How To Run EPIC Meetings

No one doubts that many of us are struggling with Zoom fatigue and meeting overwhelm as a result of working from home over the last six months.  In my experience, many business leaders are not very skilled at running effective meetings. Now that the process has morphed on-line, their skills, in many cases, are definitely not up for the job. 

The challenge is that with more and more people working remotely, it is essential that we hold regular meetings to ensure that everyone is kept in the loop and knows what is happening.  There is so much conversation that is “lost” when we are not working in close proximity to each other.  This “lost conversation” is what I refer to as the water cooler talk.  It’s the time when you learn informally how other projects are doing, how other colleagues are feeling, and generally get a sense of what is going on in the business.  It’s also a time that we can informally share resources with each other and provide guidance on different approaches to solve problems. 

With this mechanism taken away from us, at least for the time being, how do leaders structure meetings to be effective, deliver results, keep team members engaged, and not waste people’s valuable time?  One framework that I have found to really work is the EPIC Meeting Framework™, devised by the team at Engagement Multiplier.  They use it for all their meetings as it puts an end to pointless gatherings that waste time and slow momentum.  Instead, by adopting this simple framework, they have been experiencing a significant increase in team engagement and productivity over the last few months.  So let’s unpack this 4 step framework and show you how you can use it in your business. 

1)     Energy

Why It’s Important: Boosting energy at the beginning of a meeting sets the stage for more productive conversations and, ultimately, better meeting outcomes.

How Do You Do It: Get everyone to speak at the start of the meeting by sharing one thing they’re feeling great about right now (it can be work related or personal related).

The Outcome: Team members will be engaged and start contributing to the meeting leading to better results.

2)     Purpose

Why It’s Important: Every meeting needs to have a purpose, as well as clearly defined outcomes, as it is impossible to run an effective meeting unless everyone is clear on why they are there and the outcome required.

How Do You Do It: Distribute an agenda in advance that states the purpose, objectives, and what needs to be true at the end of the meeting, as opposed to simply listing points for discussion.

The Outcome: Team members come prepared and solution focused. Consequently, meetings become faster and more efficient when the focus is placed on outcomes. 

3)     Insight

Why It’s Important: During the exchange of ideas and perspectives, new opportunities emerge that create transferable insights. Sharing these insights amplifies the value and productivity of any meeting.

How Do You Do It: At the end of the meeting, ensure that everyone shares at least one unique insight or learning they’ve derived as a result of attending.

The Outcome: Being able to capture opportunities and connections in real time between people can help spark more innovation, and amplify the value of the meeting for all attendees.

4)     Connection

Why It’s Important: Getting team members aligned behind a shared purpose ensures everyone is on the same page and builds connection within the team. Team members are more confident their inputs and efforts will be appreciated, so are more willing to speak up and express their opinions. Culture and purpose are thus reinforced.

How Do You Do It: By encouraging adoption of these habits and the structure for the meeting.

The Outcome: Barriers to progress caused by poor communication and lack of direction are overcome and the team adopts a much more agile culture towards working. 

So my invitation to you as leader is, go and try the EPIC Meeting Framework™ and let me know what is does for your next meeting. I’m sure you will be pleasantly surprised by the results, and the increased levels of engagement that you get from your team members.

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