5 ways to get the respect you deserve in every meeting you run

1. Agree ways of working and behaving for every meeting
2. Keep the agenda narrow to 2-3 topics only
3. Keep the attendee list as small as possible
4. When people behave badly and refuse to change, remove them from the attendee list (and get instant respect from everyone else)
5. Ask for feedback

Want more?  Watch the back story by clicking the linked picture below or continue reading below.

Want to get ahead of the pack and stand in your power? Want to lead your pack and get that promotion this year? Then book a complimentary consult with me today to get started. 

The backstory:
I was recently running a series of meetings last year where behaviours were less than ideal. These included people talking over each other, not listening to each other, not respecting my role as chair, not respecting people who were presenting — so just talking over, interrupting, asking questions at the wrong time, making personal attacks, being very competitive, being very negative, and just outright rude behaviours.

As much as I could have blamed the people  for their “bad behaviours”  I took responsibility as the chair and really looked at what I could control within the meeting.

Why were things going so wrong?

What was contributing to the behaviours?

What had happened is that over many months the agenda had become bloated. The invite list had tripled and the attendees really had a different understanding what the meeting was for compared to myself or the original members of the meeting. This meant people came in confused, felt unheard, felt that their issues were undervalued. Because they weren’t given space on the agenda  they would fight to create that space.

So, I just took a step back and I said, “Well, I have to address these issues.”

What I did next is I relaunched the meeting and reframed the agenda of the meeting to be much narrower and clearer. I reduced the number of topics and agenda items from 12 to 3.   Set really strict times for each agenda item. And allowed specific time for Q & A and discussion and we would go around the room to make sure that everyone was heard and prompt them to ask questions or to get feedback.

So the meeting went from something that was very loose to something super-structured. And I did sort of hesitate a little bit on that, thinking that that was going to be too structured. I also reduced the invite list by about 70%.  And, obviously, that was controversial because some people didn’t want to be left out of the meeting. But for me the point of the meeting was to achieve certain objectives for which only certain people needed to attend to do so.

I also went and spoke individually to some of the people in the meeting and asked for their support for my role as chair and also to support better behaviours in the meeting of each other and themselves. I asked for respect when people were speaking, rather than talking over them and bringing up old war stories to attack people with.

Old stories don’t let us create a new story.

The most powerful thing I did was relaunch the forum and complete an exercise in that first forum on how do we want to feel and make others feel in our meeting. That really was about instilling responsibility for behaviour amongst everyone, not just myself as a chair or the leaders in the room but everyone who was attending.

The impact of these actions was really to take a ramshackle, aggressive meeting, where people felt anxious attending it, to a well run, respectful, enjoyable, easy meeting that people wanted to attend, an easy meeting for me to run, and a very easy meeting for people to speak up in.

And I had feedback from people saying, “I was beginning to feel anxious coming to that meeting, and now I feel like I really want to go to that meeting. And I’m not worried any more.”

Don’t be afraid to relaunch a meeting. Don’t be afraid to take people out of the meeting if they’re no longer suitable to attend, and the other thing I would say is take the time to discuss what behaviours you want in the meeting.

This is a great way to make everyone feel included, make everyone part of the story of that meeting, and also to take the temperature down if things are out of control.

I hope you found this really useful. My name is Beatrice Crocker, and I am the founder and lead coach of I’m Ready Now! Coaching and I am an executive coach that works with  women who work in traditionally male dominated fields or have reached that job level where there are very few women in the peer group.

I want you to find more purpose, meaning, leadership and growth in your career. I’m passionate about helping women to be seen living their true purpose and who want to radiantly embrace their lives, find more meaning, purpose, and growth in their career.

If you’d like to work with me, book a complimentary consult today to get started.   

Following your heart opens up your world to possibility

What is the biggest learning you had this week?

If you follow me on Linkedin, Facebook or Insta, you will have noticed I sometimes post a learning of the week. These learnings cover 3 areas – what I learnt about myself, what I learnt about other or society, what I learnt at work.

Here are some highlights from my notes over Dec-Jan:

  • People listen when you communicate a message in the way they need to hear it
  • Kindness is powerful
  • Following your heart opens your world to possibility
  • We all love to laugh
Following your heart opens up your world to possibility
Following your heart opens up your world to possibility

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What have you learnt this week at work, about others and about yourself?

Why is everyone just so critical ? Second chances and letting relationships just evolve.

How quickly do you label a colleague, direct report, peer or boss an idiot?   After one or two stuff ups, poorly chosen words or a funny facial expression?

