One Ridiculously Simple Thing You Can Do To Improve All Your Meetings

In: BlogDate: Feb 07, 2023By: Dr Carrie Goucher

Most people are so busy going from meeting to meeting, with one meeting spilling over into the next. No time to plan meetings, no time to reflect on what might work better — just getting through the day. But there is one thing that brilliant leaders do all the time.

In this blog, Dr Carrie Goucher shares this one ridiculously simple thing you can do that will improve all of your meetings.

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It's almost too annoying simple.

Leave 3 minutes at the end of each session for people to give you some real-time feedback on that meeting.

Attention is one of the most precious resources we have at work. Honour it by seeking to improve your use of it.

Make giving feedback easy. Make it a habit.

Here are the three questions to ask:

  1. From 1-10, how hugely valuable was this meeting?
    Get some numbers to improve on. The strongly positive and informal language in this first question is deliberate. We don’t want people to sit on the fence.
  2. What was the most useful thing that happened?
    Find out what people actually valued most — it might be different from what you valued or even what you thought the meeting was about.
  3. What would improve this meeting this time / another time?
    his is a neat collection pot for any frustrations. Use this to make changes. Acknowledge aloud those frustrations that can’t be easily changed within the meeting, or where people have different needs and expectations.

Collect your feedback in the easiest way possible

Looking for the lowest friction way to try this? Have people drop answers in the chat box (or in a Team/Slack channel) while you wait. Put them in a spreadsheet or just take a screenshot.

Want to be more structured or make it anonymous? Create a questionnaire.

It doesn’t matter how you ask as long as the process of asking doesn’t feel too onerous.

Reading about this technique is simple. Doing it is harder.

"Let's not open that can of worms. We all did our best. Of course I would have run it better if I'd had more time to think! There’s no time, let's just move on to the next meeting."

People are generally honest, constructive and supportive.

Here’s how you might introduce it.

At the start of the meeting, tee it up. "Before we leave the session today, I’m going to ask you to give me some real time feedback on how it went."

When the time comes, position the 'what's in it for me': "Please could you help me get the best possible use of our time by giving me your thoughts on today before you leave? There are three quick questions. Here they come."

Have the questions or the link ready to copy and paste into the chat. Appreciate people’s contributions but don't respond to anything directly there and then.

Challenge yourself to do this in every meeting you lead for one week.

You will be amazed at what you learn and what changes. This act of feedback is also one of self reflection - one of the most powerful things we can do as a team.

Want to learn more?

This is just one technique of many in the FewerFasterBolder meetings method — where we work with smart tools and human nature to bring precision and humanity to every meeting.

Join Dr Carrie Goucher in our online workshop on 23rd February.

Find out more

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Discover an Evidence-Based Way to Make Your Meetings Better

Meetings take up so much of our time at work. We need them to do our jobs. But how do we make them faster, and, well, better?

Fast, Agile Meetings is based on research into what collaborative era meetings need.

In this one-day workshop, Dr Carrie Goucher will show you a simple, human-centred way of collaborating:

  • You'll release 4-8 hours of previous wasted meeting time per team member.
  • You’ll learn new collaboration techniques, for meetings and other channels, that you can use to transform how you work together immediately
  • People will become empowered, taking responsibility for solving problems
  • Productivity will flow and you'll start hitting targets and milestones with ease
  • The team will become more positive, supportive and committed — and less frustrated and overwhelmed
  • You'll become expert at resolving to blockers to issues that lie outside the team

Find out how to transform your meetings and the way you work in our Fast, Agile Meetings workshop, next running online on 17th May.

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Why learn online with Happy?

  • Interactive and engaging - just like our classroom sessions
  • Bitesize or full-day sessions - fit around your schedule
  • Learn from home - all you need is a quiet place to call from and an internet connection
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Dr Carrie Goucher

Dr Carrie Goucher has redesigned how we meet for the collaborative era, crafting meetings that are honest, focused, supportive and energising. Her PhD unlocked the real influences on meeting success and how we can go from meeting burnout to fewer, faster meetings that unlock progress. She has worked with over 70 organisations on developing a collaborative culture, including Mondelez, BP, Ricoh, BBC Worldwide, Pizza Express, Pfizer and MBNL.

More by Carrie