Bored senseless by that meeting (part 2)?

Time management for leaders

Last week we hit part one of killing the bore factor in your meetings. Here’s part 2 to help you lift your meeting game and smash the outcomes.

Make it easy to kill waffling


Sometimes in teams who work really well together, banter can become a runaway train. When that happens, people will feel that their time isn’t being valued and that the meeting has lost its value.

When people feel like their time isn’t valued, they will stop showing up and contributing.

To counter this, we have a squeaky elephant toy named Hugh (photo of Hugh below). When someone starts going off on a tangent, ANY attendee at the meeting has the right to squeeze Hugh.

The squeak (from the squeeze) makes it easy to interrupt the banter without anyone getting upset (true story) because it’s fair and everyone has the same right to interrupt. It also removes the awkward requirement for someone to have to try to interrupt verbally to move people back on track.

After a while, someone simply looking at Hugh signals to others that they need to get back on topic.

Nail the outcomes

Once you’ve identified those blockers or side conversations that need to occur outside the meeting, you have to ensure they happen. Nailing the format of the meeting, sticking to the rules and subsequently following up on outstanding issues will ensure people bring enthusiasm to meetings and contribute their best.

A final bit of advice:

Don’t be afraid to cancel a meeting if it isn’t valuable anymore. If you finish early, wrap-up. If the meeting is no longer required, cancel it. Don’t just do what you’ve always done because you always have. Your team will thank you.

If you missed part 1, check out the full write-up on it here.

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