I remember a mentor of mine once saying: “Why are aussies SO critical all the time?”

It seems like any minor problem will be taken as sufficient reason to write someone off entirely.

The most rewarding relationships are those that we invest in, when we truly get to know someone under a lot of different conditions.

In 2017, I discovered how rewarding seeing past someone’s reputation was and taking the time to develop a strong relationship could be.  But it took TIME and openness from both sides.  It meant having open conversations about things that bothered me and it meant me being open to things that bothered him.  It was worth the effort.

Is there someone you have written off?

What would happen if you tried again to build a positive relationship?

What are you missing out on by being closed off to this person?

What are the differences between boundaries and letting relationships grow organically?

Are we just too critical?

 

Chose your own fairytale

Is this rebellious?

The future?

The now?  

I have an explosion of thoughts when I read this:

  • Why does this statement feel revolutionary in 2018?
  • Why do women need to be saved and men be our saviours?
  • Could this line ever read: “And the princess and prince lived happily ever after in their own big castle with all their own money and they took care of themselves and each other. The end.”
  • Is women’s happiness a story of being saved by a man vs saved by herself?
  • How does a man support a women who is 100% independent?
  • What if a princess wants another princess to move in with her?

I love these quotes, they are gung-ho and make me think big. They also seem to sit very much in the same story – prioritising material wealth with no mention of romantic, emotional or spiritual abundance.  Yes, we need a roof over our heads but we also need SO MUCH MORE!

Yes, we need independence but I for one want lots of love, romance and a partner in my life.

Are love and independence mutually exclusive (I hope not)?

Does a feminist re-make of fairytales exclude love?

If you could write your own fairytale in one or two sentences, what would your happily ever after story be?

My version:

And the successful business women, lived happily ever after, in her own lavish townhouse, travelled everywhere lots, loved and was loved lots, felt like she belonged all the time, had her own cleaner, and shared all her favourite stories with a gorgeous independent man who loved her just as she was, and she took care of herself and all her abundance (money, spirituality, health) and always wore fabulous clothes and red nail polish…. and just really had a great time always! The end! 🙂

Diplomacy 101

Respect confidences given freely.

Some of my biggest life lessons happened early particularly in regard to being diplomatic.  These lessons have always helped me especially in corporate roles. I originally shared this via Facebook and am sharing here with you just in case you missed it.

What lessons did you learn early and still apply today?

What happened?

When I was young (less than 10 I think), Mum told me how she had to give up studying at high-school at the end of Year 10 and shift to secretarial studies because she was a girl. Her brother was allowed to finish and become an engineer. I remember being MAD! Really MAD!

Shortly after, I remember walking beside my Poppa (Mum’s Dad). We were walking next to Frankston Tafe, opposite the train station. I remember it being a hot summers day. I seem to remember holding my Poppa’s hand, peering up with the sun in my eyes and saying ‘Poppa, why didn’t you let Mummy finish high-school?’


Afterwards (not sure how long afterwards), I remember Mum telling me never to repeat anything she told me to Poppa or too anyone else again. Mum was MAD, really MAD!

How did I feel?

Ashamed that I had embrassed my Mum and caused trouble.

Outraged that the issue was me speaking up, not the issue I perceived to be the ‘real issue’.

Taken aback, I thought I was helping.

What did I learn?

Don’t raise an objection on someone else’s behalf unless you have their permission.

Understand what is confidential and personal vs public knowledge.
Respect confidences given freely.

Epilogue : my Mum went back to school while I was in high school and completed a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters in Feminism studies and returned to the paid workforce until retirement.

Now, I’d love to hear from you.

What lessons did you learn early and still apply today?

 

Beatrice’s Equality Day Dreams #5 – Making an important career decision is so easy

Can I be honest with you? I’m beginning to think my day dreams maybe a bit cynical.  When I read over this day dream that I wrote 5 months ago, it was part of a list of things I wish the workplace was vs wasn’t.

It shouldn’t be a dream that we are supported and progression is easy if we are ambitious and competent.  While writing my book and starting my life coaching business, every woman I have spoken to has talked about the challenge of finding out information on how to progress.

At work, a colleague came up to me (after reading my blog) and admitted she didn’t know that she was supposed to ask.  She has recently started working in Australia and asking wasn’t the custom in her previous country and in fact it might even have been deemed rude to ask.  People progressed once they met a benchmark and their manager would ask if they wanted to go up a level or take on a new role.

