Do you need a meeting coach?

October 20, 2021 · 6 min readMeeting Culture

Business meetings are probably one of the least efficient aspects of the modern workplace. A Harvard Business Review survey found that 71% of senior managers say meetings are “unproductive and inefficient.” 64% of those surveys said that meetings prevent people from thinking deeply.

Zoom meetings might be even more inefficient when it comes to remote collaboration. A significant majority of workers (67%) admitted they get “distracted” during virtual team meetings. Employees said they tended to do things like check their email, surf the internet, or check on social media during virtual meetings.

So, how can managers change their meeting culture and stop their employees from zoning out during team meetings? What steps can you take to make your meetings productive again? Hint – it’s not enough to buy a box of donuts. Instead, read thisA article and implement the PASEO protocol which is outlined here.

What’s the PASEO protocol? It’s a 5-step process, each step beginning with a letter from the word PASEO. Keep reading to learn what each step is and how you can implement it.

Step One: Purpose

Have you ever sat through a meeting only to get out and wonder what exactly the meeting was about? Sadly, purposeless meetings are all too common. Unfortunately, this kind of meeting is draining for employees. It also distracts people from your business’ real goals.

Without a clear purpose, meetings can easily expand to include irrelevant issues. And as the meeting loses focus, participants will likely not be prepared to solve work-related problems. The conversation will often become more casual and opinion-based, instead of being backed up by facts.

Instead of a crisp, orderly meeting in which teams present data, you’re suddenly looking at a cobbled-together, poorly-run meeting that wanders all over the map.

How do you fix this? Before you hold any meeting, sit down and craft a narrowly defined purpose statement. Make sure you make it as specific and actionable as possible.

Step Two: Agenda

This builds on step one, naturally. After crafting a purpose statement, it’s important to create a well-thought-out agenda. Ideally, you should distribute your agenda to participants ahead of time, so they are on the same page.

Your agenda should list the topics you expect to discuss during the meeting. Also, it should include a desired outcome or goal so all your participants know what they’re working toward during the meeting. This will ensure all participants come prepared and are well-equipped to participate.

Step Three: Start on Time

Nobody likes to sit around waiting for a meeting to get started. It leads to distraction, and before you know it, everyone is checking their email or texting. When you start a meeting late, you also send people a clear message that it’s ok for them to be late.

Be respectful of people’s time by starting your meeting punctually. Others will appreciate you for not wasting their time, and they’ll likely follow your lead by also showing up on time.

Step Four: Finish on Time

If you scheduled a two-hour meeting, make sure you end it after two hours. Teams get resentful when they show up to a meeting and end up using far more time than anticipated.

Ideally, you should aim to finish meetings a little bit ahead of schedule. Participants will be grateful if you can let them out a few minutes early. They’ll remember the meeting with appreciation. It’s an easy way to lighten people’s workloads – and to give them a few extra minutes to prepare for their next meeting.

Step Five: Outcomes

What’s the end result of a good meeting? In the best-case scenario, a good meeting will result in positive changes and progress. 

Key decisions will be made. Projects will be discussed and assigned. Information will be shared. Everyone will have a good sense of what the next steps are.

How can you ensure a good outcome from your meetings? It’s a good idea to create a document to track all of your action items and review that document every time you meet with your team. This is an easy way to stay on top of all of your projects and goals.

Are you making progress on each action item? If not, why? It’s a good idea to assign one person on your team to monitor the agenda, action items, and outcomes from each meeting, so they can track changes and progress.

Will it work with my team?

Every workplace is different, and every team is unique. That means implementing solutions like PASEO will look a little different in each scenario.

If you’re looking for a tailored approach to coaching that will make your business more efficient, you should visit Grok and get familiar with our library of functional, automated meeting playbooks. Grok is more than just a virtual workspace and a meeting coach. It’s also a chat platform and collaboration tool dedicated to finding solutions that fit each business.

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