This weeks leadership lessons come from my attendance at the Oklahoma City Cox event center 2018 annual Women in Leadership Conference. The event had a full attendance, and the day was invigorating with a panel of excellent speakers and topics. Using my standard goal (Leadership Lunch Notes) of gathering three tips to keep my mind from wandering, I took with me a decomposition notebook to jot down ideas and insightful messages from the speakers. These are the leadership lessons and meeting management tips logged in my notebook this week while attending the conference:
- Support other women: this can be done by both genders. When provided with an opportunity to mentor or support a female colleague, take it. Support can be generated by agreeing with a comment or a suggestion during a meeting, encouraging a female colleague to try something new, offering praise (with specificity) for work well done, and encouraging another with publicly.
- Collaboration is cool: Decisions are best made when done so collaboratively. Don’t be afraid to seek advice and feedback from your peers, both men and women. If asked to collaborate on a decision, consider it a compliment and offer your feedback in a professional and appreciative manner.
- Be authentic: Be authentic in your leadership style. Don’t try to lead or manage like someone else. Leaders come in different packages & styles. Attempting to lead or manage as someone else can generate a lack of trust and understanding by yor followers. Remember that you are only as good as your worse manager, so be yourself and be real.
- Be transparent: Be transparent with promotions. Explain why and who so that the team understands what the achievement goals are for advancement within the organization. This cuts down on misconceptions and office theories about the advancement of any individual.
Meeting Room Tips & Tricks
- Get some rest: If the time of the meeting matters, the restfulness of the team matters too. When prepping for an important meeting add getting an early night’s sleep to your checklist the day before.
- Meeting time matters: If the meeting is intended for critical decisions, don’t schedule it directly before lunch. Hungry team members are not focused and often make hasty decisions.
- Keep it short: I must say that I have never heard anyone complain when a meeting ended early. Complaints are generated when meetings drag on and on and schedules are disrupted. Keep meetings to a minimum, 60 – 90 minutes max. Set ground rules and let attendees know that at the end of the scheduled time, anyone is free to dismiss themselves from the meeting with no explanation necessary.
- Establish ground rules: Have an agenda, stick to it. Time is precious, so chase elephants and not rabbits. Make a list of smaller items for a later discussion and verify that the meeting covers the primary objectives.
- Consider using a Scribe for meetings: This was my first exposure to visual note taking for a meeting (excluding the frequent doodling I do on a note pad to maintain attentiveness). Note taking increases engagement and it can help to sort information as you write notes. Plenty of topics are enhanced when using visual notes and sketches to emphasize meaning. This can help attendees stay focused on the topic of discussion. Assigning a meeting scribe guarantees that at least one person is tasked with listening only. This person is the designated note taker and doing so in a visual manner can increase meeting attentiveness in meetings.
Most of all have fun! When you enjoy your work, it shows. People like to work for and alongside someone expressing joy in what they do. Adding laughter to your day does not diminish the professionalism and work efforts necessary to be a top performing organization.