Boring meetings

Another Meeting – What A Waste Of Time!

The Reasons Why Most Meetings Are A Waste Of Time!

How do meetings impact your business?  The reason I was talking about this today on LinkedIn Live, was because I was talking to a partner in a vet practice.  He was bemoaning the fact that the team have all these great ideas, and talk about stuff they say they are going to do, but ultimately none of it actually gets done.

The discussion turned to what is actually happening in their meetings. And it’s a similar story to many businesses I talk to.

So many people tell me how they hate meetings as they see them as a waste of time, something to be endured and not enjoyed.  And the reason they hate them is that nothing productive actually happens.  Bob is always complaining.  Felicity is always talking too much and “I” can’t speak, because I get shouted down.  James doesn’t want to be there and sits there with his arms crossed and zoned out! It’s all a disaster.

And that sums up the problem with most meetings – there is bad behaviour, there is a lack of commitment and there is no real strategy.  And here’s the harsh truth.  The state of your meetings reflects the state of your business. 

If your meetings are unengaged, unproductive and everyone feels they are a waste of time, the chances are the rest of your business will be the same.

So how do you turn this state of affairs into having ‘Perfect Meetings’.

  1. Instead of Bad Behaviour – we want people turning up as adults in our meetings.  So, we need to create adult-to-adult conversations and make the standards of behaviour clear.  
  2. Instead of no strategy, we need to focus and prioritise.  We want to be able to work on the important things.  If we don’t then we end up talking about nothing that matters.  If you only hold meetings to deal with important stuff then people will turn up with a different mindset.  They will feel the time has been well spent, useful and that they have learned something, or had an impact, or been listened to.
  3. And instead of a lack of commitment (which is born out of the lack of purpose and the bad behaviour) to do the things they have said they will do – we want ACTION and IMPLEMENTATION. If people show up and do what they say they are going to do, then it is massively powerful. It makes people feel empowered and energised, and they are more likely to look forward to the next one!

If you can create that sort of business, only meeting to discuss important things, with engaged people who go off and implement something – then you are going to not only have more productive meetings, but the business itself will be moving forwards.

So, do you have a strategy for your meetings, do people show up as adults, and do your people have the commitment to taking action?  Perfect meetings create a better business.

If you would like to watch this live – check it out here.  And if you want to find out more about how we deal with these issues in the Leaders Launchpad, drop me a quick message to

Clash Of The Titans…Or A New Bromance?

It can’t have escaped your notice this week that Donald Trump #POTUS and Kim Jong Un, Supreme Leader of North Korea, have historically met this week in Singapore.  Up until this point their ‘relationship’ has been a bit like The Clash of The Titans.  2 (self proclaimed) Gods, making lots of noise and sounding off about and against each other.  Who has the biggest sword.  

This week they have made history.  It is the first time the leaders of the two countries have been in the same city, let alone the same building or the same room.  After all the chest puffing and aggression, they both have needs that were not being met with the pontificating.   

It remains to be seen where it will lead but it reminded me very much of a situation with a client where a new manager was brought into an organisation and had to deal with some very negative anti feelings and forge a new working relationship.   

This new manager came to me when he had just moved to another company.  There was ill feeling he said, because another manager thought his ‘protege’ should have got the job.  And at first there were a few clashes with both the established and the new manager standing their ground and refusing to give way or negotiate on the (fairly irrelevant) things in question.   

The manager – we’ll call him Ken – had tried appealing with logic to the other manager – on a ‘we need to work together or it will be bad for both of us’, level.  That didn’t work.  The problem is when someone already has a negative feeling towards another person, logic isn’t going to fix it.  The emotions need to be dealt with.  

The first thing I advised him to do was to meet the other manager on neutral territory – perhaps taking him for a lunch at a favourite eating place.  Neutral ground always works best in these scenarios.  A bit like Trump and Kim meeting in Singapore.  

The second strategy is to redirect the bad feeling.  So for Ken, that was about saying – look neither you nor ! have put us both in this difficult situation, the Company did that.  I wasn’t in the meeting with Kim and Trump but I could imagine that maybe some reference was made to the past as the cause for the current problems.  

This redirects the emotion to a third party.

The next step is reciprocity and giving first.  Ken discussed that he was looking for a lead for a project involving both their teams, and proposed the ‘protégé’ of the other manager.  The role would involve the protégé being included in high-level meetings which would spotlight him and certainly aid his career ambitions.  It would also highlight the skills and importance of the other manager’s team and therefore give him some reflected glory.

