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5 Tips to Prepare for Your Next Meeting

By Bigg Success Staff
05-28-08

Leadership Skills

meeting 

It seems that meetings consume more and more of our time these days. In many cases, people come away feeling like the meeting was a waste of time.

As a leader, you want any meeting you run to be productive. So the next time you’re called upon to run a meeting, keep this in mind:

For every minute the meeting is scheduled to run,
plan to spend at least that much time preparing for it.

In other words, for a meeting that will last an hour, plan to prepare for at least an hour.

As the person running the meeting, it’s your responsibility to make sure the purpose of the meeting is fulfilled. One of the primary reasons why meetings fail is because of a lack of preparation. The best meetings happen before they ever start.

Here are 5 tips for effective meeting preparation:

Be specific
Almost nothing bores people more than a bunch of vague concepts that have no tangible value to them in their jobs. Plan to keep your meeting focused on real things that will make a difference to them today.

Cover new ground
Just rehashing the same old topics meeting after meeting doesn’t have any value. Plan to cover subjects that haven’t been tackled before. Move to new areas to keep your people interested.

Stay on subject
Know what you want to accomplish before the meeting starts so you’re able to keep the conversation moving in that direction. Clearly understand the purpose of each part of your agenda so you can keep things moving along to your ultimate goal.

Plan for participation
If you don’t, you’re unlikely to get any. Know when you want your people to get actively involved. Also plan your response if they don’t step up. Thinking about this beforehand is essential. It’s also important to plan how you will keep their conversation going by mapping out some follow-up questions.

Expect distracting maneuvers

There’s at least one in every crowd … that person who loves to hear himself or herself talk. Plan in advance how you will deal with him or her to keep your conversation moving to your ultimate purpose. This isn’t easy, but it’s perhaps the most important thing you can do to keep everyone engaged in your meeting.

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Keep Your Troops Focused on Victory

04-07-08
By Bigg Success Staff

Leadership Skills

focus 

As the leader of your troops, you have to keep your group focused on what you’re trying to accomplish. Few things will discourage your team faster than feeling like their leader isn’t committed to the cause.

So you need to demonstrate to your troops how important you believe it is to succeed. Here are four ways to do just that: 

Keep the spotlight on
Keep your 270 vision of success] in front of your troops at all times. If it’s not important to you, it won’t be important to them.

You demonstrate how important it is by keeping the spotlight on it. Keep it at the forefront of your mind so it will be at the forefront of theirs.

Report progress
Let your troops know how things are going. They’ll make assumptions if you don’t. If you’re ahead of your plan, congratulate them and encourage them to keep going.

If you’re behind, discuss how to make up for the deficiency and the consequences of not doing so. Remind them why success is so important.

Direct needed energy and resources

There are a lot of things that you would like to accomplish. However, you’ve defined success so now you need to show you’re committed to achieving it.

To do that, steer all the energy and resources of your team toward that vision. If you can succeed without doing this, you haven’t been ambitious enough in your vision.

If you set the vision, but then don’t devote the required energy and resources, you’ll rob your team of victory. Give them what they need so they accomplish what you need. 

Don’t let anything distract you.
Along the way, there will be many distractions. Don’t make the mistake of reacting to things that only divert resources from the victory you defined.

That will discourage your troops. People follow leaders who know what needs to be done and then focus single-mindedly on achieving it.

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4 Characteristics of Constructive Criticism

By Bigg Success Staff
02-24-08

Leadership Skills

 

One of your responsibilities as a leader is to admonish the troops who fall out of line. It could be that they aren’t performing up to expectations. Perhaps some behavior isn’t in line with the 314 code of conduct] you established.

You have to respond to these errant troops so your whole team keeps progressing toward the 270 victory you defined]. There are four characteristics of your response:

Quick
The longer you wait to address the situation, whatever it may be, the more you risk that the behavior will become systemic. Don’t think that you’re too busy to deal with these situations. They need to be a top priority.

Logical
While you need to react quickly, you shouldn’t respond if you’re still feeling emotional about the situation. You’ll do more harm than good. If need be, let it sit overnight. The key thing is to address the situation as soon as you can discuss it logically, not emotionally.

Private
You should discreetly pull the person aside to have your discussion. No one likes to be called out in public. It’s counterproductive – you may find the person you’re disciplining defending themselves more aggressively. Worse yet, they may withdraw and become less productive. It also has repercussions with your other troops.

Systematic
Prepare for a conversation, not a confrontation. Before you do that, know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish. You’ve established consequences for underperforming and violating the code of conduct. You have to be prepared to dispense those consequences or risk that your code will become meaningless.

Try to start off the conversation with some positives – things they’re doing well. Then discuss the situation at hand, helping them understand why it is not acceptable. If it involves performance, offer him or her suggestions or resources to help them get back on track. Finish off with some encouraging words along with a time to review progress.

Admonishing your troops when they fall out of line is one of the most important abilities of a great leader. If done correctly, you’ll find that most of your people get back on track quickly.

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