Tips and Techniques
November 4, 2021

Meetings: Trying Something New is Like Shopping for Jeans

Who could you ask to help you 'try on a new meeting for size'?

You might be thinking: “We know how we could improve our meetings… but it’s just too hard to change.”

I hear you. For me, it’s like shopping for jeans. I have my favourite pair. They’re comfy. They fit just right. I’m probably wearing them as you read this.

And then after a while they start to wear thin, and lose shape. BUT the pain of having to go shopping for a new pair (for me at least) is much more than the pain of sticking with wearing the old pair. And so I keep wearing them, even though I know they’re not that great anymore.

I know shopping is a very subjective thing. Some people love it! For me, it’s not fun. At all.

  • I won’t buy them online, because I need to see them IRL, and try them on
  • I’m not an impulse buyer; I have to know ALL THE OPTIONS before choosing, so it takes a long time
  • They usually don’t have my size
  • Even when they do have my size, I usually have to wait a week for the legs to be taken up a bit
  • I have to do that whole cheery banter thing with the shop assistants

Urgh!

The thought of changing how you ‘do meetings’ might conjure similar feels.

But let’s turn this experience frown upside down, and look at how jeans-shopping could be better (again, YMMV):

  • I could take a trusted friend, who is good at shopping, who can speed me past the redundant choices, pick a pair they know I’d like, and tell me straight how I look in them
  • I could pay more attention to jeans others wear, identify something I like, then ask them the brand and where they got them
  • I could try some on in-store, then shop online

Now, let’s swap jeans for meeting methods:

  • I could invite a trusted expert into the meeting(s) who knows more about what works and doesn’t work in meeting methods, then listen to their advice about one thing to change - then do that change
  • I could find out whose meetings are going well, ask to sit in for a few, and observe what makes them better - then try that
  • I could do an online poll with the team about one new thing they’d like to try, so at least there’s a collective sense of ownership and appetite for whatever the change is

So: you don’t have to put up with your daggy old meetings anymore. How might you go ‘new meeting’ shopping today? Who can help you? And how might you try on a new ‘meeting’ for size?

Project Insurance Pack

You need to set up your team to succeed. These 3 meeting guides will help you do just that. Included in the pack:

Project Kick-off Meeting Guide

Get a shared understanding before the project begins.

Project Pre-Mortem Meeting Guide

Identify what might go wrong and how you will avoid it.

Problem Framing Meeting Guide

Clarify the 'why' behind what your project is really for.

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