By Jim Fannin
How many meetings have you attended in your life? How many times have you thought, “What a waste of time!” Most people have approximately 10-30 meetings every week. From an algebra class, sales meeting, e-mail exchange, sporting event, conference call or major presentation, we have meetings all of the time. They last from a few minutes to hours. Most meetings are NOT Zone meetings.
Have you ever presented or attended a Zone meeting? These “purposeful calm” meetings get everyone fully engaged. They are dynamic and highly fruitful. All participants are present to leverage the power of collective thought. Each person is locked in the moment. Each person is there to contribute to the whole. Solutions rise to the surface. Clarity reigns supreme. No one is looking at their text messages or reading their emails. All eyes and ears are on the person that is addressing the group at any given time. Everyone is attentive to the task at hand.
A Zone meeting occurs when each person is disciplined, focused, confident, relaxed and passionate about his or her participation and contribution to the outcome of the meeting. As the facilitator, this is your responsibility. You will be held accountable and you have the authority to make it happen. Zone meetings go by quickly. They are highly productive with little to no wasted time. Every participant leaves with the appropriate call to action or inaction. These are the meetings that catapult a
group, family, company or team from mediocrity to greatness. Zone meetings make a significant difference.
Many daily meetings conducted throughout the world are thrown together at the last minute. Sometimes this is necessary. However, a little preparation will make a major difference in reaching your meetings goals. Here is a proven Zone meeting formula that contains a short list of tips and tools to help make the encounter productive and worthwhile.
- Identify the purpose. The first question is “What’s the purpose of the meeting? Why do we need a meeting? Is the meeting to present or learn new information? Is it for solving a challenge or a group of challenges? What’s the point of the meeting?
- Who needs to attend and why? Know who must attend this meeting. Know what each participant needs to think and consequently do when the meeting begins. More importantly, know what you want them to think and do when the meeting If you are giving a keynote address ask yourself, “What do I want these people to think about my presentation when they are finally alone in their thoughts?”
- Know your audience. To achieve a Zone state some people need visual support while others may need data to Everyone learns in a different way. What support material, if any, is needed? What presentation material will fully engage the audience? What do the participants need to bring or prepare? If the meeting is long, provide water and snacks to fuel the attendees to the end.
- Schedule a time Open-ended meetings with no time limit can easily get off track and end in fatigue, chaos and disappointment. Less is typically more.
If you are the presenter, announce the duration of the meeting upfront. Setting a hard stoppage in advance will bring closure to most meetings. This will help you stay on track and avoid wasted time. Someone in the group needs to manage the time. Going over the time allotted in a meeting puts undue stress on everyone involved. Stay on topic and keep your schedule.
- Prepare an agenda or outline. With the purpose of the meeting in mind, use the S.C.O.R.E.® Success System’s “B2A Principle™” of reverse engineering the meeting by working Know what you want the participants to think when the meeting is over. Know how you will close. If possible, prepare a call to action for the individuals or the group. Have no more than five major points to discuss or review. Less is more productive. Know how you want to begin the meeting. By preparing from B to A you can insure the meeting culminates with solid purpose.
- Anticipate obstacles or challenges. If everyone already knows and agrees then the meeting was probably not needed. A memorandum would suffice. Be ready for the There will be different viewpoints and feelings. Each person will arrive with a different knowledge base of the situation, condition or circumstance. It’s possible this particular meeting will not resolve the challenge. There may be an impasse. More information may be required to facilitate a call to action and a follow-up meeting. Be ready!
- Arm yourself with swift, 90-Second Rule™ tools to combat any challenges. Be prepared to adjust the meeting.
- Change your behavior or the group’s behavior. This can be accomplished by adjusting your tempo, tone or body
- Re-structure the situation. Approach the goal of the meeting in a different Change tactics or strategy. This can be accomplished by asking the appropriate question to the group or an individual.
- Be silent and Be calm while you are silent. Let other people make their point. Avoid interrupting. Listen, learn and adapt or adjust if needed.
- Have a 360° Think and feel from each participant’s view. This will assist you in engaging with all attendees and influencing the overall meeting.
- Lead the group back to the Stay or track and stick to the agenda. Control the meeting.
- Dress-rehearse the With the B2A Principle™ in place, now you can walk the walk and talk the talk, as if you’ve already succeeded in conducting a great, Zone meeting. Never have a meeting you haven’t already had in your mind. Visualize solutions and or actions required to accomplish the agenda. Visualize facilitating the purpose of the meeting.
- Review the agenda one more Easy enough. This needs less than 90- seconds.
- Conduct a C.O.R.E.® Check. This self-awareness, 90-Second Rule™ tool is quick and to the point. Your awareness will solve most challenges 90% of the time. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I self-disciplined? Am I ready to do this? If yes, move If no, then stop and get organized.
- Am I ready to concentrate? Am I here in the moment? Am I present? If yes, move on. If no, then stop and get in the here and now.
- Am I optimistic? Am I confident? If yes, move If no, then raise your chin, stand up tall and say a positive affirmation like, “I am ready for this” or “I am the facilitator” or “I am a champion.”
- Am I relaxed? Is my breathing under control with deep, slow breaths? If yes, move on. If no, then stop and focus on your breathing. Having only 6-8 breaths per minute will swiftly calm you down.
- Am I ready to enjoy the meeting? If yes, move If no, then stop and get ready to have some fun? Smile even at the challenges that might arise? Find some rhythm in your step as you approach the meeting. I’ve skipped in a suit before a large presentation just to get my enjoyment up.
- Clear the Launch. This is the same as the Re-Boot™ Just before the meeting, take 90-seconds to clear your mind. Shut your eyes, unhinge your jaw and see in your mind a blank screen. After 90-seconds open your eyes and walk into the meeting as the best prepared person possible.
- Open the meeting like a champion. Begin full engagement with direct eye contact as soon as you enter the room. Look, act and feel confident. After small talk subsides and the room is ready for you, state the purpose of the meeting and begin your Zone meeting.
Having better and fewer meetings will make your workplace and or your team setting more productive. Once all of the meeting participants attract the Zone mindset then imagination, creativity and out-of-the-box thinking will reign supreme. The collective dynamic of individual thought will create a group tsunami of positivity. Solutions will blanket all challenges. Positive results will happen.
Communication is the key to advancing an idea, resolving a conflict and or organizing a cohesive team of excellence. The Zone meeting is the best way to meet these objectives.
Take your group to a place they can’t go by themselves. Forge the group dynamic. As a Zoniac™ influencer of thought, get your meeting in the Zone!
P.S. For questions, suggestions or anything else, contact Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Copyright. Jim Fannin Brands, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 2020. The 90-Second RuleÔ, S.C.O.R.E.®, ZoneCoach®, and Be in the Zone!™ are federally registered to Jim Fannin Brands, Inc.
Jim Fannin is America’s ZoneCoach®. He is a best-selling author, platform speaker, and peak performance, life and executive coach. His client list reads like a who’s who list featuring celebrity actors, directors and entertainers, as well as 28 MLB All-Stars, 7 world’s top 10 tennis players, scores of PGA stars, NBA All-Stars, NFL All-Pros and Olympic Gold Medalists. In addition, Jim has coached executives from 350 of the Fortune 500. Check out his latest book, The Blueprint: A Proven Plan for Successful Living. Find Jim at www.jimfannin.com.