Marine Corps and the Marine Corps, you had Daily Formation.

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Now you're like what formation is where everybody stands there, and listens to the first sergeant or the XO or the Gunnery Sergeant or whoever they listen to them talk. They have a clipboard and they go over the topics of the day and then at the very end, they open it up for questions and so on and so forth then in the obviously the working civilian world.

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I've been to innumerable meetings, and I will say this. I'm guessing that the majority of you out there who have been in the professional work world for any length of time have come across the meeting that is you're sitting there and you're thinking okay. This meeting is just a meeting because we had to have a meeting.

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Or do you have meetings to schedule meetings? We need to have a meeting. I really everybody needs to go to the conference room where we need to have a meeting weekly meeting morning meeting afternoon meeting whatever. Many of them these gatherings of individuals rather than being productive end up being monumental time-wasters.

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Have you ever gone to a required meeting? I'm not talking about voluntary. I'm talking about it was required for your job. You had to be there you had to sit quietly and listen to someone drone on about a topic of which you had either had no interest or already knew everything about but you listen to that person drone on about that.

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Again, and again and you leave thinking wow, thanks for wasting my time. Thank you very much for wasting my day. I could have been doing something productive myself. But instead, I was sitting in a conference room listening to you go over all of the stuff that we all already knew. Yes, so. Do I still have meetings?

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Yes, yes I still do have meetings. So how can we and it doesn't matter what your profession is or what you're doing.?How can we? Have positive and productive meetings that are not time-wasters. Now, I understand if you are low on the totem pole or if you're a worker bee or what have you may not have any input into how or when the meetings are scheduled how often they happen what goes on during them.

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You just have to be there and you just have to sit and listen and maybe interject once in a while. But if you are one of the people who have some say in the meeting, and when it happens and what is discussed and how long it takes and so forth step number one before you schedule a meeting before you just need York to react and have everyone stop what they're doing and I'll Gather in the conference room or you know, like wow Converse longer all the guy we don't conference room anything anymore.

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We have GoToMeeting apps. Alright. Here's the thing a GoToMeeting app where everybody turns on their the cameras on their laptops or everybody turns on the cameras on their phones or their iPads or whatever and everyone sits there and you're in Chicago or New York and LA and Atlanta and we're all having a meeting at the same time.

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Isn't that wonderful and isn't technology great. It's still a meeting. It still is you know after the after your very first teleconference meeting after the first one when you're all excited because it was super cool because you are using the internet to do it after that newness wears off.  It's still just a meeting.

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So if you are in charge or have any say in it step number one before you schedule a meeting to ask yourself.  Is this something? That we actually all have to be present at the same time in order to do we really have to have it?  Is it a requirement? Well, what do you mean? I mean we did have a meeting because that's how productive your productive meetings.

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Now is this something that could be done via memorandum? Is this something that could be done via email? Do we have to have this meeting, and if your answer is yes we do. Before you have the meeting have a real legitimate agenda. Alright during this meeting. We need to discuss these topics.

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Boom-Boom-Boom-Boom, have an idea of how long you want it to be. You don't just want to have an open-ended. Well, it's just going to go until it ends and 15 minutes half hour 45 minutes. Alright, I don't know what's gonna go and go and go no. Don't do that. Do not waste people's time if you can help it.

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Don't waste your time. Is it going to be an information only or you going to be seeking feedback?  because if it's in information only and you don't want the participation of anyone else. You probably don't need to have a meeting to do that. If there aren't going if it's not going to have two-way communication.

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If it's one-way communication. I'm going to tell you what's going to happen, and that's it. You may not need to have a meeting. Now. Keep in mind that if you're having one of these you need to have some type of structure and order you cannot let people go off on story time, story hour. When I call our story time if you allow them people will take the meeting Off Track by telling personal stories.

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We don't need that. You don't want that you need to nip that in the bud because is interesting is that story is you can tell that story later on your own time inner need to be rude about it, but you need to have certain phrases like let's stay on topic. I think everyone understands let's move on to the next topic.

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We have a limited amount of time. Let's make sure everyone has an opportunity to speak. What have you, all those things are, you know telling people to shut up without actually telling them to shut up. So when you're going to have a meeting number one, does it do we need to have this or we just have it out of habit.

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We're just having a meeting because that's what you do, and if we're just doing it because that's what you do. You're wasting people's time. Don't do it. If you decide that you're going to have a meeting have the agenda ready and prepared know what you're going to say and the questions you're going to ask.

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Have a time limit in mind. I'm not telling you that every meeting has to be exactly 10 minutes or exactly 14 minutes or exactly 30 minutes or whatever, but you should have an idea say, you know, look at what you have to say and realize that okay all of this material here. We've got three items on the agenda.

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It's been 5 minutes on each no more than 15 minutes moving on with our lives. Do not deliberately waste people's time ensure that everyone understands take the opportunity to make sure that everyone has Clarity and understands why you did what you did and what you were talking about because there's no point in having a meeting.

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If you're going to close the meeting leave and you know, 25% of the people there have no idea what they're supposed to do with that information that they just. Make sure that you check for clarity. Now a lot of professional people say are you start ever meeting what the joke I start every speech with a joke livens people up and that that's that's you can do that if you want and what I find is when you do that when you put that pressure on yourself you put pressure on yourself to come up with a joke and then you don't or it doesn't really matter if it's funny or not.

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But if your people respect you. You shouldn't need to trick them into having meetings and the more productive short concise to the point meetings. You have the less likely people will be to want to avoid them. So don't get in the habit or you know, get in the habit of having productive meetings and avoid the habit of monumental time-wasters.

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I'm not going to waste any more of your time because I see the clock on the wall says I've been talking for a little bit more than 10 minutes. So that's it for today's Morning Mindset. I hope that you enjoyed it. I hope that you share this with other people. I am your host Paul Markel, and I will talk to you again real soon.


[OUTRO]

♫ Trenches by Pop Evil ♫

*Alex*

Thank you for spending time with us today. To get show notes, submit a topic request, for more from your host Paul G. Markel, visit MorningMindsetPodcast.com. That’s MorningMindsetPodcast.com. Please leave a review of this podcast on your favorite podcast player, we appreciate your time & effort, and we look forward to reading your honest feedback.