Influential meetings – persuade people to do what you want

16th April 2019

Last week, we agreed that the three steps of influencing are:

  1. Identify what you want someone to DO
  2. Identify why they’ll think it’s in their interest to DO so
  3. Flip it – say the benefit first, before asking them to DO it

Applying this to meetings, it means we need to:

  • Start – engage attendees early
  • End – agree everyone’s actions

For the start, engage them by stating the outcome.

So don’t start with “Welcome to the meeting. We’ll discuss X and Y. It’ll take an hour.”

Instead, start with outcomes – “This meeting will help us agree priorities and actions with Project X. As soon as we’ve agreed them, we’ll close the meeting.”

Straight away, everyone knows the end point. And also that, the quicker they get there, the shorter the meeting!

And at the end, to make sure there are actions, replace “AOB” (which often means lots of chat but no actions) with:

  • Actions arising
  • Date of next meeting

That way, you always get actions, plus save time by scheduling the next meeting when you’re all together, rather than back at your desks.

This, of course, is simply common sense. But, as we all know, it is NOT common practice.

Action Point

For your next meeting’s agenda:

  • Change the title to include the outcomes, and
  • Replace “AOB” with “Actions arising” and “date of next meeting”

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