By giving first – Ken cleared the way for the other manager to ‘give back’ without having to actually DO anything except for supporting the initiative – which of course he was happy to do to help his protégé.

In a similar way, Donald Trump has agreed to stop all wargames in the Korean Peninsula.  This is before Kim has actually done anything – but it clears the way for Kim to comply with The Donald’s wishes without losing face.

There is one more stage that is necessary for this strategy to work long term and that is about being clear about the relationship going forward.  The other manager needed to know that Ken valued him and his team but that he was not indispensable and that the offer was time limited.

So, the conversation went something like this “I think Ben is ideally suited for this project and I would love to have him on board.  I intend to speak to him tomorrow before the board meeting on Friday – but I need to know right now, whether you support him as the lead for the project and whether you can release the time he will need to be involved.  If that is not going to be possible I have 2 other names on my list of potential project leads and as the board meets Friday you can see the urgency.

Again, not being party to the conversations I can’t say whether this strategy was used in the meeting of the Titans, what I am sure about is that there would have been conversations about next steps and there would have been urgency introduced by POTUS.

If two of the worlds most dangerous men, and most unlikely looking world leaders, can turn their Clash of The Titans into a bromance, then it is possible for anyone!

If you have this sort of situation in your business or you can see it happening in the future – feel free to email me on  This is just one of the potential strategies we can implement to help with difficult relationship issues at work.

3D Leadership – dynamically enhancing the results of your business’™

At Transforming Performance, we believe that there are 6 crucial areas of Leadership: focus and direction, mindset, engagement, skills, impact and systems.

Transforming Performance can help with our Accelerate Your Business™ and Accelerate Solo™ programmes.

Jan Sargent is co-Director with Julie Hutchison of Transforming Performance, a consultancy which provides businesses with expert support in Leadership Coaching, Team Development and Performance Coaching, Executive Coaching, Mentoring, Training and Behavioural Profiling and help in getting the best from you and your people. If you’d like to have a chat and a coffee to discuss how we can help you, we’d love to talk. Call us on:

07947 823842 or 01722 484155



Bored Meeting or Board Meeting? 

A comment we often hear about meetings is that they are boring, and that applies to Board Meetings as well.  There is nothing worse than sitting in a meeting with your mind wandering, listening to stuff that seems to have no relevance to you or your job and wishing you could be somewhere….anywhere…else.   However, its not just about boring meetings.   Boring meetings are not the worst thing you could experience.  There are far worse kinds of behaviours going on in meetings than boring agendas.

We have seen all sorts of terrible behaviours in meetings.  From conflict and arguments to power plays and politics, many meetings are very unproductive and create the opposite of what they were intended to achieve.  Many board meetings should probably BE renamed ‘bored meetings’ as they are merely rubber stamping exercises – i.e. the board turns up and votes ‘yes’ to put an official stamp onto what has already been decided by the executive.  This sort of board meeting is meaningless and makes a mockery of having non exec directors.

And unlike the title of the blog – this situation is NOT a joke, because meetings are meant to take things forward in a business, otherwise there is no point in having them.  I am sure you have sat in a meeting (maybe you even chaired it), where there is an agenda for the agenda’s sake.  Where you sit around waiting for everyone who is late to arrive before the meeting starts, where a new topic of discussion is brought up 2 minutes before the meeting is due to end and where the people who have prepared the reports for the meeting stand up and talk through their report.  And by that I mean – they read the report out word for word. What is the point of that?

Now, this is not a blog about how to run an effective meeting – for that go see our blog on how to get results from your meetings.  But the point is that good meetings require commitment.  From everyone.  If you are sitting in a meeting where you are bored, it is probably because you are not fully engaged with what’s going on – and that becomes a much bigger problem than the meeting itself.  If your team are not engaged with the vision – your vision, then it doesn’t matter how many bells and whistles you throw at your meetings – it’s all just sticky plaster.  You can hold a great meeting and everyone can enjoy it, but if they are not engaged with the bigger picture, then when they leave the room nothing different will happen.

