Many of us have multiple things on the go at varying stages of completion. Leaders (especially executives) have dozens of topics of conversations that they are involved in including company performance, board and shareholder concerns, people development and succession planning, company priorities, initiatives, projects, risks awareness, crisis response, public relations, and on and on.
I often coach my team on “meeting people where they are at.” In other words, know your audience and tailor your style, message and delivery to connect with them most effectively.
Use this 30-60 second tactic to start every recurring meeting powerfully.
Step one: remind your meeting attendees what happened the last time you were in the room together. An example: "As you may remember from our meeting three weeks ago, we discussed X and Y, we also discussed Z at length and it became quite a debated topic that we needed more research. We left the meeting with actions A, B and C."
Step two: fill in the gap between last time you met and now. Doing this will allow you to update the overall team with all of the work and progress that you have made. An example that builds on step one above: "We took the time between the last meeting and now to talk to additional stakeholders about Z, and we learned… We also completed A and B, but we haven't completed C, and will finish it by next Tuesday at the end of the day."
Step three: tie it all together and prime the attendees for what’s needed from them this meeting. Again, building on the previous two steps an example: “Today we’re going to use the next 45 minutes to recap the actions we took, recap what we learned about Z, ask for a decision on two key deliverables, then we’ll give you a status update and some risks on the new components of the project.”
These 60 seconds are for your audience, it refreshes their minds, gives them context for what’s needed, and affords you highlight the work you’re doing so they’re informed.
As always, your unfiltered feedback and thoughts are welcome. If you leverage this practice in your meetings reach out and let me know how it goes!