Leadership

Leading & Participating in Meaningful Meetings

Meaningful meetings require prepared leaders and engaged participants. But those two elements take intentionality. So here are 17 ways to lead and 6 ways to participate in better meetings.

H1 What’s a Rich Text element?

H2 What’s a Rich Text element?

H3 What’s a Rich Text element?

H4 What’s a Rich Text element?

H5 What’s a Rich Text element?
H6 What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

H4 Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

H4 How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • List Item 1
  • List Item 2
  • List Item 3

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Over the past two decades, I’ve sat through–and led–some pretty terrible meetings. 

This needs to change…for all of us. 

So, I put together 17 ways to lead better meetings–for organizational leaders, pastors, and ministry leaders. 

But meetings need more than great leaders to be successful. They also need great participants. So I’ve also given six ways to be more engaged while attending a meeting. 

Ultimately, having better meetings mean that you’re better equipped to accomplish the mission of your organization. 

Leading Meetings

  1. Is It An Email - Does the content being communicated really need a meeting or would an email suffice? A good question to ask is "Is this a monologue or dialogue?” If it is a monologue with you talking at people for 15 minutes, it should have been an email.
  2. Schedule Early - No one likes getting a meeting invite the day of, especially if there is prep work needed. So, schedule with plenty of advanced time.
  3. Check Before You Schedule - Check to see if everyone is free before sending an invite to avoid wasted time with rejection responses.
  4. Try To Negotiate - If everyone is free except for one person, see if they can reschedule their meeting.
  5. Keep It Brief - We are all familiar with Parkinson's Law–the idea that work expands to fill the time allotted for its completion. This law applies to meetings as well. So, consider how quickly the meeting can take place and schedule accordingly.
  6. Maximizing The Time - If you have five people at an hour long meeting, you have just taken up 300 minutes of the organization's time. Make sure to maximize that time by coming into the meeting fully prepared.
  7. Keep It Small - Only invite relevant people to the meeting. Generally speaking, the more people at the meeting, the less will be accomplished by the meeting.
  8. Purpose In The Title - If you send me a meeting without a title, or a generic title like "connecting," I probably won't accept it because I don't know what it is about.
  9. Details In the Description - Is there a goal, agenda or document we are covering in this meeting? If not, there shouldn't be a meeting. If so, put it in the description so everyone can easily access it instead of scouring their inbox.
  10. Start On Time - If some are late, don't wait for them to arrive to start. Honor the people who showed up on time by starting on time.
  11. End Early - No one ever complained about a meeting that ended early. Be a hero and end it early. #NotAllHerosWearCapes
  12. Include Location - Don't have your attendees guess where you are meeting. Let them know so they avoid meandering from conference room to conference room.
  13. Include Address - If the location is offsite, include the address.
  14. Include The Zoom - Make sure to include the video conference link if the meeting is online or a hybrid of online / onsite. And consider including it for meetings that are strictly onsite for those who cannot attend in person last minute.
  15. Handouts When Discussed - Only give handouts when you want to discuss them. If you are covering the content in the handout halfway through the meeting, then wait till then to share it.
  16. Test the Gear - Are you using a tv, projector or mic? If so, make sure to test the gear beforehand. No one wants to watch you fumble with technology halfway through a meeting.
  17. Consider Prayer - I say consider cause not all meetings need prayer. Sometimes church leaders use prayer to stall for time or because they aren’t confident in their content. But sometimes prayer is desperately needed. Like when you’ve done the best planning humanly possible, but still come up short. These are the types of meetings that definitely need to include prayer.

Participating Best Practices

  1. Indicate When You Are Busy - If you are unavailable for any reason (lunch, getting supplies, etc.) put it on your calendar. This allows others to know when they should avoid scheduling you for a meeting.
  2. Indicate When You Are On Vacation - Same logic as above applies to this.
  3. Respond Quickly - Accept or reject the invitation quickly. This gives the leader who scheduled it confidence you will be attending, or if they need to reschedule it because you can't.
  4. Ask Questions Quickly - If you aren't sure what is expected of you at the meeting, or why you even need to attend, ask those questions quickly. IOWs - Don't wait till after the meeting is over to inform the person leading it you weren't needed.
  5. Be Accommodating - If a leader asks you to adjust one of your meetings so they can schedule you for theirs, accommodate when possible.
  6. Participate - Don’t just show up, speak up. Add value to the meeting through engagement and participation.

This list isn’t exhaustive. So let me know what I missed. I would love to hear from you and learn from you. I would also love to come alongside you, your team or your organization to help you better plan and run meaningful meetings. Visit benstapley.com/coach to schedule a free consultation today.

podcast transcript

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H1 What’s a Rich Text element?