So – if you want to know how engaged your team truly is and if you need some help to get them to where you want them to be – perhaps you should sign up for one of our 3 free monthly strategy sessions.  In this session you will get :-

  • 30 minutes devoted to working ON and not IN your business to help you get clarity around what the issues may be with your team
  • At least 2 ideas you can take away and implement immediately
  • A clear plan of what to do next to delete some ‘busyness’ and be more effective in your business

By the way – if you miss this slot – we will put you on the waiting list, so all is not lost! Register your interest today by emailing us at

And as promised last week – here are last weeks early responders to the question in our blog (the answer of course was Michael Caine in the Italian Job).  Congratulations to Kirsty Allen – who got the first email back, and to Allen Norman – who was the first on messages (on the blog), and finally to Will Lundie – first to respond through LinkedIn.  Well done you guys – we will be in touch individually to offer you one of the slots.  And thanks to everyone else who sent in the correct answer.  We appreciate the love!





Leadership Tips and the 12 Days of Christmas

Leadership Tips and The 12 Days of Christmas


Once the Christmas dinner is over and the presents are opened it’s time to chill out, and maybe reflect a little on how this year has gone for you.

Here are our 12 tips for making 2016 your best year yet.  And to keep it traditional we are stealing from an old Christmas song.


On the First Day of Christmas Leadership Tips…

My true love said to me:

A Leader is one who

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.

Leaders don’t just act like the boss and tell other people WHAT to do, but show them HOW to do it. A good leader always shows the way.  A boss says ‘Go’, a Leader says ‘Let’s go, follow me’.


 On the Second Day of Christmas Leadership tips…

My true love said to me:

You Are a Leader

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

You don’t have to be in a managerial role or have an official title to be a leader. If you are a hard worker and dream big, other people will follow you.  Therefore you a leader.


 On the Third Day of Christmas Leadership tips…

My true love said to me:

Steve Jobs A Leader

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.

Good Leaders will think outside the box and come up with their own ideas.  They create the world around them and this inspires others.


 On the Fourth Day of Christmas Leadership tips…

My true love said to me:


Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better.
A leader might come up with ideas and inspire others, but unless they can unlock the potential in their team, they will be leading no-one.  Leaders facilitate and allow the individuals in their teams to grow.


On the Fifth Day of Christmas Leadership tips…

My true love said to me:


Where there is no vision, there is no hope.
You can’t go into a project or an idea blind, or it will never work. You must first come up with a vision of what you want, and then show others the way.


 On the Sixth Day of Christmas Leadership tips…

My true love said to me:

If you want a quality

If you want a quality, act as if you already had it.
You know the saying: Fake it till you make it… well the same applies to leadership skills. In a company no-one will promote you to manager unless they see you as a manager, meaning you have to act as if you were a manager.  If it is your own business – no-one will come work for you if they don’t see you as a leader – so step up and act like one.


 On the Seventh Day of Christmas Leadership tips…

My true love said to me:

Speak softly

Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.

In other words, always be humble, avoid raising your voice and being a hot-head for the sake of it, but don’t be afraid to put your foot down and make the tough calls when needed.


On the Eighth Day of Christmas Leadership tips…

My true love said to me:


No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it.

Good Leaders know they can’t do anything without their teams. They are more interested in the end result than in taking the credit. If a leader acts in this way he will no longer be a leader as there will be no team left to lead…


On the Ninth Day of Christmas Leadership tips…

My true love said to me:

It is essential

In other words – the smartest thing you can do is hire people who might be smarter than you!

 On the Tenth Day of Christmas Leadership tips…

My true love said to me:

Good Management

Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them.

Make problem solving fun – and a TEAM activity.  If problems are seen as something negative then people will naturally avoid or shy away from dealing with them – which means it is always down to the leader to spot and solve problems.  Far better to encourage an environment where problem solving is applauded and everyone wants in.



On the Eleventh Day of Christmas Leadership tips…

My true love said to me:

The Quality of a leader

The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.

Want to be a good leader? Then set the bar high. No – higher than that.   But what if you don’t feel confident? This takes me to my last point…


 On the Twelfth Day of Christmas Leadership tips…

My true love said to me:

Henry Ford

Henry Ford knew what he was talking about when he said  “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”

There is nothing more important when it comes to being a manager than believing in yourself. Believe you can be the best leader in your business and you WILL.

If you want to make 2016 your Best Year Yet – come along to our free Best Year Yet workshops – where we will help you set the strategies you need for making 2016 your absolute Best Year Yet.

If you would like to pre-register for more information email me on and put “Best Year Yet” in the subject line.

Wishing you a Prosperous and Happy 2016.