If you’re a manager, how transparent is it to your team how they progress? Are you over looking someone because they haven’t told you what they are interested in?  And, are you being overlooked because you are not asking?

One more story, recently a senior manager let me know that a role was available in his team and talked me through a series of names and I gave my thoughts.   I added an extra name to the list and we both agreed she’d be great for the role if she was interested.  In my gut, I thought she probably wasn’t.   Later, I asked her if she would be and let her know the role was available.  She surprised me by saying she was interested. So I said, “call him NOW and let him know NOW”.  She waited 5 days to speak to him (after another prompt from myself) and she missed out on the role.   The senior manager made a decision in 3 days.

If you hear of a role and you are interested, let the hiring manager know  straight away.  Don’t hesitate or let other work get in the way.

Just ask.

My top tip for sticking to your truth and pursuing your dreams

Unravelling shoulds and focusing on want has been a challenge I have set myself over the last 18 months. It’s been a really amazing journey and has led me to write a book and become a life coach while also increasing my satisfaction at work.

It’s also been painful because I say NO to a lot of things and sometimes other people don’t get it (the focus, the drive, the saying “NO”.)

When you have followed your dream, what has happened for you?

What is your number one tip to staying in your truth?

My own top tip is be really clear on your WHY. It really takes the pressure off an uncomfortable situation when I know this is where I need to be right now to get to where I am going. Knowing my why – helping women progress (personally, professionally and in society as a whole) helps keep me going when I have to decline another social invitation so I can work on my business, study or write a blog post. It keeps me centred.

How to be heard in every meeting

Today’s blog post is about how to be heard in meetings and this follows on from some of the work I’ve been posting on social media around getting your voice heard more often and easily in meetings.

Watch my latest FB live to hear more.

Grab the guide to be heard more today.

This work is part of a series I am putting together of helpful guides to help you be more confident at work and is part of work I am doing to set up my coaching business.  I help women to be seen living their true purpose so that they can radiantly embrace a lavish life. I truly believe that we all deserve to live a powerfully meaningful life.

Now on to my top tips to start getting your voice heard today.

Preparation = Credibility

My top tip to be heard more in meetings is to PREPARE.

Prepare three to five points that you want to speak to.  You can be confident going into any meeting with  credible comments to make knowing you have prepared some ideas around those comments before the meeting.

Meet the Chair before the meeting = Interest

Talk to the chair of the meeting prior to the meeting and let them know that you are really wanting to contribute to the meeting and you’ve got some points to talk about

Tip : ask them to call on you during the meeting if you haven’t spoken up.

Take in Post-Its

Take in your talking points on post-its  so it’s really clear that you’re prepared. Everyone will be looking at you going okay, she’s got the post-its so she knows what she’s talking about.  She’s prepared!  (Yes, this has happened to me. Slightly to my horror as I had only prepped those notes exactly 10 minutes before the meeting but suddenly my post its made me the expert that kept getting asked to contribute, quite possibly more than I was even hoping too.  It might sound a bit silly but its a simple strategy to get people’s attention and show you care.)

Eye contact = engagement

Make sure you’re making regular eye contact with the people who are speaking and the chair so that when you want to speak you can be like hi, this is now my time to talk. This also makes you look really engaged.

If you look interested, engaged and credible, you’ll be called on and if you’re trying to get into the conversation you’re more likely to be listened to and asked for your opinion.

Offer Support

The other way to contribute is to offer support for someone else’s idea, ask a follow up question or offer a solution for a problem. You can do this by asking a question that prompts discussion of that solution or simply providing a suggestion.

Follow Through

If you keep following these steps in every key meeting that you’re in and you do these regularly every day for four weeks, people will be asking you to contribute. They’ll be putting your ideas and name on the agenda and they’ll be asking your opinion leading into the meeting and during the meeting.

You have to be persistent and you have to be consistent.

Now, would you like to be seen living your true purpose? YES?

Then, set up  a complimentary consult with me to work through your next steps.

I am  passionate about about helping women to be seen living their true purpose and who want to radiantly embrace their life, find more meaning, purpose and growth in their career.  My strengths as a coach are empathy, warmth, belief in you and what you want to achieve and unwavering confidence that what you want is the right thing for you.  I absolutely hope to share and bring these out in you too.

I have a foundational offer running for :

(1) 6 * 1 hour session coaching series for $480

or

(2) 12 * 1 hour session coaching series for $960

Want more info on what a series involves? Below is a framework I follow to ensure your goal is met by the end of the series.