H2 What’s a Rich Text element?

H3 What’s a Rich Text element?

H4 What’s a Rich Text element?

H5 What’s a Rich Text element?
H6 What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

H4 Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

H4 How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • List Item 1
  • List Item 2
  • List Item 3

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

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Leading & Participating in Meaningful Meetings

Leading & Participating in Meaningful Meetings

Meaningful meetings require prepared leaders and engaged participants. But those two elements take intentionality. So here are 17 ways to lead and 6 ways to participate in better meetings.

Show notes

Over the past two decades, I’ve sat through–and led–some pretty terrible meetings. 

This needs to change…for all of us. 

So, I put together 17 ways to lead better meetings–for organizational leaders, pastors, and ministry leaders. 

But meetings need more than great leaders to be successful. They also need great participants. So I’ve also given six ways to be more engaged while attending a meeting. 

Ultimately, having better meetings mean that you’re better equipped to accomplish the mission of your organization. 

Leading Meetings

  1. Is It An Email - Does the content being communicated really need a meeting or would an email suffice? A good question to ask is "Is this a monologue or dialogue?” If it is a monologue with you talking at people for 15 minutes, it should have been an email.
  2. Schedule Early - No one likes getting a meeting invite the day of, especially if there is prep work needed. So, schedule with plenty of advanced time.
  3. Check Before You Schedule - Check to see if everyone is free before sending an invite to avoid wasted time with rejection responses.
  4. Try To Negotiate - If everyone is free except for one person, see if they can reschedule their meeting.
  5. Keep It Brief - We are all familiar with Parkinson's Law–the idea that work expands to fill the time allotted for its completion. This law applies to meetings as well. So, consider how quickly the meeting can take place and schedule accordingly.
  6. Maximizing The Time - If you have five people at an hour long meeting, you have just taken up 300 minutes of the organization's time. Make sure to maximize that time by coming into the meeting fully prepared.
  7. Keep It Small - Only invite relevant people to the meeting. Generally speaking, the more people at the meeting, the less will be accomplished by the meeting.
  8. Purpose In The Title - If you send me a meeting without a title, or a generic title like "connecting," I probably won't accept it because I don't know what it is about.
  9. Details In the Description - Is there a goal, agenda or document we are covering in this meeting? If not, there shouldn't be a meeting. If so, put it in the description so everyone can easily access it instead of scouring their inbox.
  10. Start On Time - If some are late, don't wait for them to arrive to start. Honor the people who showed up on time by starting on time.
  11. End Early - No one ever complained about a meeting that ended early. Be a hero and end it early. #NotAllHerosWearCapes
  12. Include Location - Don't have your attendees guess where you are meeting. Let them know so they avoid meandering from conference room to conference room.
  13. Include Address - If the location is offsite, include the address.
  14. Include The Zoom - Make sure to include the video conference link if the meeting is online or a hybrid of online / onsite. And consider including it for meetings that are strictly onsite for those who cannot attend in person last minute.
  15. Handouts When Discussed - Only give handouts when you want to discuss them. If you are covering the content in the handout halfway through the meeting, then wait till then to share it.
  16. Test the Gear - Are you using a tv, projector or mic? If so, make sure to test the gear beforehand. No one wants to watch you fumble with technology halfway through a meeting.
  17. Consider Prayer - I say consider cause not all meetings need prayer. Sometimes church leaders use prayer to stall for time or because they aren’t confident in their content. But sometimes prayer is desperately needed. Like when you’ve done the best planning humanly possible, but still come up short. These are the types of meetings that definitely need to include prayer.

Participating Best Practices

  1. Indicate When You Are Busy - If you are unavailable for any reason (lunch, getting supplies, etc.) put it on your calendar. This allows others to know when they should avoid scheduling you for a meeting.
  2. Indicate When You Are On Vacation - Same logic as above applies to this.
  3. Respond Quickly - Accept or reject the invitation quickly. This gives the leader who scheduled it confidence you will be attending, or if they need to reschedule it because you can't.
  4. Ask Questions Quickly - If you aren't sure what is expected of you at the meeting, or why you even need to attend, ask those questions quickly. IOWs - Don't wait till after the meeting is over to inform the person leading it you weren't needed.
  5. Be Accommodating - If a leader asks you to adjust one of your meetings so they can schedule you for theirs, accommodate when possible.
  6. Participate - Don’t just show up, speak up. Add value to the meeting through engagement and participation.

This list isn’t exhaustive. So let me know what I missed. I would love to hear from you and learn from you. I would also love to come alongside you, your team or your organization to help you better plan and run meaningful meetings. Visit benstapley.com/coach to schedule a free consultation today.

video transcript

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