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Winning the Boardroom Battle: Your Step-By-Step Guide to Conducting Remarkably Effective Meetings


 


"Success is not a destination, it’s a journey", and every journey begins with a single step. In the modern business world, that first step often happens in the boardroom.*


A meeting isn't just a meeting. It's the crucible where ideas are born, strategies are formed, and deals are sealed. It's the battlefield where egos clash, ideas compete, and the future of your business is decided. If you're a founder or sales rep, you have a front-row seat to this thrilling spectacle. But how do you navigate the chaos, make your voice heard, and steer your team toward victory?


The answer lies in mastering the art of conducting effective meetings. It's not as daunting as it sounds. Through meticulous research, we've compiled a step-by-step guide that will empower you to hold meetings that are not just efficient, but remarkably so. By the time you're done reading, you'll be armed with proven strategies that will transform your meetings into powerful tools for driving growth and achieving your business goals.


Step 1: Set The Stage


Start with a Clear Purpose


Every great meeting begins with a purpose. It’s the north star that guides your conversation and ensures that your discussions are focused and meaningful. Before you call a meeting, ask yourself, 'What do I want to achieve at the end of this?'. This clarity of purpose will serve as the foundation upon which your meeting is built.


Step 2: Build the Blueprint


Plan an Agenda


Your meeting's agenda is your roadmap. It outlines the path you’ll take to reach your destination. Craft your agenda with care, listing all the topics to be discussed and the objectives for each topic. Share the agenda with participants ahead of time to allow them to prepare. Remember, a well-prepared team is a powerful one.


Step 3: Assemble the Avengers


Invite the Right People


Invite only those who are necessary for the meeting. Having too many participants can make the meeting unmanageable and hinder effective decision-making. Use the 'RACI' model - Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed - to determine who needs to be in the room.


Step 4: Value their Time


Stick to the Schedule


Time is money, especially in the world of business. Start the meeting on time, keep it on track, and end it as scheduled. Respect the time of your attendees. Not only does this improve efficiency, but it also fosters a culture of punctuality and discipline within your organization.


Step 5: Conduct the Orchestra


Lead Effectively


As the meeting leader, it's your responsibility to ensure that the meeting runs smoothly. Foster an environment that encourages open communication and constructive criticism. Be objective and fair, and make sure everyone gets a chance to speak. Your job is to make sure that the collective intelligence in the room is harnessed effectively.


Step 6: Ensure Engagement


Involve Participants


Active participation is the key to a successful meeting. Encourage attendees to share their ideas, ask questions, and provide feedback. Use techniques like brainstorming and round-robin discussions to stimulate engagement. When people feel involved, they're more likely to be invested in the outcomes.


Step 7: Clear the Fog


Clarify Decisions and Action Items


At the end of the meeting, recap the key decisions made and the action items assigned. Ensure that everyone is clear on their responsibilities and deadlines. Transparency and clarity are crucial in preventing misunderstandings and ensuring follow-through.


Step 8: Seal the Deal


End with a Strong Conclusion


Conclude the meeting by summarizing the key takeaways and the next steps. A strong conclusion helps solidify the outcomes in the minds of the attendees and keeps the momentum going even after the meeting ends.


Step 9: Follow up


Send Meeting Minutes


Post-meeting follow-ups are as essential as the meeting itself. Send detailed meeting minutes to all attendees, outlining the decisions made, action items assigned, and key discussions. This not only serves as a record of the meeting but also as a reminder for the participants of their tasks.


Step 10: Seek Improvement


Ask for Feedback


The journey to effective meetings is a continuous one. Always seek feedback from your attendees about what worked and what didn't. Use this feedback to improve your future meetings and make them even more effective.


Remember, the power to hold effective meetings is in your hands. With these steps, you're now equipped to navigate the boardroom battlefield and emerge victorious. So step into your next meeting with confidence, and let the journey to success begin.


Your next deal, breakthrough idea, or strategic pivot is just a meeting away. So go ahead, make the most out of every meeting and see your business grow leaps and bounds.


Bonus: Upfront Contract


The Agenda was a great starting point, but...


A great meeting depends on what Sandler Training calls an up-front contract. If you’re not familiar with the term, an up-front contract is an agreement, made ahead of time, about what will take place during a meeting or discussion -- an agreement that clarifies what each person’s role in the conversation will be. In the inbound selling world, this contract unfolds in seconds.


As a quick example,

Hi [name], thanks again for taking the time to chat with me today. I know you're very busy and I value your time. Meetings tend to pop up in calendars at the last minute, so I just want to double-check and ensure that you are still free for the next 30 minutes.


Do you have a meeting after this one? So we have a hard stop at around 2:30 pm? Perfect, that should give us more than enough time to talk about your (list agenda items ie strategic initiatives and priorities).


By the end of the meeting, if you don’t feel like our services could solve your challenges, I’ll hang up and won’t bother you. But if you feel like they could potentially help, are you open to scheduling a follow-up call?”


Note: This is just a framework, make it your own to reflect your personality and your flow.


Part 2.5 of our series is coming soon... stay tuned!


Vince Bowry is the Founder of Blackbridge. For more information on our solutions, contact us.

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