Yesterday, I shared the TTAP method, a simple way to get clear on meeting structure. TTAP helps to reduce frustration for everyone involved by creating some “ground rules.” Of course, ground rules don’t get anything done.
Today, I want to add the juice that makes meetings really work. It’s not fail-safe (because people aren’t), but it’s damn close.
Oh, and it’s super-sexy, too.*
Who owns the meeting? The next task? The outcome? If you aren’t prepared to make one individual responsible for the outcome– or take that responsibility yourself– what is it you’re meeting about? To gossip? Complain? Talk in circles?
Hint: Yes. That’s what it’s about.
But we’re a team, and we totally collaborate on like everything.
Please GOD, I never want to work with your team.
Effectiveness comes from knowing where the buck stops. Who’s on the hook if X doesn’t happen? You can be a flat, democratic organization all you want, but that should never preclude you from stating clear priorities and executing the hell out of them.
So when you leave a meeting, name the task and the person. Sometimes it’s obvious and simple. That’s fine. Be obvious about it. Often, it’s complicated. DO NOT PUNT conversations about the complicated. Drill down into the next action, the next dependency. Who will see it to completion? When?
Do this with yourself, too, and watch your work periods turn into fits of checklist-destroying mahem.
*No it’s not, sexy. I’m sorry I lied to you. Get over it.