  • Session 1 :  Create an inspiring goal for you and set some key actions to understand where you are at now with that goal
  • Session 2 :  Making the goal real, setting intention and actions to achieve your goal in 6 or 12 sessions
  • Session 3-4 (or 11) : Structure support, appreciation, celebration.  Each fortnight set new actions to take, review your progress so far, take steps to keep on track, appreciate the journey and plan you big Goal achieved celebration.
  • Session 6 or 12: Celebration time!  Review your achievements, celebration what you’ve done and take learnings to help with the next chapter in your story.

Between each session you will complete homework as part of your actions and I will be available the whole way to support, provide feedback and help you achieve that big goal.

Want to start a coaching series? Book a complimentary consult now. 

Want to find out more about coaching, read more here.

Rituals for openness

“Please grant me coffee to change the things I can, and yoga to accept the things I can’t”

It just makes me feel ready for work when I’ve had a cup of really good coffee before leaving the house.

Each morning I start with a cup of coffee (sometimes with ghee, sometimes black) ground and brewed fresh in my french press. I usually drink Market Lane coffee because they have that magic combination of quality, community and beauty in their coffee. I love how each bag of coffee arrives with a little card telling me about the people who work to make such beautiful coffee. I also love their subscription service so I am never at risk of running out of coffee. I use a Bodium coffee grinder (a red one) to grind fresh coffee to create that perfect cup.

Meditation and yoga work for me a bit like coffee, it creates a gap in doing things.

Each Sunday afternoon, I finish my weekend at Warrior One with a combined Yin Yoga and meditation practice. This is a really peaceful way to end the weekend and start the week. When I am in high pressure mode at work I practice yoga or meditation in the morning for 10 minutes to start off feeling open for the day ahead. When I’m less busy, my practice becomes less habitual but I find regular meditation and yoga keeps me mentally open, ready and quiet mindeded which I love.

Now, I’d love to hear from you.

What do you love to do to keep positive and open for the day and week ahead?

Visibility is the key to career progression

Ever found yourself getting these kind of comments in a performance review:

  • ‘They’ don’t know who you are
  • No one has heard of you, so I couldn’t get you that bonus / promotion ?
  • What do you do exactly?
  • Maybe I should sit with you, to see why you are SO busy?
  • I just don’t get what you do?

Visibility is the key to career progression. 

What is it that the ‘people with power’ don’t know about you?

How are you making yourself and your work visible?

This isn’t about a name tag.

This is about your work being known.

Here are 9 tips to help you be MORE visible:

  1. Identify the people that you want to know who you are and what you do
  2. Find a way to increase the face time you regularly have with these people. You could work on a project of theirs, attend social events that they attend, grab a moment to talk to them, attend a talk or workshop they are running, find opportunities to be seen and heard
  3. Circle back – after receiving advice, come back to that person and let them know how using their the advice went and what it meant for you and your work
  4. Status reports – be the one to send out the regular status report, so your name and key information is always popping into the right inboxes (delegate the formatting, the collation but not the high vis opportunity)
  5. Run a workshop, seminar, talk series or other event. You don’t have to be the one talking, just be the one organising (and the name popping up in the inbox, the person visibly asking for interest and ideas).
  6. Organise a charity event, help out with organising an off-site (of course only do this for events that you are genuinely interested in.)
  7. Use random down time, to your advantage – nothing says ambitious like swinging by a senior managers desk when you’re computer is ‘getting repaired’ than ‘hey, I’ve got half an hour spare is there anything I can do for you that doesn’t involve a computer – photocopying, grabbing them a coffee or lunch, chasing up something with someone on another floor.)   You don’t want to be seen as an admin clerk or dog’s body so don’t get into the habit of routine tasks. Make sure each time you up level the task but also have humility when the boss really does need a coffee (tip : they will always be grateful if you remember the order).
  8. Put your hand up for extra projects
  9. Celebrate successes as visibly as possible.

Too Busy?

Find a way to delegate non-essential work to your direct reports and 2IC.

No one to delegate to?

Find time and the budget to increase the size of your team.

No budget for increasing your team?

Then its time to get some budget and show off your negotiating and influencing skills.

Alternatively, look over your workload and really assess what is core and non-core aspects of your role.  Opening up just an hour a week for networking and increasing your visibility will make a big difference.

Is there a non-essential task that can be dropped or completed less often?

Its time to go after what you want and to stop ‘making do with what you’ve got’. 

Now, I’d love to here from you.

How would being more visible improve your career opportunities?